The CRE (French regulatory body responsible for energy policy) published on 21 January the new regulated transmission and distribution price matrix named TURPE 6. The prior price matrix, TURPE 5, came into effect in August 2017.
The new structure set out in TURPE 6 will take effect on 1 August 2021 and remain in place for four years. The pricing within the TURPE 6 structure will be updated annually.
In addition to its usual considerations of predictability and reliability, the CRE specifically highlighted the need to address the energy system's transition. This new pricing matrix is designed to support France's grid operators, RTE and ENEDIS, as the electricity system evolves during the next four years – i.e., increased generation sources and added flexibility for decentralized renewable energy production, self-generation, and storage.
To overcome the challenges expected by the energy transition, the CRE significantly retooled TURPE's price structure and stated explicitly in its deliberation that "the changes introduced for the TURPE 6 period should not lead to excessive increases in terms of billing for network users." The CRE subsequently announced an average rate of increase of 1.09% for High Tension "B" usage (>50 kV) and 0.12-1.25% for High-Tension "A" usage (1 kV to 50 kV) - the level of increase depends on use duration and service capacity. For Low-Tension usage, consumers with service capacity in excess 36 kVa will see the overall price increase between 0.2-0.75%.
We tested the new TURPE 6 matrix against sample data from our clients. These averages increases announced by the CRE seem consistent but hide some important disparities arising from the changes in TURPE's structure. These disparities include the following –
- significant increases in service capacity costs, notably for consumers who have chosen Short Usage pricing,
- the decrease in penalties for excess demand, notably for High Tension A supplies,
- wider gaps in prices between different hours and tariff types.
See the table below concerning the four most usual pricing structures - increases in excess of 10% have been marked in red.
Based on these observations, we tested the HTA and LV tariff schedules above 36 kVA on certain activity profiles. The results were clear: the disparities are very significant, and we have calculated increases of up to 10%, or more, for consumers with relatively low volumes consumed in relation to service capacity.
More importantly, TURPE 6 changes the thresholds (or break-evens) between the different tariff options. Consequently, a consumer under the most cost-effective tariff under TURPE 5 may no longer be in the same position after 1 August 2021, when TURPE 6 comes into effect.
On an average basis, transport costs constitute 25-30% of a consumer's overall energy bill. This impending and significant change in France's transmission and distribution tariffs underscores the need for sophisticated analysis to ensure consumers select the appropriate tariff to optimize their costs.