CRE's missions

CRE contributes to the smooth operation of energy markets for the benefit of the consumer.

Regulating electricity and gas networks

The regulation must combine the needs of the French market and the construction of the European Internal Market.

Guaranteeing the right of access to public electricity grids and natural gas networks and facilities

Transparent and non discriminatory access to public grids of transmission and distribution of electricity, to transport, distribution or storage of natural gas as well as access to liquefied natural gas facilities, is the key to opening up competition.

Indeed, the latter can only be exercised on the energy market if the operators and consumers can access these networks, structures and facilities under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions.

In this regard, the missions entrusted to CRE are broadly the same, whether it's the natural gas market or the electricity market, with a few exceptions concerning the devolved powers within each of the two sectors.

Common missions in both sectors

CRE, both in the natural gas sector and in the electricity sector:

  • proposes the tariffs for the use of public electricity grids and related services provided under the monopoly of the system operators of these networks, as well as those for natural gas networks and liquefied natural gas facilities, to the Ministers of Energy and the Economy. The ministerial decision is deemed to be established unless there is opposition from one of the Ministers within two months of receipt of the proposal from CRE (Article L 341-3 of the Code of energy and Article L 452-1 of the Code of energy).
  • is the recipient of the contracts between the system operators or operators of the networks and users, as well as protocols for access to electricity grids and to natural gas transport and distribution facilities, as well as liquefied natural gas facilities, including facilities supplying ancillary services (Article L 111-91 of the Code of energy and Article L 111-97 of the Code of energy).
  • receives reasoned communication of refusals to enter into contracts or protocols for network, facility or works access  that would be opposed by an operator at user requests (Article 23 of Law No. 2000-108 of 10th February 2000 and Article L. 111 - 102 of the Code of energy).
  • may be called upon for disputes between users and system operators of public electricity transmission and distribution grids, between operators and users of natural gas transport and distribution facilities, between operators and users of underground natural gas storage facilities or between the operators and  users of natural gas storage facilities or between the operators and users of liquefied natural gas facilities, or between operators and users of transportation and geological storage facilities for carbon dioxide, linked to the access of such networks, works and installations or their use, especially in case of refusal of access or a disagreement over the conclusion, interpretation or enforcement of contracts and protocols for network access, or in the case of transport operations and geological storage of carbon dioxide, the contracts referred to in Article L 229-49 of the Environmental Code (Article L 134-19 of the Code of energy).
  • may impose sanctions in case of a breach of duty by a system operator, operator, installation operator or user of an electricity or gas infrastructure (Articles L 134-25 to L 134-34 of the Code of energy).

Particularities of each sector

For access to electricity grids, CRE:
  • issues opinions on the decisions of the responsible administrative authority refusing to allow the construction of a direct line (private network) (article L 343-1 of the Code of energy)
For access to natural gas facilities, CRE:
  • issues a verdict on the exemptions established by decree of the Council of State on the tariffs for the use of natural gas transport and distribution networks and of liquefied natural gas facilities, as well as the exceptions made to the commercial terms of use for networks or facilities (Article 452-5 of the Code of energy).
  • issues a verdict on requests of exemption to the conditions of access to networks and liquefied natural gas facilities, or the tariffs for the use of these facilities, requested by the operators planning to expand or build new infrastructure (such exemptions are only granted if the construction or extension cannot be realised under economically acceptable conditions without this exemption, and provided that the planned investment contributes to increase competition and improve security of supply) (article 452-5 of the Code of energy).
  • may require disclosure of contracts or protocols of access to underground natural gas storage facilities signed by service providers in a negotiated setting (Article 451-9 of the Code of energy).

Ensuring the proper functioning and development of electricity and liquefied natural gas networks and infrastructure

In case of serious and immediate threat to the rules governing access to networks, structures, facilities, or their use, CRE may order precautionary measures to ensure continued functioning of the networks as part of a settlement of the dispute (Article L 134-22 of the Code of energy).

CRE can ask, in case of serious and immediate threat to the safety and security of public grids of transmission and distribution of electricity or the quality of their operation, the Minister of Energy to ensure the continuity of their operation (Article L 143-5 of the Code of energy).

CRE is the recipient of the program of investments from operators or system operators of the networks: it receives notice of development projects of the transport or distribution network of natural gas made by the operators and the status of their investment program; it approves the investment programs of the system operators of the transport network of natural gas, and of the public electricity transmission system operator and ensures the realisation of necessary investments for the proper development of the networks (Article L 321-6 of the Code of energy and Article 431-6 of the Code of energy).

Ensuring the independence of system operators

Under the provisions of Article L 111-7 of the Code of energy, management of electricity or natural gas transmission networks is provided by separate legal entities from those that are engaged in the production or supply of the electricity or gas. To ensure the independence of network operators, CRE:

  • issues beforehand a reasoned opinion for the revocation of a person who provides overall direction of an electricity or gas transmission or distribution system operator (Articles L 111-30 and L 111-66 of the Code of energy).
  • publishes an annual report on the compliance with these codes of conduct established by any transmission system operator, and any distribution system operator, as well as evaluating the independence of network operators (Article L 134 -15 Code of energy).
  • issues a verdict on the specifications of the electricity transmission system operator which determines the conditions for carrying out the missions entrusted to him/her by law (Article L 321-2 of the Code of energy).
  • approves, after consultation with the Competition Authority, the accounting rules for the separation of activities between production, transmission and distribution of electricity, and other activities of operators involved with electricity, and between transport, distribution, and storage of natural gas and installation operators of liquefied natural gas and other activities of operators involved with natural gas (Article L 111-86 of the Code of energy and Article L 111-89 of the Code of energy).
  • serves a monitoring and surveillance role embodied by the possible exercise of its powers to investigative and sanction (to verify the correct application of principles of separation, so as to prevent cross-subsidisation, discrimination or restriction of competition ) (article L 134-18 and L 134-25 to articles L 134-34 of the Code of energy).
  • may seize, through its President and the Competition Authority, abuse of positions of authority and practices impeding the free exercise of competition of which he has knowledge within the electricity or natural gas sectors. In contrast, the Competition Authority shall notify CRE of any referral within the scope of its competency, and it may refer to CRE for its opinion on any matter relating to the electricity or natural gas sectors (Article L 134-16 of the Code of energy).
  • approves, prior to their implementation in the electricity sector, the rules for submission of adjustment proposals and programs, as well as the criteria for choosing between the proposals submitted to the public transmission system operator (Article L 321 - 14 of the Code of energy).

Contributing to building the European Internal Market for electricity and gas

CRE is represented in most of the European task groups (CEER, ACER) and thus maintains daily relationships with its European counterparts, with whom it works towards the development and harmonisation of rules of access to networks and optimisation of  interconnections between national markets .

Regulating the electricity and gas markets

The law gives CRE the mission of ensuring the proper functioning of the electricity and gas markets to allow the development of competition in order to benefit consumers.
Since law No. 2010-1488 of 7 December 2010 on the new organisation of the electricity market (Nome law), CRE is required to consult the Conseil Supérieur de l’Energie prior to its decisions on matters that may "have a significant impact on energy policy objectives" of which the list will be determined by decree in the Council of State.

Monitoring transactions on the electricity, natural gas and CO2

CRE has the mission of monitoring and surveillance of the electricity and natural gas markets, embodied by the possible exercise, where appropriate, of its powers to investigative and sanction (to verify the correct application of principles of separation, so as to prevent cross-subsidisation, discrimination or restriction of competition) (Articles 30, 34 and 40 of Law No. 2000-108 of 10th February 2000).
Since law No. 2010-1249 on banking and financial regulation of 22October 2010, CRE monitors the CO2 market in cooperation with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, for actors in the French electricity and gas markets, transactions of quotas emissions in Europe, and the transactions of Kyoto emissions units.

Ensuring the proper functioning of retail markets

Regulated sale tariffs of electricity

Until 31 December 2015

As a transitional measure, for a period of five years following the publication of law No. 2010-1488 of  7 December 2010 on the new organisation of the electricity market, regulated rates for electricity sales will be stopped by the Ministers of Energy and the economy, after consulting CRE (Article L 337-4 of the Code of energy).

From 1 January 2016

CRE will propose regulated sale tariffs of electricity sales to the Ministers of Energy and the Economy. The decision is deemed to be established unless there is opposition from one of the Ministers within three months of receipt of these proposals.

Regulated sale tariffs of gas

CRE issues an opinion on the regulated sale tariffs of natural gas for the Ministers of Energy and the Economy (Article L 445-2 of the Code of energy).

Tariffs for people in situations of precarity

CRE issues an opinion on concerning the rate mechanism for social purposes designed to guarantee the right for people in situations of precarity to have electricity, according to the law (Article L 121-5 of the Code of energy and Article L 337-2 of the Code of energy).

CRE issues an opinion on the special solidarity rate for the supply of natural gas, and services related to it, applicable to residential customers who qualify for special "staple product" pricing referred to in Article 4 of the Act of February 10th, 2000 (Article L 445-5 of the Code of energy).

Contributing to the implementation of measures to support electricity generation and supply of electricity and gas

In the electricity sector:

Purchase tariffs

CRE issues an opinion on the orders for fixing the purchase conditions of produced energy from small facilities, recovery of household waste or using renewable energy (obligation given to EDF and non-nationalised distributors to purchase energy produced by these producers) (article L 314-4 of the Code of energy).

Tenders

As part of multi-annual programming of electricity production, if the production capacities do not meet the objectives through the initiatives of the operators, the Minister for Energy may open tenders, which CRE is responsible for implementing. CRE ensures the preparation of the scope statement, the tally of the offers and issues an opinion on the candidates, among which the Minister designates the candidate(s) to keep (Article L 311-10 of the Code of energy).

Contribution to the public electricity service (CSPE)

CRE estimates the amount of expenses attributable to public service tasks, which are subject to full compensation in accordance with Article L 121-10 of the Code of energy and proposes the amount of public service charges and the amount of the contribution applicable to each kilowatt-hour to the Minister of Energy. It also proposes the amount of repayments made to the operators supporting public service charges to the Ministers of Energy and the Economy (Article L 121-13 of the Code of energy).

Transitory regulated tariff for market adjustment (TARTAM)

CRE annually proposes the amount of contribution, applicable per kilowatt-hour, under the transitory regulated tariff for market adjustment to the Minister of Energy (Article 30-2 and Article 15 of Law No. 2004-803 of August 9th, 2004).

Regulated access to incumbent nuclear electricity (ARENH)

CRE proposes the conditions under which the sale of the ARENH is made to the Minister of Energy. It is open to all operators providing end-users consumers on the continental mainland or network operators for their losses (Articles L 314-1 to L 314-13 of the Code of energy).

CRE issues an opinion on the overall maximum volume of nuclear power that can be sold, depending in particular on the development of competition in the electricity generation markets and the supply to consumers. This maximum overall volume, that is strictly proportionate to the objectives, cannot exceed 100 terawatt hours per year. In addition, it sets the volume of nuclear electricity sold to each supplier sub-annually (Article L 336-3 of the Code of energy).

  • Until 7 December  2013: As a transitional measure, for a period of three years following the enactment of Law No. 2010-1488 of 7 December 2010 carrying a new organisation of the electricity market, the price of ARENH is fixed by the Ministers of Energy and the economy after reasoned opinion from CRE (Article L 336-3 of the Code of energy).
  • As of 8 December  2013: CRE will send the proposed ARENH prices to the Ministers of Energy and the Economy. The decision is deemed to be established unless there is opposition from one of the Ministers within three months of receipt of these proposals..

In the gas sector:

Contribution to the social solidarity tariff (CTSS)
CRE annually proposes the amount of contribution, applicable per kilowatt-hour in relation to the special solidarity tariff, to the Minister of Energy. In the absence of a new order brought into effect, the last determined amount is applicable to subsequent financial years (Article L 121-38 of the Code of energy).

Informing all consumers

To ensure the success of this mission, CRE works on the website in conjunction with the médiateur national de l’énergie (national energy ombudsman), the DGCCRF and the DGEC. This one-stop service aims to inform consumers about their rights and the steps they can take concerning energy.

In addition, CRE has created and participates in Energie-Info , an information service shared with the médiateur national de l’énergie, which enables the individual demands of consumers to be met.

In the same rubric :

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