France caps the price of energy and gas in 2023 for

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France will cap the increase in energy and gas prices for households at 15% next year, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Wednesday, in order to mitigate the impact on consumers caused by the worst energy crisis in recent decades, reports Reuters, quoted by news.ro .

The ceilings will cost the state 16 billion euros and will prevent household bills from doubling.

The state will also offer grants for the poorest, with a check of up to 200 euros for 12 million households.

Borne said the new gas price cap will come into effect in January, while the new electricity cap will follow a month later.

“We are determined, just like at the beginning of the crises we are facing, to act, to adapt and to protect the French people and our economy,” Borne said in a press conference.

Earlier, the European Union Executive outlined plans to raise more than $140 billion from energy firms to help protect households and businesses from rising prices that threaten to trigger economic recession and insolvencies.

France has already spent billions of euros on measures to mitigate the inflationary impact of rising energy prices. It capped the rise in regulated energy prices this year at 4 percent and forced state utility EDF ( EDF.PA ) to sell more electricity to rivals at well below market rates.

France has also frozen regulated residential gas prices at October 2021 levels.

Households with gas heating will pay, on average, €25 more each month, instead of €200 more without a price cap, in 2023, the government predicts.

Supporters of the government strategy refer to the inflation rate in France, the lowest in the European Union in August, of 6.5% in terms harmonized with the EU.

Some critics say the limits are unsustainable and will mean financial problems later on.

France, home to the world’s largest number of nuclear reactors after the United States, is less exposed than its neighbors to a cut in Russian gas supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions.

But an unprecedented number of reactor outages has pushed France’s nuclear power output to a 30-year low, adding to the continent’s energy crisis.

There is no risk of a total blackout in France this winter, but some blackouts cannot be ruled out during peak demand, network operator RTE said earlier.