Getting connected - Utility Companies in France


Telephone numbers for French utility companies vary in each department. You will find your local number either in your French telephone directory L'Annuaire (white pages) listed under your nearest town or city or on your utility bill if already connected.

Electricity

Electricity - EDF Electricite de France - website  (in English) - Domestic Electricity in France is 220V, most UK white goods will be fine but you will need to change your plugs, for equipment such as computers which have lots of plugs a good idea is to bring your surge protected extension lead and just change its plug. Unlike the UK many  properties in France are on a very low amperage which easily overloaded causing the electric to 'trip out' if several appliances are used at the same time.

You can ask EDF to increase the amperage but this will mean that your electricity bill will also increase, a full list of EDF's tariffs are published on their website. Many areas of France are prone to frequent power cuts, drops and surges especially in bad weather so protecting sensitive equipment such as TV's, satellite boxes and PC's with a power surge protector is a wise precaution. If you work from home on your pc an uninterruptible power supply is a good idea and will save much frustration.

Gas

Gas - GDF Gaz de France - Unless you're in a town or large village you will probably have to use bottled gas which is readily available at most garages & supermarkets. Propane bottles are for use if the bottle is kept outside, Calor is OK for indoors.

Water

Water company (SAUR) English version.
Générale des Eaux

Telephone & Internet

France Telecom - The easiest way to have your phone connected is to go to your local France Telecom shop taking with you proof of identification (Passport etc) and if you have one an EDF bill, rental agreement or house purchase papers. Domestic service 1013 (in French)
Business service 1015 (in French)
Speaking clock (in French) 3699
Reverse charge call (in French) 3006
English speaking service 08 00 36 47 75  Mon - Fri 9am -5.30 pm

Degroup Test
- Check the availability of broadband (called ADSL in France) with all major suppliers by entering in your phone number and postal code. Beware that when signing up for an internet connection that most companies require you to sign up for a years contract  - once you've signed these contracts are very difficult to get out of even if the company is not fulfilling its end of the deal and if you decide to switch to a new provider you may end up paying for the first as well!

Also most contracts roll over for another year unless you give at least 2 months advance notice in writing (best sent by recorded delivery - lettre recommande) of your desire to terminate the agreement, it's worth asking friends, neighbours, forum users etc for recommendations before signing up.

French Yellow Pages & phone book online

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Getting connected - Utility Companies in France
Telephone numbers for French utility companies vary in each department. You will find your local number either in your French telephone directory L'Annuaire (white pages) listed...

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