Are electricity suppliers really profiting from the energy crisis?

Baptiste Morin, edited by Juliette Moreau Alvarez
modified to

06:21, January 06, 2023

Suppliers would profit from the energy crisis. In any case, this is what several members of the executive say. However, when one observes the reality, this is not really the case. Europe 1 takes stock of the abuses of the electricity market and those who try to get fat.

Within the executive, we have been hearing a little music for some time: it is the suppliers who would benefit from the energy crisis. However, the reality is much more nuanced. To understand who really gets the money, you have to look at how the price of electricity is set. In France, part of this electricity produced is sold via the ARENH mechanism, meaning Regulated Access to Historical Nuclear Electricity.

Supplier is not a speculator

ARENH is a preferential price that allows all alternative suppliers to benefit from a volume of electricity at a fixed rate. For the rest, the electricity produced is sold on the market. When the contract is signed, the supplier will reserve the necessary volume of energy by paying the price at time T. “This is what is called a future product”, explains Emeric de Vigan, vice-president in charge of electricity markets at Kpler. “We are committed to taking delivery of electricity for a given time. We can buy energy today for the month of February, next year or even the next two or three years”, specifies t -he.

But like everywhere, there are speculators on the electricity market, who buy in the hope of reselling at a higher price. In this specific case, it is financial organizations and not energy companies that are implicated. “The supplier does not have this mandate, the supplier is not a speculator”, recalls Emeric de Vigan. It must be said that the energy crisis has sorted out between honest suppliers and less scrupulous suppliers. At the beginning of 2023, there were around ten suppliers who had gone bankrupt.