off-peak hours, sometimes profitable, but not always

This winter, France’s electrical system is struggling. To avoid cuts, the French are invited to shift their consumption outside peak hours. Should we subscribe to a peak-off-peak electricity offer or, for those who already have it, keep it? In some cases, it lowers the bill, but this is not systematic.

In the off-peak period (a slot of eight hours, essentially at night), the price per kilowatt hour is cheaper. But the other components of the invoice (subscription, price during peak hours) are higher than with a classic offer, called the “Basic” offer. It is therefore necessary to manage to shift a sufficient part of its consumption so that the balance sheet is financially interesting.

Break-even point lowered

To be concerned, you must have at least an electric hot water tank and/or an electric car, both of which consume energy and are easy to recharge at night. Then all that remains is to shift the operation of your dishwasher, washing machine, any dryer, etc.

“Currently, for a customer at EDF’s regulated tariff, it is profitable with around a third of its electricity consumption during off-peak hours”, assures Caroline Keller, spokesperson for the National Energy Ombudsman. The break-even point, which has been around 50% in recent years, is easier to reach now. A calculator to define it more precisely, according to your profile, is available on the site

One in five customers

According to the company Lite, which carries out price optimization reviews for individuals, among subscribers to a “Basic” offer, one in five customers would benefit from switching to an off-peak offer: “And that without changing his habits, advances Rémy Rousset, its co-founder. By making efforts to shift certain uses, a larger number would benefit from changing. »

But you should know that off-peak hours are not the same for everyone: for some, it is a single slot from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., for others, they are split into two (for example from midnight to 6 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.). “The customer has no choice, the slots are allocated by the network manager, Enedis”, says Caroline Keller. However, for customers with a lunch time slot, the automatic activation of hot water tanks is deprogrammed this winter in order to relieve the electricity network. A change which, in most cases, does not impact the profitability of the off-peak option.


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