Home and daily life: Changes to expect in France for 2024

Noticeable changes include a rise in energy prices and more places where smoking will be banned

A rise in energy prices is expected for most people in France

A number of changes will be felt for residents and second-home owners alike regarding daily life in France.

Major changes include expected rises in energy and stamp prices, whereas others include wider smoking bans and an increased focus on the product repair scheme.

We outline what to expect below:

Electricity and gas prices

The next price reevaluation for electricity is expected in February, and there will be “no double figure rise”, at least according to the government, citing recent French and EU reforms.

Some of the ‘real’ market price of electricity to users on regulated tariffs, or those indexed to them, is still being borne by the state under the bouclier tarifaire (energy shield) measure that was brought in to prevent huge rises in 2021, but this is progressively being lifted. Market prices are starting to come down.

Regulated prices are usually reevaluated in February and August each year.

Gas prices in France are no longer ‘regulated’, but former regulated tariff customers at Engie have moved to a ‘bridge’ deal.

A hike of up to 6.3% if you heat with gas and as much as 11.3% for hot water and cooking is possible from July 1, 2024, linked to expected rises in the amount of tax that goes to GRDF, for the gas distribution network.

This had not increased for several years.

Electricity reduction tests

The government is looking to run tests this winter on cutting electricity power to certain selected homes by a half, for a two-hour period, to see the effects.

Around 200,000 homes in the Puy-de-Dôme department will be used to test the system.

The amount left should still be enough, for example, to run your fridge, lighting and a computer.

If your home is chosen (you need a Linky metre) you will be notified of the time and day, and paid compensation.

It is possible to opt out of the trial, and those who do take part will be compensated. People who need electricity to store medicine/run healthcare apparatus will not be selected.

The aim is to see whether this could be a useful measure in times of high demand, to avoid actual power cuts becoming necessary.

Read more: Homes in France set to have power reduced via Linky: where and when?

Smoking bans

New national bans on smoking will be imposed, on beaches, in parks and gardens this year as well as ‘next to public facilities’ such as schools.

There will, however, be no specific new price rise, other than a rise for inflation, of about 40 centimes per pack, from January 1.

Read more: France plans to ban smoking in more places - will it work?

New standardised chargers

A long-awaited rule standardising chargers for all mobile devices – to USB type C – is set to be in force in the EU by the end of the year. It will apply to phones, tablets, e-readers etc. and to portable computers from 2026.

Old copper phone lines

Orange is finally to start removing the old copper phone wires in some communes this year, with the whole country to be disconnected by 2030.

People are expected to use the faster fibre-optic networks instead, however there are concerns that some rural areas are still not connected to this.

Read more: Fibre broadband is still lacking in much of France: where and why?

School holidays

As usual, the Christmas and summer holidays are at the same fixed dates nationwide while the winter and spring holidays will be variable by zone.

The rentrée in January will be on Monday January 6 and the summer holidays will be from July 6 to September 2.

The summer holidays this year will coincide with the Olympic Games.

Read more: Check: When do school holidays fall in my part of France next year?

Energy cheque

A chèque énergie is to be sent out again to lower-income households to help with paying fuel bills this year. Last year these ranged from €48 to €277, depending on household revenues and the amount is expected to be similar again.

As before, if you qualify, one should be sent out in April.

Our article below about 2023’s version of the cheques explains how you can use them.

Read more: How can I use my French chèque énergie gas or electricity vouchers?

Stamp prices

Stamp prices are set to rise steeply, with less use of the post being blamed, as well as inflation.

A timbre vert or green stamp will go from €1.16 to €1.29; a lettre services plus (turquoise) will increase from €2.95 to €2.99; a lettre recommandée (registered post) from €4.83 to €5.36 and international letters up to 20g will increase from €1.80 to €1.96.

No change to tickets restaurant

The government was looking at ending a measure that allows tickets restaurant to be used for most kinds of foods and drink (not alcohol) and not only kinds that are ready to be consumed straight away. In place since 2022, it is now to continue throughout 2024.

Boost to repair bonus

The repair bonus is being doubled for TVs, washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers. For vacuums, it increases from €15 to €40. For some other appliances, including laptops, cookers and kettles, it is increased by €5. The €180 repair price threshold for laptops (the repair must cost at least as much) drops to €150.

New kinds of appliances will qualify, including shavers, microwaves and printers. You can see a full list here.

The scheme only works via accredited firms – you can search for those nearby to you here.

Help to stay in own home

A new grant called MaPrimeAdapt’ will replace several previous aids, including Anah’s Habiter Facile, Habitat cadre de vie from French pensions body Cnav, and a tax credit for installations helping with autonomy.

It will be managed by the Anah agency.