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Domestic Heating Costs in France

Monday 06 February 2017

With temperatures freezing across Europe for most of last month, it is perhaps an opportune moment to reflect on just what it costs to heat a home in France.

A recent survey of carried out by independent energy consultants 'Quelle Energie' found average heating costs were €1,611 a year, a figure that varied by type of energy used - oil, electricity, gas, or wood.

The heating bill was highest for those who used oil, some 19% of households in the survey, whose costs averaged €1,927 a year.

The next most expensive form of energy source was electricity, whose heating costs averaged €1,726 per year.

Around one-third of household used gas, at an average annual cost of €1,415 per year.

The cheapest form of heating was wood, whose average heating costs were €811 a year.

However, although oil based heating appeared the most expensive energy source, this was only the case because, in the main, those who used it occupied a larger property.

If analysed by size of property it is electricity that had the most expensive running costs, as follows:

  • Electricity - €15.90/m2
  • Oil - €12.60/m2
  • Gas - €11.50/m2
  • Wood - €6.10/m2

The study does not provide an analysis by geographic area, and neither is the level of insulation of each property considered, but the authors state the survey was based on 20,000 respondents living in different types of property throughout the country.

Accordingly, although the figures can only be used as a broad indication of running costs, it is likely many households will recognise them as being in line with their own circumstances.

Those proposing to install new heating in their French property are also likely to be influenced by other factors, such as capital and maintenance costs, which would make electricity a more interesting proposition. There are also the inconveniences and limitations of a wood burner, but which may be made more palatable by the tax credit that is available towards the purchase costs.

Heating costs for French households are higher than several countries of Europe due to the frequently poor level of insulation in homes, something recent governments have been seeking to change with tough new insulation standards for new construction, and a range of financial incentives for home energy conservation.

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