Power Outages in France: What to do
Your power's gone out? Don't panic! Selectra guides you through what to do and who to call in the event of a power cut in your home in France
- Power Outages in France: What to do
- Call Enedis (formerly ERDF) at 09 726 750 + your department's code (e.g. Paris: 09 726 750 75)
- Stay safe! Keep away from live wires and water. Dial 18 to reach the fire department if there is danger
- Important phrases: coupure de courant (power cut); panne sur le réseau (power outage on the network)
Power Outages in France: What to do
Whether in France or anywhere else in the world, the main things you need to think about during a power outage are the same: cause, communication, and safety.
Step One: Determine the cause of the power outage
The first thing to do if power is cut in your home is to determine the cause. Is power cut only in your home, or in the entire building or street? If your home appears to be the only one without power, check to make sure that you haven't been using too many electric devices at once and your meter hasn't tripped. Your power may also be cut because of an unpaid bill, or if you forgot to open an account in your name after moving in.
Step Two: Communication
If you've determined that the power outage is not due to a household problem, call Enedis at 09 726 750 + your department's code (e.g. Paris: 09 726 750 75; Nice: 09 726 750 06).
Helpful PhrasesCoupure de courant: power cut
Panne sur le réseau: power outage on the network
Step Three: Stay safe
Basic safety precautions to follow in the event of a power outage include:
- Stay away from downed power lines and live wires
- Call the fire department at 18 there is danger
- Turn off and unplug all appliances or electronics that you were using before the power outage, especially sensitive electronics.
- Turn off heating and air conditioning systems as well. This will prevent them from becoming damaged from surges or power spikes when power returns.
- Use battery operated flashlights and lamps for emergency lighting instead of candles. Candles can cause fires, and are particularly risky in the event of a gas leak.
- When reaching emergency personnel and/or family, try to keep all phone calls brief, in order to preserve your cell phone's battery life and to reduce congestion on cellular networks. Prolong your smart phone's battery life by closing all apps that you are not using, reducing the screen brightness, and setting your phone to airplane mode when you are not using it.
Other Reasons Why Your Power May Have Been Cut
You've Just Moved to a New Home
If you've recently moved to a new home in France, your power may have been cut off if you forgot to put the electricity account in your name. You can open an account with an electricity provider by calling Selectra's English-speaking customer service number at 09 87 67 37 93 or getting a free callback (Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 8 pm, Saturdays from 9.30 am to 6 pm). Selectra will help you find the energy supplier and plan that meets your needs, and will start the process of getting power to your home for you.
Your energy supplier will arrange on your behalf for a technician from Enedis to visit your home to start electric service. The standard delay for Enedis to start service is five (5) business days, though for an additional fee you may be able to get the appointment sooner.
|Delay||Cost (including tax)|
|Standard Installation||5 business days||16,76€, taxes included|
|Express Installation||2 business days||16,76€ + 38,28 €, taxes included|
|Urgent Installation||The same day if ERDF receives the request before 9pm||€ + 132,40 €, taxes included|
How to Get Power Back After an Unpaid Bill
The first thing you should do if you think your power has been because of a missed bill is to call your energy supplier. Depending on the time of year and the situation, energy suppliers have the right to ask Enedis to reduce your gas or electricity meter's power capacity to 3 kVA or to have your power cut entirely if you have not paid your bill on time.
Cutting Electricity After Unpaid Bills: Rules in FranceEnergy suppliers must follow a certain procedure in order to cut power for unpaid bills, which is as follows:
The supplier must notify the customer two weeks after an unpaid bill's deadline, warning that electricity supply may be cut or reduced if the bill is not paid within 30 days.
If the bill remains unpaid, the customer will receive a second letter warning of an impending power cut/reduction within the next 20 days.
Under French law, an energy supplier cannot request Enedis to cut electricity for an unpaid bill during the winter season, which is typically between November 1st and March 15 (known as the trêve hivernale)
While you will not be charged for restarting your electricity, Enedis charges 51.88 € to cut electricity. You must pay this charge along with your outstanding balance with the energy supplier in order to resume electric service.