Interventions for unpaid energy bills, synonymous with power cuts or limitations among consumers, increased by 10% in 2022 despite the tariff shield put in place to contain the price spike, the mediator of energy.
Despite the tariff shield and the allocation of additional energy vouchers, the number of interventions for unpaid bills increased in 2022: 863,000 (...) were implemented, i.e. an increase of 10% compared to 2021"
, the mediator said in a statement.
For the first time
”, the year 2022 will have been marked by “
a drop in power cuts
”, by 38%: 157,000 cuts have thus been recorded, against 254,000 in 2021.
This development is mainly due to the fact that some suppliers, in particular EDF, following the recommendations of the national energy ombudsman, have decided to carry out power reductions in the event of non-payment rather than power cuts. electricity
," the statement said.
In fact, according to the ombudsman, most of the interventions for unpaid bills concerned "
power reductions, which are less penalizing for the consumers concerned
", because they make it possible to ensure a minimum service: light, refrigerator, telephone charging, etc. .
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"We must go further"
These interventions jumped in 2022: 610,000 power reductions were recorded, an increase of 36% compared to 2021 and a multiplication by 2.2 since 2019, specifies the mediator.
About less than a third - 226,000 - were made by EDF, according to the incumbent supplier.
Since April 1, 2022, EDF has chosen to no longer suspend the power supply in the event of non-payment by its customers, but to reduce their power to 1 kVA or 3 kVa, regardless of the time of year.
A decree published on February 26, 2023 is now binding on all suppliers: they must supply a minimum electricity supply of 1 kVA for at least 60 days, prior to a power cut in the event of non-payment for households benefiting from the energy check and Housing Solidarity Fund, equipped with a communicating meter.
With this measure, this year, the end of the winter break on April 1 will therefore no longer be synonymous with direct power cuts for tenants who are struggling to pay rent and bills.
We have to go further
,” argues energy mediator Olivier Challan Belval, calling for power cuts to be replaced by a reduction in power supply, in the event of unpaid bills.
The current energy crisis raises questions about the long-term protection systems for the most fragile consumers
,” he commented in the press release.