Press review

UFE/Press review of 16/11/18

Energy check: 2 million additional households eligible in 2019
Invited on November 14th to speak on the radio RTL, the French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, stated that the scope of the beneficiaries of the energy check will be extended to 2 million additional households from January 1st, 2019 (from 3,6 million to 5,6 million households). In force since January 2018, the energy check is sent by mail to eligible households in order to support the financing of a part of their energy bills (electricity and gas bills, energy renovation…). Its current amount of €150 should be reviewed upwards in 2019 to reach €200.
Source: RTL, November 14th, 2018
Changing supplier: consumers are better informed and much more solicited
According to the Energy Ombudsman (MNE) barometer, published on November 13th, 66% of French people are aware that they can change their energy supplier and 20% say they already have done so. This better level of information is explained by the various advertisement campaigns of the new players on the electricity supply market. While there were 15 suppliers in 2015, their number increased to 26 in 2017 and is up to 30 today. The report published by the Energy Ombudsman also shows that 56% of households were solicited to subscribe to a gas or electricity contract against 36% in 2017. The intensification of the competition between suppliers also revealed an “upsurge of disputes received by the mediator”. Jean Gaubert, Energy Ombudsman, thus called the consumers to be “vigilant and to report abuses”.
Source: La Tribune, November 14th, 2018
Some progress during the 4th trilogue on the “Electricity” Directive and Regulation
The Council of the EU and the European Parliament met on November 12th and 13th for the 4th trilogue on the “Electricity” Directive and Regulation. Capacity mechanisms were one of the main topic discussed during the meeting. A provisional agreement was found on the definition, but many disagreements remain, especially regarding adequacy assessments. In the directive, an agreement was found on Local Energy Communities, renamed Citizen Energy Communities. They will have to pay network charges, but network ownership and management remains optional and to be decided by Member States. Moreover, virtual net metering was rejected. Lastly, an agreement was found on smart meters. Member States shall reach 80% deployment target within 7 years after the conclusion of a positive cost-benefit analysis, and where the roll-out has already started, by 2024 at the latest. Smart meters that are already in place have 12 years to fulfil the requirements of the directive. The next and probably last trilogue will take place on December 5th.
Source: Contexte, November 14th, 2018
Brexit: energy/climate provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement
Unveiled on November 14th by the British and European negotiators, the Withdrawal Agreement proposal includes several provisions regarding energy and climate. The Withdrawal Agreement sets a transition period between March 30th, 2019 and December 21st, 2020, with a possibility to extend the period for an undetermined duration. During this transition period, the United Kingdom will remain in the EU-ETS market. The Euratom provisions were already agreed in March 2018 to guarantee the supply of nuclear materials according to the safety and surety European rules. Moreover, the Withdrawal Agreement states the European rules to be implemented after the transition period in order to guarantee the continuity of the Irish electricity internal market. This Withdrawal Agreement will be debated by European leaders during the European Council on November 25th and will be put to a vote on December 10th or 12th to the House of Commons.
Source: Contexte, November 16th, 2018
Spain aims for a 100% renewable electricity mix by 2050
The Spanish government presented on November 13th its climate and energy plan for 2030 and 2050 as requested by the framework of the Governance of the Energy Union. Spain aims to achieve a 70% renewable electricity target by 2030 and an electricity mix solely based on wind, solar and hydropower by 2050. This will allow Spain to reduce by 90% its greenhouse gas, in comparison to 1990 level. Moreover, this plan should be completed by a long-term strategy with a 2050 horizon, detailing the pathway to a Spanish carbon neutral economy. The Spanish government also wishes to allocate 20% of the national budget to climate action and phase-out any subsidy to fossil fuels. This plan should be presented for adoption to the Parliament by the end of the year, before sending it to the European Commission.
Source: Euractiv, November 14th, 2018
The employees of St Avold coal power plant will be accompanied
During a visit to St Avold coal power plant, François de Rugy, French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive committed to employees to work on their reconversion. “It is our responsibility to accompany, support and facilitate the implantation of new projects to give additional economic perspectives as well as to support the staff for their individual reconversion” he declared. The site will be shut down in 2022 and, according to trade-unions, the 80 employees are in favour of the construction of new power plant that emits less CO2.
Source: Enerpresse, November 6th, 2018

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