EDF has been gaining 100,000 new clients per month since the summer

At a press conference on Monday, EDF executives wanted reassurance about the winter deadline. DENIS CHARLET / AFP

The explosion in electricity prices and the setbacks of certain alternative suppliers are pushing the French to return en masse to the incumbent supplier.

Individual clients are coming home. After gradually turning their backs on EDF since the liberalization of the energy market in 2007, the French have been returning to the public energy company in numbers for a few weeks. The phenomenon was known, not its exact proportions. According to information reported by EDF on Monday, the company has been gaining an additional 100,000 clients every month since the summer. The figure is symbolic: two years ago, 100,000 customers left every four weeks to join EDF’s competing alternative suppliers, notably Engie and Total Direct Energy.

The gas and electricity supply crisis affecting Europe explains this massive rally. the tariff shield» implemented by the French State to curb runaway electricity prices only protects the regulated sales rates offered by EDF. Some alternative providers, on the other hand, had no choice but to considerably increase their offers, causing a massive flight of their clients. This market share, which is increasing after years of reduction, is paradoxically not such good news for the French energy company. Faced with this influx of customers, EDF is forced to obtain a lot of electricity on the wholesale markets and supply it at a loss, fueling a debt that already amounts to 60,000 million euros.

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“Consume less and better”

During a press conference this Monday, the executive director of the group, responsible for the division of clients, services and territories, wanted to reassure his clients in a context of great concern as winter approaches. Marc Benayoun explained that for 90% of companies with more than 10 employees and communities, which are excluded from regulated rates and therefore from the rate shield, the bill should not be multiplied by more than four. As a reminder, electricity prices increased 15-fold or even 20-fold this summer in wholesale markets.

According to Marc Benayoun, the calls for sobriety launched from all sides are “important“.”The important thing is to consume less and consume better“, he urged. In addition to the mass communication of useful gestures in which EDF actively participates, the electric giant puts the package in energy renewal thanks to IZI by EDF, its brand dedicated to these issues.

Finally, the supplier insisted on the different options of its offer at regulated sales rates that allow for energy savings. The option “peak hours/off-peak hours“, already old, which consists of displacing the automatic switching on of certain devices during consumption peaks; as well as the Tempo option, which consists of paying less for electricity the vast majority of the year during the so-called blue days and more expensive during the twenty so-called red days, that is, when the demand for electricity explodes in winter.

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