Some French gas suppliers offering fixed price contracts have begun to let their clients go as they struggle to absorb the added cost of rising prices.
When this happens, a customer’s gas will be cut off after the date until which their supply is contractually required to continue, and they will have to find a new provider.
One resident of Puy de Dôme was told by Antargaz that: “We no longer have the means to provide you with gas at a decent tariff.”
She then had to begin a new contract which was €600 per year more expensive than her previous one. The company said that around 500 customers were affected by this in March and April.
Consumer group Consommation Logement Cadre de vie (CLCV) told France bleu that: “Normally, gas and electricity suppliers buy in advance. Some do not, and when prices rise, the system breaks down.
“Given that they have not taken the precaution to cover themselves, if they continue to provide [gas], they will lose a huge amount of money.”
This has already happened to five or six companies, which have either stopped operating or have begun refusing to renew contracts.
This has been the case for firms including Cdiscount Energie, and GreenYellow
The CLCV added that, when looking for a prix fixe fixed offer which should remain the same for the length of the contract, customers are advised to look for a good price, but should also to favour bigger companies which will probably prove more reliable.
Group representative François Carlier said that among the many electricity and gas suppliers operating in France: “I know very well that some are not solid.
"The general market price of gas has multiplied by four or five over the course of a year. With this disruption, we can understand that [companies] are bringing contracts to an end when they are making them lose money," he said, adding that fixed price contracts could even begin to disappear as a result of the current situation.
You can compare energy supplier quotes using the government’s official comparison website.
The approximately four million households which are currently on a regulated tariff - capped until the end of the year - should also remember that prices will change at the beginning of 2023.