Changes Coming in February: Higher Electricity Bills and Increased Toll Fees

Increase in Electricity Prices

Starting from February 1st, French households will face another blow to their wallets as electricity prices surge once again. Following the implementation of the tariff shield in 2022 due to skyrocketing electricity prices, the government has decided to gradually phase out this protective measure. As a result, peak and off-peak hour rates will spike by 9.8%, while base rates will jump by 8.6%. This follows previous increases of 10% in August 2023, 15% in February 2023, and 4% in February 2022.

Rise in Highway Toll Fees

Just like every year on February 1st, highway toll fees in France are set to rise. The country’s largest highway concessionaire, Vinci Autoroutes, has announced a price hike of 2.7%. Other major highways, including Paris-Rhin-Rhône, Area, Mont-Blanc, Sanef, Cofiroutes, and ASF, will experience increases ranging from 2.71% to 3.2%. Notably, the Millau Viaduct will see an even higher increase of 5.83% outside the summer period.

Benchmark Gas Price Decrease

Fortunately, there is a slight relief for consumers when it comes to gas prices. The Energy Regulation Commission has revised the benchmark price of gas, resulting in a decrease since July 1st last year. For hot water and cooking purposes, the average price per kWh will decrease from €0.123 in January to €0.121 in February.

Popular Savings Account Rate Adjustment

Savers with popular savings accounts, which have provided a favorable interest rate of 6% since August 1st, 2023, will need to adjust their expectations. Starting from February 1st, the interest rate on these accounts will be decreased due to a decline in inflation. However, the rates for regular savings accounts (3%), sustainable and solidarity development accounts (3%), and housing savings accounts (2%) remain unchanged.

Changes to Social Benefit Calculations

A significant alteration is set to impact the calculation of social benefits starting from February 1st. The net social amount, including factors such as meal tickets, will now be taken into account by the Family Allowance Fund when determining eligibility for various benefits like work premium or active solidarity income. Consequently, some individuals may experience adjustments to their declared income, potentially resulting in reduced benefits, while others who were previously ineligible could now benefit from these social assistance programs.

In Summary:

  • The electricity bill is set to rise again, with increases of 9.8% for peak and off-peak hours rates and 8.6% for base rates.
  • Highway toll fees will also see an increase, ranging from 2.71% to 3.2%, depending on the concessionaire.
  • Gas prices for hot water and cooking purposes will slightly decrease from January to February.
  • The interest rate on popular savings accounts will be lowered.
  • Changes in social benefit calculations may result in adjusted incomes and benefits.

As consumers prepare for the arrival of February, they must brace themselves for higher electricity bills and increased toll fees. These changes aim to align pricing with market trends and gradually phase out protective measures put in place during unprecedented price hikes. To mitigate the impact, it is crucial for individuals to stay informed about these adjustments and adapt their budgets accordingly. By understanding the upcoming changes in various sectors, consumers can better navigate potential financial challenges, allowing them to make well-informed decisions regarding their expenses and savings. Stay ahead of the curve and keep track of how these alterations may affect your everyday life come February 1st.