Electricity Supply Services in France

  1. Opening an Electricity Account in France
  2. Getting a New Electricity Supply
  3. French Electricity Tariffs
  4. Your French Electricity Bill
  5. Assistance with Payment of Electricity Bills
  6. Changing Your Electricity Supplier
  7. Complaints Procedures

3. French Electricity Tariffs

There are two main regulated tariffs available, the details of each are given below. They are subject to at least annual change.

A household is able to choose the power supply they need for their home. The amount of power you will need will depend on the size of your property, number of inhabitants and the heating system. A small apartment might well manage with 3KVA, whilst a larger property might need 12KVA.

The power supply offered by EDF goes up to 36KVA, although we only show tariffs to 18KVA in the following tables. In addition, a supply in excess of 12KVA is not available for residential households using the 'Tarif de Base'.

The tariffs include VAT and other increasingly significant taxes and charges - the Taxe sur la consommation finale d’électricité (TCFE), Contribution au service public de l’électricité (CSPE), and La contribution tarifaire d’acheminement (CTA).

Despite the criticisms of consumer groups about electricity charges in France, the regulated prices EDF are obliged to charge French consumers actually means they make a loss each year on their domestic operations.

In addition, electricity prices in France continue to remain below the European average. Comparative figures provided by the French government show that in 2019 the price, including taxes, of 1MWh of consumption was €178 in France, €205 United Kingdom, €223 in Spain, €236 Italy and €287 Germany. The reason of course is because nearly 80% of the supply is from nuclear energy.

More recent figures for 2020 can be found at Electricity Prices in France (and Europe) 2020.

However, many French households pay more in electricity than consumers elsewhere in Europe due to the poor level of insulation in many homes.

According to the energy regulator CRE, for a customer having a 6kVA supply on its tarif de base, the average all-inclusive annual cost in August 2019 was €485. For a customer with an off-peak supply (heures creuses/heures pleines) at 9kVA the average annual bill worked out at €1,463. Clearly, these averages will vary by type and size of property and those with off-peak supply would normally have electric central heating.

The following tariffs are those for EDF (1st Feb 2021).

3.1. 'Tarif de Base' (Bleu)

If your water and space heating is not electric then you would be best to choose this tariff, which has the same rate throughout the day and year.

Power Rating Annual Standing Charge Price per kWh
(kVA) (Euros) (Euros)
3 102.36 0.15.82
6 127.20 0.15.82
9 152.04 0.16.30
12 176.64 0.16.30
15 200.76 0.16.30

3.2. 'Heures Creuses/Heures Pleines'

If you have a night-storage electric water heater and/or storage radiators you would be best advised to choose this option, which provides off peak electricity rates to heat your appliances.

The timing and duration of off-peak hours does vary across the country, so you need to ask your local EDF office the hours that apply in your area. You can also find out on-line at ENEDIS. Generally, the off-peak hours (heures creuses) are 2330-0730.

In the following table we show a supply up to 18KVA, but up to 36KVA is also available. Prices as at 1st Feb 2021.

Power Rating Annual Standing Charge Peak time for 1 kWh Off-peak time for 1 kWh
(kVA) (Euros) (Euros) (Euros)
6 138.60 0.18.53 0.13.53
9 171.36 0.18.53 0.13.53
12 202.56 0.18.53 0.13.53
15 231.84 0.18.53 0.13.53
18 258.72 0.18.53 0.13.53

EDF also offer a tariff called Tempo with charges that vary according to the time of year and of day. It is a complicated tariff to operate and we do not give details here.

If you are in any doubt, the best way of approaching this whole issue is to ask for a free assessment of your requirements by EDF.

There is an English speaking advisor available at EDF on 09 69 36 63 83.

There is a consideration of the use of off-peak electricity in an article we published in our Newsletter at Does Off-Peak Electricity Make Sense?

Next: Your French Electricity Bill

Back: Getting a New Electricity Supply

French-Property.com Survey

Help us improve French-Property.com

The Guides to France are published for general information only.
Please visit our Disclaimer for full details.