The Intersection of Electricity Prices and Social Inequalities: Exploring Connections and Solutions

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Jun 18, 2024

3 min read


The Intersection of Electricity Prices and Social Inequalities: Exploring Connections and Solutions


Electricity prices and social inequalities are two significant topics that impact individuals and communities worldwide. In this article, we will delve into the relationship between these two areas, exploring how electricity prices are determined and their effects on social inequalities. Additionally, we will discuss whether all inequalities are inherently unjust and explore potential solutions for creating a more equitable society.

The Connection between Electricity Prices and Social Inequalities:

1. Impact of Wholesale Market Trends on Electricity Prices:

The regulated electricity tariffs experienced a 10% increase on August 1, 2023, affecting both individuals and small businesses. These tariffs are closely tied to the trends in the European wholesale market. Although the wholesale price has since decreased, this "relative" decrease will not have an effect on electricity prices until 2024. The production of electricity adjusts constantly to meet demand, and the wholesale price is determined by the costs of the last power plant called upon to maintain the balance between supply and demand. Furthermore, in France, the availability of nuclear power plants has also influenced the wholesale price of electricity.

2. Exploring the Notion of Inequalities as Injustices:

a. Natural Inequalities and Injustices:

According to Gorgias Calliclès, natural inequalities are not considered injustices as they align with the order of nature. The law, by preventing the stronger individuals from exerting their strength, defends the interests of the weaker ones and undermines the dominance of the strong over the weak.

b. Addressing Insufficient "Might is Right" Approach:

However, it is justifiable to combat social inequalities. The insufficiency of the "might is right" ideology raises questions about whether it is indeed nature expressing itself or the structures of our political and social community. It is crucial to ascertain that social inequalities are not merely the result of inherent differences but rather societal constructs.

c. Working Towards Reducing Inequalities:

Marx's perspective emphasizes that social inequalities do not stem from differences in merit but rather from social disparities. Consequently, it is essential to work towards reducing these inequalities, recognizing that they are not inherently just.

3. Pursuing Equitable Inequalities:

John Rawls proposes that economic and social inequalities should benefit the most disadvantaged members of society to be considered just. This concept, known as equity, suggests that certain inequalities can be justified if they contribute to leveling the playing field for marginalized individuals and communities.

Actionable Advice to Address Electricity Prices and Social Inequalities:

1. Promote Renewable Energy Sources:

Investing in and transitioning to renewable energy sources can help mitigate the impact of wholesale market fluctuations on electricity prices. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels and embracing sustainable alternatives, we can create a more stable and affordable electricity market for all.

2. Enhance Education and Access to Opportunities:

To combat social inequalities, it is crucial to prioritize education and provide equal access to opportunities. By investing in education, especially in marginalized communities, we can empower individuals to break free from the cycle of poverty and contribute to a more equitable society.

3. Advocate for Progressive Taxation:

Implementing progressive taxation systems can help redistribute wealth and reduce economic disparities. By taxing the wealthy at a higher rate and using these funds to support social welfare programs, we can bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, fostering a more just society.


The relationship between electricity prices and social inequalities is complex and multifaceted. While electricity prices are influenced by wholesale market trends and the availability of energy sources, social inequalities can stem from various societal factors. However, by promoting renewable energy, enhancing education and access to opportunities, and advocating for progressive taxation, we can take steps towards creating a more equitable society. It is essential to recognize that not all inequalities are inherently unjust and that certain inequalities can be justified if they serve to uplift the most disadvantaged members of society. Through collective efforts, we can strive for a future where electricity prices are fair, and social inequalities are minimized.

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