off-peak hours shifted during the day? Angry consumers!

off-peak hours shifted during the day? Angry consumers!
off-peak hours shifted during the day? Angry consumers!

The French may have to abandon their consumption habits. In France, 15 million homes have subscribed to off-peak electricity contracts. Concretely, this historically made it possible to lower your electricity bill by favoring the nighttime use of certain appliances, such as the washing machine or the dishwasher for example. Rather than running your household appliances at full speed during the day, staggered hours not only made it possible to avoid congestion of the electricity networkbut also to make significant savings, up to 15% on traditional prices.

Off-peak hours, a vestige of the past?

This differentiation between peak hours and off-peak hours could soon end. The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) has reportedly ordered Enedis to review its entire pricing system, in order to better adapt to the current market, report our colleagues from Echoes. At the time, the system relied largely on nuclear electricity. The latter being mainly produced at night, off-peak hours made it possible to benefit from a less tense electrical flow, at much more affordable prices. For the vast majority of customers (around 60%), Enedis specifies on its site that: “off-peak hours are concentrated only during night hours, between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.“.

The problem is that today this off-peak system is no longer adapted to French consumption, nor to national electricity production, which is increasingly relying on solar energy. Thus, the CRE now asks suppliers to concentrate their off-peak hours in the middle of the day in spring and summer, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. It is in fact at this time of year that photovoltaic panels are capable of producing the most.

Consuming more during this period will also to avoid energy-intensive storageassures Jérémie Haddad, energy expert at EY Consulting, in a report broadcast by TF1 during the news on May 16, 2024: “You have two solutions to take solar production into account. Either you store in batteries, but it is expensive and not necessarily profitable. Or, you ask customers to consume at another time of the day, and that, in some ways, is free, but it is just as effective“.

What changes for consumers?

This change in price list will not happen immediately. Such an upheaval in the daily lives of the French is likely to take time, and the CRE recommends a application from 2025. The opportunity for Enedis to clarify its offer, reduce pressure on its electricity network, and avoid consumption peaks which would lead to a surge in prices.

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