Why it’s time to increase electricity prices

One of the main facts of the latest World Energy Outlook is that energy efficiency is the largest contributor in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases , accounting for over half of total abatement by 2030.”

This means that it has more impact than renewable energies, nuclear power and clean coal combined. But energy is too cheap to be conserved and this even if people may drive less because of high oil prices and the economic recession.

However electricity consumption is not decreasing that much as it is still frightfully cheap : around 10 euro cents per kWh in France and slightly more in the European Union.

If governments and companies increased prices while providing serious incentives for energy efficient appliances and insulating housings electricity consumption – and greenhouse gases emissions – would decrease.

Insulating housings is also a critical issue as I have outlined four years ago in my Master’s Thesis.

Increasing electricity prices would also enable large investments in safe nuclear power and renewable energy sources like solar and wind. This would lead to further cuts in greenhouse gases emissions as less natural gas and coal are burned.

As TreeHugger notes, Australia will soon be increasing its electricity prices to finance its grid expansion.


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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1 Response

  1. Friday, July 30, 2010

    […] The former national utility, Electricité de France (EDF), controls the lion’s share of the 56 nuclear reactors operating in the country and thus has lower production costs than its competitors. In 2006, the price for 100 kW-h was 12.05 € while the EU average was of 14.16 €. The OECD energy watchdog calls for increased competition and this would increase prices. […]

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