The French government has cancelled a planned increase in gas prices and cut the size of electricity price rises in response to considerable public discontent with rising energy costs.
EDF (you’ll recognise that name, but maybe didn’t know that it stood for Electricité de France) requested the French government’s permission to have annual increases of 5.1% for the next four years, to take into account needed investments to upgrade France's 58 nuclear reactors.
But industry minister Eric Besson made it clear earlier this year that prices would rise only by a small amount.
According to the government's plan, electricity prices can rise by 1.7% this month and by 1.2% in the summer of 2012.
Likewise, France's main gas supplier GDF Suez (Gaz de France), which had been hoping for a further increase this month after a 5% rise in household gas prices came into force in April, was disappointed to be told that there would be no raise at all in gas prices.
In Scotland power companies are increasing the price of electricity by an average of 11% and gas by 18%..... because they can, although they trot out horror stories about increases in the gas bought on international markets. I guess the French must just go to better international markets.
I suppose it may also be because, Mr Ian Marchant, Scottish and Southern Energy’s big boss man, who was awarded bonuses of over £2 million on top of nearly £1M salary for reaching targets on profits. He’s an expensive man is their Mr Marchant. As my granny would say: “I’d rather keep him a week than a fortnight.”
I wonder how the greedy git would cope the government didn't allow him to put up prices by between 2 and 3 times inflation, and as often as he likes...or indeed if the public just said “Enough!”.