WHO CAN I CHOOSE TO SUPPLY ME?
There are two types of gas supply available:
Mains gas (gaz de ville) supplied by GrDF or GDF (Gaz de France – part of EDF), and Bottled gas (propane or butane).
Supplied by: GrDF / GDF
If you are in an area with Mains Gas but do not have a supply you can apply for a new connection (raccordement). Ask GDF for an estimate of costs, which will vary according to the tariff you choose and the distance your house is from the Mains supply.
If your house has a gas tank then you can order deliveries by lorry from your supplier and the previous resident will be able to give you details. If you don’t have a tank (more common) you will need to buy your gas cylinder bottles at the local supermarket, petrol station or other outlet. You may need to show proof of address.
Type of gas:
Propane or Butane are both used. Propane is more common as the gas is more suited to external storage than Butane, which should really be stored indoors. Also, the two types have different valve systems so should not be used together.
Antargaz, Butagaz, Primagaz, Totalgaz.
The bottles are all from different suppliers so when you return your empty bottle to the outlet you will only be able to purchase a new one of the same type. Not all outlets sell all suppliers’ bottles. It is obviously a good idea to have at least two bottles in circulation to avoid panics when you run out unexpectedly. If you are going to purchase another bottle (there will be an initial charge for the bottle, around €50) you may as well buy a different kind so you have more options available if one type runs out, as sometimes happens.
Refills for the standard size large bottles (just about luggable when full by the average adult) cost around €28-34 and might last 4-6 weeks for gas-only cooking.
HOW DO I OPEN OR CLOSE A MAINS ACCOUNT?
Before moving into your new property find out from the previous owners / estate agent whether they have gas or oil fuelled heating. Contact your local GDF office to apply for a new account and to arrange to have the meter read before you move in (your property agent may help you do this). It may help to have the client numbers of the previous owners. Contact them a month before you would like your account to start as it can take time to sort out.
You will need to show/send proof of address – attestation de domicile from the mairie, compromis de vente or rental agreement.
If leaving a property, contact Gaz de France to tell them when you would like your account to stop and to ask for the final bill. They may ask for this information in writing. Take a final meter reading.
As with electricity there are different tariffs to suit different types of house and usage (e.g. central heating, cooking). Ask your local GDF/EDF office for a free consultation as to what your most economical tariff will be.
These will be read every four to six months.
There are two elements to your bill (facture), which will arrive every two or sometimes three months. Firstly, the standing charge (abonnement), determined by the power supply installed and secondly, the consumption of cubic metres of gas. TVA (Value Added Tax) is applied at 20.6 percent on the standing charge and 20 percent on the consumption.
By direct debit (prélèvement automatique), based upon estimated usage. If you want to pay by direct debit you will need to ask your French bank for a RIB (all bank details) to send to Gaz de France. Alternatively, you can settle each bill by mail (cheque), by phone (credit card), or by cheque or cash at the local office.