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Is there a fee for changing energy contracts in France?

A customer may want to change to a different tariff or supplier if they find an option that is cheaper than their current contract

We look at whether people are charged a fee for changing electricity or gas supplier in France Pic: gopixa / Shutterstock

Reader Question: If we want to change my energy contract for a more economical option – such as one including discounts for off-peak usage for example – will I be charged a fee?

You can choose to change electricity suppliers at any point and as many times as you wish - and your electricity supplier does not have to be the same as your gas supplier.

If you have previously moved away from the regulated tariff (tarif réglementé d’électricité) for an alternative supplier, you can choose to go back. 

You cannot do this if you have changed from the regulated gas tariff (tarif réglementé de gaz naturel), but you can change for another tariff offered by an alternative supplier. 

Firstly, however, it is worth checking if your existing supplier has a different offer that you could be moved onto and that would suit you. 

For example the same provider may have ‘basic’ offer and an option heures pleines/heures creuses where you pay more at ‘peak’ times, and less at off-peak times (often at night).

This will usually be possible and free of charge, though it is not possible if you want to change due to moving home; in that case you have to cancel and then start again with a new contract for the new home.

Changing contracts

 If you want to consider a change to another company, you can compare electricity and gas offers using the government’s price comparison tool at this link

Changing supplier is free of charge and there is no minimum period you are obliged to remain on the previous contract for.

You need to supply information such as where you live and your average energy consumption. If you do not know your average consumption, you can use an estimation tool that is available as part of the price comparison process. 

After you have entered all your details, the site will show you a list of all your options. You can choose to sort it by the cheapest deal. 

If you choose to change suppliers, you only need to sign up to a new contract with the company you choose. 

The company will manage the cancellation of your old contract. 

You do not need to change your electricity metre and the old company will keep supplying you with electricity until the new company takes over. 

Related articles 

Can I change my French electricity supplier for a cheaper alternative?

Electricity, gas, wood, oil: do you qualify for heating aid in France?

How likely is it that France will require power cuts this winter?

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