December 18, 2015 / 10:08 AM / 4 years ago

EDF says losing professional customers ahead of deregulation

PARIS, Dec 18 (Reuters) - French state-controlled utility EDF said on Friday that 30 percent of professional customers that switched to deregulated power prices had moved to rival power vendors.

From Jan. 1, France will end regulated so-called green and yellow tariffs for corporate and municipal clients, which will have to chose a deregulated market price from EDF or other power vendors such as Engie, Direct Energie or foreign vendors such as Germany’s E.ON or Belgium’s Lampiris.

“Among the clients who have left the green and yellow tariffs, 70 percent have chosen to stay with EDF,” an EDF spokeswoman said, confirming comments by EDF markets chief Henri Lafontaine to financial daily Les Echos.

Les Echos also reported that EDF expects to lose some 1.3 billion euros of income due to the deregulation in 2016 and that it is set to cut 500 of the 11,500 jobs in its French commercial division. EDF declined to comment on that.

“In order to remain competitive, we have to adapt our organisation. We cannot keep the same cost base while losing 30 percent market share,” Les Echos quoted Lafontaine as saying. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Potter)

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