Critique of French electricity network access pricing policy

Conseil de la concurrence opinion (9 pages in French, PDF) criticising a proposal from the French Government for access charges to French electricity networks. The Conseil highlights a lack of information about peak/off-peak pricing in the proposed text, and claims that this uncertainty prevents it from exercising its advisory functions properly (the Conseil's advice must be obtained on price control proposals in accordance with French law on freedom of prices and competition, incorporated in Article L410-2 of the Code du commerce). The opinion also criticises the Government's failure to specify the categories of activities/costs intended to be covered by access charges, thus making it difficult to identify any unfair price squeeze, and raises some concerns about connection charging policy.

Aside from competition law considerations, the Conseil takes the view that regulation of these tariffs ought to be the responsibility of an independent regulator setting multi-year tariffs, so as to reward cost cutting (but there is no discussion of the relevance of corporate profit incentives to EDF's French distribution and transmission businesses).

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under CRE, Electricity, France.

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