Electricity: RTE to return 1 billion euros to customers in 2023

RTE, the electricity transmission system operator, has just announced its intention to redistribute over 1 billion euros to its customers in the first quarter of 2023, following a significant increase in revenues in 2022.

Increased revenues from border interconnections

At the beginning of 2023, RTE is preparing to pass on to its customers more than €1 billion in exceptional revenues collected in 2022 " as a result of tensions on the electricity market ", the company announced in a press release.

To be able to use the cross-border interconnections operated by the French high-voltage transmission system operator, electricity exporters or importers must pay access fees, in accordance with European legislation.

However, in the current energy crisis, price differentials on the wholesale electricity market have widened between France and neighboring European countries, resulting in a substantial increase in border interconnection revenues.

Despite the additional costs incurred by RTE due to rising electricity prices, revenues exceeded the forecasts set by CRE, the French energy regulator. When this is the case, the surplus must be redistributed to network customers.

Reimbursement of distributors and manufacturers

Normally, the repayment procedure can take several years - 5 to 6 years on average, or even longer. But this year, in view of the tensions on the energy market, RTE has asked the CRE to change the rules so that redistribution can take effect as early as this winter.

The final amount of the 2022 surplus is not yet known, but should be "well over 1 billion euros ", according to information provided by Laurent Martel, RTE's General Manager for Finance, Purchasing and Risks, and relayed by Reuters.

" We're probably looking at 1.5 billion euros or more ," he says.

These sums will be redistributed in proportion to what network users will have paid in 2022. Around 90% of this surplus revenue will be reimbursed to distributors such as Enedis, while the remaining 10% will go to industrial companies directly connected to the RTE network.

As for private customers, they stand to benefit indirectly from this decision. Indeed, the additional costs incurred by distributors like Enedis will lead them to increase their tariffs in the months and years to come. However, thanks to this refund, they will be able to moderate the rise in prices applied to private customers.