Why the cost of cremations continues to rise

Why the cost of cremations continues to rise

A small Japanese funeral ceremony and cremation service.
Arrow/Getty Images A small Japanese funeral ceremony and cremation service.

Arrow/Getty Images

Why the cost of cremations continues to rise

DEATH – Beyond our daily living expenses, the rise in energy prices also affects death: according to some specialists in the sector, cremations, which consume a lot of gas, risk costing families more from next year.

Thus, a study by the funeral services comparator Meilleurs Pompes Funèbres published at the end of September estimates that the price of a cremation could increase by “minimum” by 35% in the next two years, when gas supply contracts are renewed.

Evaluate the share of gas in the costs of a cremation at 20%. However, the price of natural gas in Europe is double in October than at the beginning of the year and has multiplied by 7 compared to the beginning of 2021 in the reference market, the Dutch TTF.

A possible 30% increase in funeral prices

The funeral start-up Advitam goes much further: in a press release published this Tuesday, it assures that the price could be “multiplied by 2.5” in 2023. An estimate that seems however “overrated” according to other funerary experts.

Taking into account the various funeral expenses such as the casket or the transportation of the deceased, Advitam considers that the funeral with cremation could cost approximately 30% more expensive next year.

For its part, one of the main funeral home groups, Funecap, confirmed to AFP that “increases are to be expected” but its amount is still unknown. Its main competitor, OGF, declined to comment.

“There is real concern about the issue in the sector”Antony Fallourd, general director of Funéplus funeral homes, confirms to AFP that he fears that a sharp rise in prices will reinforce the bad image of certain funeral homes, sometimes considered as “speculators of death”.

Give up cremation for the price?

“If prices go up too much, it is not certain that families will be able to pay”Also warns Frédérique Plaisant, president of the French Federation of Cremation, which brings together associations in favor of this mortuary rite. She fears this will force families to choose between burial and cremation, when it is a “deep choice” linked to the convictions of each one, and intends to seize the National Funeral Ethics Commission (CNEF) on this issue.

Cremation accounts for just over 40% of funerals in France and if a large number of families decide to favor a burial, this could also pose space problems in cemeteries.

In practice, the decision to increase the price of cremations can only be taken on a case-by-case basis by municipalities that have a crematorium: they treat it directly or entrust the management to a private service provider.

“Rupture of the equality of citizens in the face of death”

Instead of increasing costs falling on bereaved families, some might decide to make arrangements with service providers by reducing, for example, the “royalties for occupying the public domain”sum they pay to the municipalities to operate the crematorium, or by directly subsidizing cremations.

The price increases will depend on the situation of each crematorium. According to Charles Simpson, author of the study Best Funeral Directors, they could be more important for those managed by independent service providers than by large groups, because the latter negotiate their energy contracts more easily and, therefore, are less exposed to the increase. of costs.

Funecap also promises that its price will increase “The increase in the cost of supply will only partially affect” and you are already planning to adapt the way you work to consume less energy.

For Frédérique Plaisant, a solution at the national level would be preferable in order to avoid “a rupture of the equality of citizens in the face of death”. Therefore, he calls on the State to intervene and for the gas suppliers to move, lowering the prices of the crematoria.

See also in The HuffPost: Due to Covid, India turns a parking lot into a crematorium to burn the growing number of corpses

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