Utilities are usually already established in a residence, you just need to set-up an account and pay a fee of around €15 (frais d’accès). You will need to inform the provider of the date that you are moving in, change the name on the account, and establish that you account is separate from the previous occupant.
Payment for bills is usually done by direct debit (prélèvement automatique). This is arranged at the initial appointment. There is also an environmental tax of about 5 percent levied on the bill, so the more power you use the more tax you pay.
General utilities usually cost around €15 - 30 per month in the spring and the summer, €50 or more in the winter. This depends on climate, the size of your property, and how many electrical appliances are in use. In many rental situation, services will be bundled and a collective bill will be issued once a month. These costs may be incorporated into the price of rent in some places.
A credit meter is usually supplied and regular bills are sent to the customer following meter readings. Contact your local GDF office to apply for a new account and to arrange to have the meter read before you move in (your property agent may help you do this). For new customers, the company may ask for some form of security in the form of a cash deposit, a guarantor or a direct debit arrangement. Contact them a month before you would like your account to start. Proof of address (attestation de domicile from the mairie) or rental agreement (compromis de vente) are usually provided.
Outside Paris and mainly in the countryside, you may purchase by the tank, or install a larger tank on your property. Portable bottles are readily available at shops like petrol stations and garden stores. Note that butane must be stored indoors, whilst propane can withstand greater extremes of temperatures and can safely be kept outside. A tank can be arranged (Total and Antargaz provide gas supplies and tanks in most areas) which costs about 300 to 400 euros a year.
There are private suppliers of gas and electricity, but most people use the states services. Gaz de France (GDF), a division of EDF, is the state service.
The voltage supply level in France is 230v, alternating at 50 cycles per second. However, there are times in rural areas where there are voltage variations. Outlets in France generally accept a 2 prong plug.
A credit meter is usually supplied and regular bills are sent to the customer following meter readings. Meters are read every four to six months. For new customers, the company may ask for some form of security in the form of a cash deposit, a guarantor or a direct debit arrangement. To arrange a reading before you move in, ask for "Relevé Special".
There are private suppliers of gas and electric, but most people use the states services. Electricité de France (EDF Energy) is the state electricity supplier. English language help: 05 62 16 49 08.
Power in France is available in three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, twenty-four or thirty-six KW ratings. Many older properties are only supplied with a low power rating. Bills are paid every 2 months for electricity. The bill is the amount of the subscription (depending on the subscribed demand level) and the price of the energy consumed. Average cost for a household (based on 9kWh) is €600.
There are different tariffs available, and it is important to choose the best one for your needs. There are off-peak hours that vary across the country that offer discounts on rates. In general, off-peak is between 23:00 - 7:30.
Base - set price per kWh depending on the power supply, which can be from 3 – 36 kVA. Most properties which opt for this option choose either 6 or 9 kVA. The higher powers are usually for someone running business machinery.
Heures Creuses - power supply from 6-36 kVA with 2 tariff periods each day; 16 hours full tariff, 8 hours creuse (economy rate).
Tempo - very economic if used properly. Certain days are different rates. Power supply is between 9-36 kVA. To use tempo, you need a small box supplied by the energy company which is plugged into a power socket. At 20:00, a colour lights the box indicating the colour code for the following day starting at midnight.
Each person uses around 150 liters of tap water and creates around 140 liters of waste water every day. Water utilities are commonly included in the rent of a property. This means that renters are not usually responsible for setting up or maintaining service, or paying a monthly bill.
If you are responsible for service, call or visit the mairie (mairie d'arrondissement in Paris) to ask for that property's account to be transferred to your name. Proof of address (attestation de domicile from the mairie) or rental agreement (compromis de vente) are usually provided. A deposit may be required, but is refunded against your first bill. Check that the meter is read before you move in.
In most towns and villages the mairie oversees the commune's water supply and you can not choose your provider.
If not included in rent (this is rare in Paris), water bills for a 2-bedroom home usually cost about €300 per year.
This depends on if gas or electric is primarily used for heating and cooking, size of the house, and people's habits. A septic tank is much cheaper than mains drainage and makes a difference in the final charges.
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