Some 2.4 million households in France will have to change their gas plans before June 30th, as part of France’s Energy and Climate Act.
The change will impact those who benefit from a tarif réglementé (TRV) – or regulated tariff – for their gas plan. Essentially, this is a gas supply contract that has a regulated rate set once a year by the French government, based on a recommendation from the energy regulation commission.
The premise is that as the TRV price goes up, so does the bill, and vice versa. If you are unsure as to whether you have a TRV plan and you have not received a letter, you can also consult your gas bill or contact your supplier to verify.
These types of plans are only offered by ‘traditional’ suppliers, such as Engie and about 20 other local distribution companies in France. If you have a gas plan like this, then you should receive a letter from your supplier informing you that you will need to change your plan to a market offer.
France’s ministry of economy said that households and coproprietés (buildings divided into separately owned apartments), do not have to worry about having to cancel the contract yourself, as it will be done automatically. Additionally there will not be any gas cuts or the need to change your metre (compteur). You will, however, be advised to pick a new plan. If you do not do so, you will be automatically switched onto the generic plan offered by your gas supplier.
READ MORE: PROPERTY: What you need to know about ‘copropriété’ fees in France
Those who benefit from regulated rates for electricity, such as the EDF ‘Blue Rate’, do not have to worry about changing their plans – this only applies to gas.
Does this impact the gas price shield in place in France?
This is not related to the existing freeze on gas price rises in France, which was capped to 15 percent at the beginning of 2023.
However, France’s minister of economy did say in April that the price freeze for gas will be done away with sometime “this year” but did not offer any precise dates.
Gas prices in France were frozen in 2021, initially as an aid with the rising cost of living – in the spring of 2022 the freeze was extended and electricity prices were also frozen, in order to protect French households from the spiralling energy prices seen across Europe after Russian’s invasion of Ukraine.
Domestic gas and electricity price rises were capped at four percent throughout 2022, and then allowed to rise by a maximum of 15 percent at the start of 2023.
How do I decide on a new plan?
The French government has created a website to compare plans in your area – you can find it HERE. Simply put in your postal code, as well as some information regarding your typical gas consumption or monthly bill, to find recommended results for your area.
You should choose your new offer before the deadline of June 30th, according to the French ministry of economy.
Keep in mind, if you choose a new plan that does not suit you, you can still cancel the plan free of charge. To set up the new plan, you will need the reference number attached to your last gas bill.
Why is this change happening?
However, France is doing away with regulated tariffs in order bring French law in line with European law. Both small and large businesses have already switched away from regulated tariffs, and now the rule will apply to individuals and co-proprietés.