BUYING A PROPERTY IN FRANCE – UTILITIES
If you are buying a property in France it is wise to know everything about how utilities work. Interestingly it has just been announced that France’s biggest gas supplier GDF-Suez has frozen its prices for the rest of 2010 following a 15 percent increase since the start of the year.There are two types of gas supply choices when buying a property in France, mains or bottled gas.
When buying a property in France you should ask the previous owner / estate agent if the property is gas or oil fired. Contact your local GDF to set up a new account about a month before you move in, you will need to send proof of address.
Mains gas is supplied by GrDF or GDF and if you are in an area with mains supply but you are not currently connected you can arrange a new connection or raccoudement via GDF, choosing a tariff to suit you. As with electricity there are different tariffs to chose from depending on usage. Your local GDF office offers a free consultation. If you are metered, these will be read every four to six months.
You bill (facture) will contain two elements, the standing charge (abonnement) determined by the power supply and consumption in cubic metres and the TVA (Value Added Tax) applied at 20.6 percent on the standing charge and 19.5 percent on the consumption. Paying your bill can be done by direct debit by asking your French bank for a RIB or you can pay by cheque or credit card over the phone.
If your proprty uses bottled gas you order tanks from the supplier – the previous resident will be able to tell you who supplies these. Alternatively if you don’t have a tank you need to buy bottles from the supermarket. The most common bottled gasses are propane and butate supplied by Antargaz, Butagaz, Primagaz and Totalgaz. When you first buy a bottle it usually costs around €50 and around €20-25 to refil. It is advised to always have two in stock and usually lasts around four to six weeks for gas cooking only.
As in the UK, if you are leaving a property contact the gas company, tell them to stop the account and issue a final bill. Make sure you take a final meter reading.
Call: 0033 3 20 25 85 25 / 0 810 224 000
Or visit: http://www.grdf.fr/
English language: www.grdf.fr/english/home
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