How to Cancel an Energy Contract Before Leaving France
If you are moving away from France or are cancelling utilities in your French second home, there are a few important processes to complete. One of these is taking care of the cancellation of your gas and / or electricity contracts. Find out how to do so in this guide.
Steps to follow to terminate the electricity contract
Here is all about how to cancel your energy contract before a move abroad.
When to cancel an energy contract before the move?
First off, note that you don't need to give your energy provider any kind of prior notice, but however you should as much as possible make sure to cancel your gas or electricity contract the day of, or day before your move.
This said, you have the option of notifying your supplier earlier if this suits you better, and can ask to have your termination take place within the next 30 following days. You will be under the obligation to pay for all the gas or energy you consume up until the date of termination.
How much does cancelling a gas or electricity contract cost?
In France, since the French energy market opened to competition in 2007, you can terminate an electricity or gas contract, change your offer or switch providers at any time, free of charge and whenever you wish to. Indeed, since your decision to cancel your contract will never be tied to a commitment period, you do not have a cancellation fee payable to purchase a portion of your contract from your supplier.
If you forget to cancel your contract before moving abroad, you may continue to pay for nothing. Also remember to quickly sign an electricity contract for your new home. Even though in France, it must be done at least 15 days before moving in, but deadlines may vary from one country to another.
How do I notify my energy provider of my move?
Follow the next steps to inform your French provider of your intent to move away form the country.
Prepare your important documents
First off, make sure to have the following documents and information at hand before contacting your gas or electricity supplier:
- Your contact details: French phone number, address...
- Your customer service number: you will be able to find this on any of your energy bills, old or recent,as your number will always be written there.
- The Point of Delivery Number (abbreviated PDL in French) for an electricity account and/or the Counting and Estimation Point (PCE in French) for a gas account. This ensures the supplier ensures it identifies the correct meter. You will find this set of digits on any of your electricity bills.
- Your current meter reading (done within the 24 hours of you leaving), which will help the provider establish your final bill. You will not need to do this if your earn the smart Linky meter.
- The exact date of your departure and date at which you wish to terminate your contract (which in most cases will be the same date).
Choose your method of communication
Then, simply contact your energy provider. Each one may have their own specific cancellation protocol, but in most cases you will have the choice betweeen the following methods:
- Over the phone
- Online, via your customer account (where you will find a cancellation form you can simply fill out)
- Via mail, by writing a letter to your supplier (make sure you get it signed for).
Precautions to take if writing a cancellation letter
In case you decide to write a letter, you should be sure to send it off a bit ahead of time, and also to include the following details:
- All the contact and personal information about you: full name, mobile and landline phone numbers, postal address, email address
- Your contract number (it appears on your gas or electricity bills)
- The subject of your mail (placed in the header of your mail) reading something like "Demande de résiliation pour mon offre XXX" (which translates as "Request for termination of my offer XXX")
- The precise reason for terminating your offer - in this case, your departure abroad
Here is an example of how your termination letter should look like:
Your full name
Your full address
Your customer account number
Objet : résiliation de contrat de fourniture d'électricité / de gaz naturel
Par la présente et suite à un déménagement, veuillez accuser réception de la résiliation de mon contrat de fourniture d'électricité / de gaz naturel, contract number, alimentant en énergie mon logement du your complete address à compter du your desired cancellation date.
Je souhaite recevoir une facture de clôture de contrat et vous communique à cet effet mon relevé de compteur au : date of the reading : reading.
Je vous prie d'agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l'expression de mes salutations distinguées.
Your full name
What if I’m only leaving France temporarily?
If you have to move abroad for only a few months, for your job for instance, it isn't possible to suspend your contract. This said, you have 2 options:
- You keep your subscription. This will allow you to still have energy at your home, which can be handy to leave your freezer running for example. You can also switch off all your other devices (and be careful not to leave them in standby mode) in order to avoid being charged for them while you're away. However, with this option you will still have to pay for at least your energy subscription every month.
- You cancel your contract. An advantage here is that by choosing the termination of electricity of gas, you will no longer have an electric bill to pay for your French home. But the drawback is that you will be necessary to subscribe to a new offer before your return, and pay the commissioning fee for opening an electricity account, by ENEDIS (€24,08), or pay for the activation of a gas account which will be charged by GRDF (between €18.58 and €143.01 depending on how fast you want your account set up).
It's up to you to choose the solution that will work out cheapest for you. In general, It is cheaper to stop your subscription if you move away for more than 3 months, but this depends on how much the monthly subscription costs (which is around €10 on average). If you decide to cancel your account, make sure to reopen one 15 days before you move back to France.
Don't hesitate to keep Selectra's phone number 09 87 67 37 93 in your contacts and to ring us to get help with reopening your energy account. We can also help you setting up French insurance, Internet and phone plans too, via our other number 09 77 55 72 27.
Moving back to the UK? For more information about how to open or reopen a gas or electricity account in the UK ,visit our dedicated Selectra website about energy in the United Kingdom.
Other important things to take care of before leaving France
Aside from dealing with your energy contracts, here are some other things you should make sure to deal with before your move:
- Inform all the relevant parties of your move: insurance, pension fund, the Post Office...
- Terminate your French phone contract
- Cancel your memberships (magazines, gym...)
- Subscribe to a repatriation insurance
- Make sure you have all the necessary documents for your trip (valid passport, visa...)
- If necessary, apply for an international driving license
- Settle a contract with an international moving company