Who can I choose to supply me?
The main supplier of electricity to domestic homes in France is EDF (Electricité de France) which is state owned. However, there are some alternative energy suppliers in France, including some specialist renewable energy suppliers. EDF now have an English language page on their website and English speaking staff. The numbers of the English speaking lines for each region can be found on this page.
If your property does not currently have existing electricity supply, EDF will connect you for a small fee. Ask them for a connection quote and they should connect you within a month providing that – if necessary – the property has the correct planning permission to install a meter. You will need proof of ownership and some other form of ID to set up your account.
Before moving into your new property make sure that a final reading of the meter has been taken before your new contract begins (releve special). EDF meters are installed in a box outside or inside the property.
Electricity meter readings are conducted every six months, and it is possible for you to do your own meter readings providing EDF check the meter once a year. You may receive a card asking you to write in the meter reading or telephone it through. The English language page has further information about doing your own readings. Modern meters have a number of useful features allowing you to see your actual live consumption, your consumption to date etc.
How do I open an account?
Call the relevant EDF English speaking line in your region to arrange to open an account. The EDF representative will talk you through the different rates and tariffs. It may help to have the client numbers of the previous owners. It is recommended to contact them a month before you would like your account to start as it can take time to sort out.
Bills: 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 electricity units. TVA (Value Added Tax) is applied at 20.6 percent on the standing charge and 19.5 percent on the consumption. Local taxes (taxe commune/département) are added at around 12%, before TVA.
You can pay your bills online, by mail (cheque), by phone (credit card), by cheque or by cash at your EDF local shop. The online payment form is in French. 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 EDF.
To find out more about the available tariffs read our Electricity Tariffs in France article.
I am moving house
If you are moving house you will need to contact EDF a month before you move to tell them the date to deactivate your account. They may require the information in writing. On the day you leave don’t forget to contact EDF to tell them the final electricity reading.
For information about French Electrical Systems.