Bloomberg News

French Parliament to Study Law to Vary Power, Natural-Gas Rates

September 05, 2012

The French parliament will study as early as this month a proposed law to create power and natural- gas tariffs that vary based on amounts used, a lawmaker said.

So-called progressive rates are designed to promote energy savings and help low-income households pay for energy, Francois Brottes said today in a statement. Households using the least energy and greatest efficiency will have the lowest rates.

Under the law, they will be given a base rate for power and natural gas depending on how many people live on the premises, where it is located in France, and the type of heating used, Brottes said. The rate will apply to 80 percent of homes.

The law will increase to 4 million the number of households considered to be in a “difficult situation” to pay their power and gas bills compared with the 600,000 that are now benefitting from so-called social rates, according to the statement.

Energy costs and dependence on atomic power were among the main campaign themes of this year’s presidential election won by Socialist Francois Hollande. The French government regulates rates for power and gas. Gaz de France SA has challenged natural gas rates in court, saying they don’t cover costs.

During the campaign, Hollande also promised a new rate system for water, which isn’t included in the proposed law.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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