Gas and Electricity in France: Market, Providers, and How to Get Started

Moving to France?English-speaking helpline! Just call us at 01 86 26 53 46

Jusqu'à 10% de réduction sur les factures d'énergie avec l'offre Online de Total Direct EnergieJusqu'à 10% de réduction sur les factures d'énergie avec l'offre Online de Total Direct Energie

Just moved to France? Congratulations! But before you fully start enjoying your new life, the next step will be to sort out your utilities - the most important being, arguably, your energy contract. This guide is here to take you through the process of signing up for either a French gas or electricity account (or both).

The French Energy Market

Since 2007, the energy market has been open to competition in France, meaning there are more French gas and electricity providers than ever before. While EDF and Engie (ex GDF Suez) used to be the only, historical providers, French residents could subscribed to, there are now tens of new actors on the market, offering attractive tariffs for gas and electricity nationwide (such as Total Direct Energie, ekWateur, ilek, Planete Oui...).

Thanks to this system, you are under no obligation to subscribe to EDF and/or Engie when you first move to France (to the exception of a few areas, but these are becoming more and more rare), and can open a French energy account with the provider of your choice. This said, the energy distribution networks remains in the hand of single operators, ERDF for electricity and GRDF for gas. These actors operate the energy infrastructures, make sure they are kept maintained, intervene in cases of power cuts or gas leaks, take care of new energy service installations...

Electricity in France

Electricity Prices in France

Compared to the rest of the EU, the price of electricity is relatively low in France, and this is in part because the country has a developed nuclear power network. As stated above, you can choose to either subscribe to EDF and the regulated tariffs (RT), or set up a contract with an alternative provider with often cheaper rates.

Choosing a French Energy Supplier

Not sure which provider to choose? The best one for you depends on what is important to you: saving money on bills, choosing an eco-friendly contract, having access to English-Speaking customer service...

Get help with comparing French electricity and gas suppliers! Use our free Selectra tool (in French), plug in your consumption info and then get access to the best offers for your situation, with the potential savings you could make compared to the regulated tariffs.

Below is a side-by-side of just 3 providers of the many on the market.

Comparison of 3 electricity providers in France (before tax, as of July 2019)
Supplier Why choose this supplier?

Price/kWh (3kVa)

Subscription (per year)

For more info
logo total direct energie
  • Offers 2% to 10% off the RT
  • Voted Customer Service of 2019

Offre Classique: €0.0901/kWh

Offre Verte: €0.0929/kWh

Offre Online: €0.0853/kWh

€119.72

01 86 26 53 46

or get a

free callback

logo planete oui
  • Offers up to 20% off the subscription
  • A very eco-responsible provider committed to green energy
€0.0948/kWh €99.53

01 86 26 53 46

or get a 

free callback

logo edf
  • Has an English-speaking customer service
€0.0948/kWh €119.72

09 69 36 63 83

(English-speaking line)

Activating an Electricity Plan: What You Need

Before you ring any provider to sign up to an electricity plan, make sure if possible to have to following info and documents at hand:

  • Your contact details: full name, e-mail address, phone number (a French one if possible)
  • Your full addresss (or address of the home you need electricity in)
  • The name of the previous occupant - this will help the advisor locate your meter a lot quicker
  • Your banking details (your BIC and IBAN, referred to as RIB in France) if you wish to pay your bills by direct debit

All this will enable your suppliers of choice to locate your meter, and get an account set up in your name.

Be prepared for the advisor to ask you about your usual electricity consumption, the size of your home, the electric devices used, the humber of people living in the home... This will help them find which power capacity will be right for your house or apartment.

How to sign up to a plan

Ready to start an electricity contract in France? You can simply go ahead an ring our Selectra English-speaking advisors at 01 86 26 53 46 (non surcharged number), from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 9.30 am to 6 pm. Our team will be there to answer all your questions and find you the electricity deal best suited to your needs and budget.

Natural Gas in France

Gas Prices in France

For gas and propane, you will find that prices are fairly similar to elsewhere in the EU. Just as with electricity, you don't have to sign up to the regulated tariffs for gas, and can rather opt for an alternate supplier offering competitive rates.

How to get started with a French Gas Account

The first step of the process to start gas service in France is the same as it is for electricity: simply choose a supplier and plan. Here are some examples of typical offers available on the French market today.

Examples of gas offers in France
Supplier Why choose this supplier? For more info
happ-e
Offers 8% off the RT before tax, for 1 year

Call 01 86 26 53 46

Logo electricity provider Total Direct Energie
Offers 2 to 10% off the gas RT before tax

Call 01 86 26 53 46

Logo historical gas provider Engie GDF
Offers the regulated tariffs

Call 09 69 39 99 93

How to Switch Energy Providers in France

If you ever feel like you want to change your supplier, to save money or opt for an environment-friendly offer, the good news is that the process is extremely quick, easy and free. Gas and electricity suppliers aren't allowed to fine their clients if they end a contract early, so you can go from one provider to another, completely free of charge. You don't even have to notify your current provider: you simply need to contact your new provider of choice to sign up, and they will take care of informing your former supplier and finalise the swap over.

Before initiating the swtich, gather the following information:

  • Your full address / address of the home for which you want to change providers.
  • Your most recent energy bill. You'll likely be asked to give your meter number / site ID, which you will find on any of your gas or electricity bills.
  • A recent meter reading.

Interested in switching your energy provider?
Call 01 86 26 53 46 or ask for a free callback. Our English-speaking Selectra advisors will help you make the swtich to a more-fitted supplier, completely free of charge.