If your French home - or future home - cannot be connected to electricity or mains gas, propane constitutes a good alternative. This liquified gas can be stored in both bottles and tanks in big quantities, in order to supply you with energy and heat your residence.
All you need to know about propane gas in France is below.
Is propane gas right for me?
First things first, you need to determine whether propane is right for you and your home.
When to use propane for your home
In most cases, houses in big cities are very often connected to mains gas, or "gas de ville" in French. This natural gas is delivered by GRDF, and can be provided by a range of French suppliers such as Total Direct Energie, Engie, Eni...
This said, some areas in France aren't (yet) connected to this natural gas network, mainly rural and isolated regions, which are hard to access and thus to connect to the main supply. Here, setting up propane gas will be your best bet, which you can choose in tank or bottle form.
Here is a summary of the cases in which you should or shouldn't consider propane:
|Type of housing||
Connection to the
mains gas network?
Connection to a collective
propane gas network?
|Energy to opt for|
|Small apartment||Yes or No||Yes or No||Electricity|
|Big apartment or house||Yes||No||Natural gas|
|Big apartment or house||No||Yes||Propane gas|
The propane providers in France
|Antargaz offers some of the cheapest rates on the market. It is well established nationwide and its customer service has overall good reviews.|
|Butagaz is well established nationwide, with a speciality in gas cylinders. It also provides a range of tanks for every level of gas consumption.|
|Primagaz provides propane gas both in France and 27 other countries. It has offers for private individuals and professionals, but does not publicly disclose its tariffs.|
|Vitogaz is an independent gas provider, present on the gas bottle and propane tank markets. The company puts great emphasis on transparency which is one of its values, making its pricing information public on its website.|
It is important to choose your propane supplier wisely and become familiar with their T&Cs, as some contracts will bound you to them for up to 9 years.
How much does propane cost in France?
When you opt for propane, you will be paying for the gas itself, but keep in mind that you will also have other costs to cover, which you should be aware of before you sign up.
Prices of propane in France in 2019: tanks
Below is a rundown of typical prices for French propane in tank form.
Prices of propane per tonne in France
In France in 2019, the price of a tonne of propane ranges from €1,480 to €2,468 with tax.
A quick comparison of propane per tonne reveals that Antargaz is the cheapest supplier, while Vitogaz is by far the most expensive. Just keep in mind that the tariffs presented below don't include any seasonal promotions or discounts given to clients on an individual basis.
Price of a tonne of propane gas for an underground tank of 1,100 kg capacity and an annual consumption of 1,240 kg with automatic delivery in metropolitan France (excluding Corsica), excluding subscription and additional fees. These figures were taken from providers' websites in January 2019.
Price of a propane tank installation
Getting a propane tank installed may or may not include fees. Indeed, while some providers will charge you for the procedure as a one-time fee, others will include the price in the subscription, and others still will take care of the cost instead.
Here is the breakdown of which suppliers charge what, in more detail:
|Provider||Tank / Contract type||Price (in €, with tax)||For more info / To sign up|
|All types||Covered by the provider||Contact Selectra at 01 86 26 53 46 or ask for a quote (in French)|
|Overground tanks||€99||Contact Selectra at 01 86 26 53 46 or ask for a quote (in French)|
|All types||Included in subscription||Contact Selectra at 01 86 26 53 46 or ask for a quote (in French)|
Covered by the provider
|Check out the Vitogaz offers|
Fees for propane tank maintenance
Because of propane's dangerous nature, gas tanks must be well-maintained and checked regularly.
This means you will probably find maintenance fees added to your monthly subscription. Thus, be sure to check the price lists from different suppliers to better anticipate these maintenance costs.
Prices of propane: bottles
As for propane bottles, you will be paying not only for the bottles of gas, but also for their initial deposit and the refills that ensue.
Fees for gas bottle deposits
For propane deposits, prices go from €1 to €50, depending on the supplier and the size of the bottle.
Keep in mind that the deposit is a one-time fee, while for gas it will be a recurring cost, so take this into account when comparing prices. It is often best to opt for a cheaper cost for gas rather than a cheaper deposit, which will help you save money in the long run.
The cheapest propane bottle order in France! Gazissimo charges only €1 for the deposit for all orders on their website. You can also call our English-Speaking Selectra advisors at 01 86 26 53 46, or ask for a free callback, to start a propane delivery. Get €6 off your first order with the promo code SELR6 .
Fees for gas bottles
For propane bottles themselves, prices range from €17 to €90.
Below is a summary of the typical price ranges for the different types of propane and butane bottles on the French market.
|Gas||Weight||Bottle price||Deposit price|
€9 - €38
|€18 - €29
€1 - €30
€29 - €50
|€18 - €22
€17 - €29
€30 - €38
|€1 - €29
€1 - €29
€1 - €18
Just note that prices are given according to what the different butane or propane suppliers in France have chosen to disclose on their websites, and since some of them do not communicate their prices, information on their tariffs won't appear below.
Fees for gas bottle refills
For propane refills, prices range from €18 to €97, depending on the size of the bottle and the supplier.
Billing methods for paying for propane
If you go for propane bottles, you will pay per bottle at the store. But if you sign up to a propane gas tank contract, you can opt for 2 kinds of methods to pay your supplier:
- You can pay per amount of gas delivered. In this case, you will pay for every delivery of gas made to your home. This case works well for customer-initiated deliveries.
- You can pay per consumption. Here, your provider might install a meter on your tank so as to monitor the gas used. The provider will then typically charge you on a monthly basis. This system is most appropriate for automatic deliveries.
Setting up a propane contract in France For more information about offers and propane gas providers, get in touch with an English-speaking customer service agent at 01 86 26 53 46, (free of charge) or ask for a free callback.
Choosing the propane contract right for you
Below are a few guidelines to help you choose the propane contract which will suit your needs.
Choosing a method of propane delivery in France
There are two options for propane gas delivery you can opt for:
- Automatic delivery, on your supplier’s initiative. They will calculate delivery frequency based on your consumption history and the weather forecast. This is usually the cheapest option, and is probably the safest as this way you are sure that you will never run out.
- Requested delivery, on your own initiative. This can work out cheaper if you only need propane gas sporadically over the year, but you do need to pay attention to your levels of gas or else you run the risk of running out of supply. A good rule of thumb is to contact your supplier when your propane gas tank goes down to 20% of its capacity. You will be charged per each delivery you initiate.
Important questions to ask before subscribing to a propane offer
Below are a few essential questions you should get answers to before you sign any propane contract:
- What is the supplier's propane price list (gas, refills and deposit)? Can I get a discount?
- Are prices likely to evolve? And if so, am I protected against increases?
- For tanks: how much does the tank installation cost?
- If you opt for propane bottles: what does the deposit cost? How about the gas bottle refills?
- How much would an early contract cancellation cost (termination, repackaging of the gas, removal of the tank)?
- Are tank maintenance and control costs included in the monthly prices?
- How can I pay my bills?
- Does the contract bind me to the supplier for a minimump time period? If so, for how long?