How To Change Your Energy Provider In France
Switching from one French energy provider to another is easier than you may think! Whatever your motivation for switching your gas or electricty supplier - to save money, go green, get better customer support - find out all about how to proceed in the following article.
Why should you change your French energy supplier?
In France, since 2007, the energy market is open to competition across 95% of the French territory, meaning historical suppliers such as EDF are put in rivalry nationwide against new - and often cheaper - players.
Because of this, not only do you have more options when it comes to choosing your French gas or electricity provider, but you can also subscribe and unsubscribe to energy plans as you please.
There are thus plenty of offers on the energy market today, and all the many reasons to compare pricings and even consider changing your energy supplier, as detailed below.
Note that you will always be able to go back to EDF and its regulated tariffs at any given time if you so wish to.
Changing your French energy provider is free and simple
While in France there is only one distribution grid operator for electricity and one for gas, there is a multitude of energy providers - which even many French people still don't realise!
Another fairly unknown fact is that it is free and simple to switch suppliers - you don't have to take any steps to terminate your previous energy contract, as your new provider will do this directly for you.
What's more, it is also a very safe and regulated process, and it is overseen by the French National Mediator for Energy (in order to avoid any double billing issues for instance).
You can switch gas or electricity providers at any time and without paying any fees. Indeed, the French law prohibits energy providers from imposing a mandatory commitment period ontheir clients, unlike broadband and phone providers for instance which often tie customers to a plan for 12 to 24 months.
Changing French energy providers can save you lots of money
Another major reason to change your supplier is to save money on your energy bills. Indeed, while EDF remains the largest and most popular provider across the French territory, it should be noted that its regulated tariffs are among the highest on the market.
Opting for another supplier could save you hundreds of euros yearly, as shown below:
with Base option - 3kVA
with Base option - 6kVA
with Base option - 12kVA
- 20 euros
- 24 euros
- 135 euros
- 16 euros
- 39 euros
- 53 euros
- 13 euros
- 39 euros
- 201 euros
- 11 euros
- 33 euros
- 168 euros
- 17 euros
- 53 euros
- 270 euros
Changing French energy providers can be a way of investing in green energy
If environment preservation matters to you, a small and simple way of playing your part is to switch to a greener energy contract, that are more affordable than what one may imagine.
In France, many providers have "Electricité Verte" offers, which are very often great value and cheaper than the regulated tariffs, often offering you a discount on the price of each kWh compared to regulated tariffs.
These discounts vary from one supplier to another Total Direct Energie's Offre Verte provides you with green electricity or biogas, with a 2% discount on the regulated tariffs, while Mint Energie will supply you with green energy paired with a significant 12% discount on the regulated prices.
When you opt for such an offer, you still receive the same electricity as before, but your supplier commits itself to investing in an equivalent amount of renewable energy in return (solar energy, hydraulic energy...).
Changing French energy providers can provide you with a better customer service
Last but not least: customer service, which is often overlooked but should be an important element in your decision.
Indeed, you may also want to consider opting for a provider with a better customer service, if you are unsatisfied with the support given by your current provider.
Some companies are extremely focused on client satisfaction, such as Total Direct Energie which was awarded the prize of Customer Service of the Year 2019. You will find many reviews of all French energy providers online, which should help you make up your mind as to which supplier will be able to offer you a satisfactory customer experience.
Some suppliers offer "Online" offers, which are typically a lot cheaper than regular plans but this also means customer service will be entirely online-based. Just make sure this will be suitable for you before signing up.
Which new gas or electricity should you choose?
You have two main options for your electricity or gas supply:
- The regulated tariffs for electricity and gas: these tariffs are controlled by French public authorities, and are applied by the two historical providers, EDF and Engie.
- The non-regulated tariffs: these tariffs are not set by authorities but by the providers themselves, and are typically set a lot cheaper than the first type of tariff. This is made possible because many newer French providers don't have as many expensive structural costs as EDF has for instance, meaning they can transform these savings into discounts on their offers.
You can find a comprehensive comparison of the electricity and gas suppliers in France here (in French), which will help you find the provider matching your needs and budget.
Changing gas or electricity providers: the steps to take
Below is a presentation of the steps to take to change your provider. As you will see, it is a relatively quick and non-burdensome process.
1 - Prepare your documents
You will be able to change your provider in just one phone call. But before picking up your phone, make sure you gather the following information, which the advisor will request from you during the call:
- Your complete address , with your floor or apartment number if applicable.
- A recent electricity or gas bill, on which will feature your meter number or site ID.
- A recent meter reading.
- You banking details, if you wish to pay your bills via direct debit (beware that many suppliers only accept French IBANs)
Do not cancel your former contract before signing up to a new one! Your new provider of choice will take care of the termination process during the subscription, in order to avoid you being cut off from energy supply during the transition.
2 - Get in touch with an English-Speaking Selectra advisor
Our team will be there to take care of the switchover process for you, free of charge, and answer any questions you have regarding your new provider.
Once this is done, that's it! Your new contract will be sent to you in the shortest delays, you won't experience any sorts of power cuts and you are ready to start your contract with your new and hopefully better-fitted provider.