Since July 2007 it has been possible for households to move from EDF to an alternative supplier.
The main alternative operators in France are Alterna, Direct Energie, Enercoop, GDF Suez, Proxelia, Planète UI, and GEG.
While the tariffs applied by EDF are regulated by the government, private operators are free to set their own tariffs.
By option, EDF also offer a market tariff.
There is widespread opposition from consumer associations in France to the introduction of market tariffs, and it is universally agreed by these associations that the regulated tariffs offer greater consumer protection.
Given the political controls exerted over EDF on regulated tariffs we also believe there are fewer risks in supply in having them as your electricity supplier.
Thus, we suspect that if problems arise with your supply, they are likely to be resolved more quickly if you are a client of EDF. While responsibility for dealing with supply problems resides with a publicly controlled body called Electricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF), ERDF is actually a subsidiary of EDF, themselves majority State owned.
Nevertheless, if you wish to change from EDF, then the transfer of your account to the new supplier is handled entirely by that supplier.
These private suppliers do not generally have a local branch network, so you would normally need to make the application on-line.