Opening an EDF account for electricity

If you’re moving in a flatshare, your roommates will already have conducted the procedures for you. If you’re moving in a student residence, you’re cool too. But otherwise, in order to move in in proper conditions, you’re gonna have to bring electricity into service at your place! 

No sweat, it seems fairly abstract but the procedure’s actually rather simple.

Is it compulsory?

Unless you want to live your life in candlelight, you do have to subscribe to electricity if you’re hoping to have light, heating and power at home.

How is it done? 

To open an account for electricity in your apartment, you can contact EDF on the phone or go through their online service. After your subscription, you will have an online dashboard from which you can manage your contract and options, access your bills, etc.

To subscribe to your new energy contract, have at hand:

  • your new apartment’s full address 

  • the place’s specification  (square meters, number of rooms…) 

  • the date you’re planning on moving in 

  • the numbers on the electricity meter (usually wrote down or photographed at the moment of the check-in inventory of fixtures) 

  • the previous tenant’s name if you know it: it’s not compulsory, but it makes it easier for the EDF counselor to find the electricity meter’s references 

  • your bank details


EDF has an English speaking telephone service. 

If you’re calling outside France, dial : +33 56 21 64 908

If you’re calling in France, dial : 05 62 16 49 08

Unfortunately, they do get quite busy at certain times and you may get a recorded « lines are busy, please call back » message. But if you do get them on the phone, they are generally very helpful.

How long does it take?

The meter’s activation isn’t immediate: if electricity was cut before your arrival, EDF will send an operator to turn the power back. This usually takes 5 working days.

To be safe, contact EDF 15 days before you move in in order to get familiar with the different possible electricity plans and get things started.


There might be electricity in the place when you visit it or when you move in - it doesn’t mean that you don’t need open an account for electricity. It’s simply that the previous tenant’s electricity provider didn’t cut the power yet. If you just leave it be, you’ll end up with a power cut.

Which plan should I subscribe to?

The price of your subscription depends on the meter’s power and the charging option you subscribe to. 

The higher your electricity consumption, the more powerful the meter has to be, otherwise the fuses might blow and the meter can cut out! For an individual, the meter’s power ranges from 3 to 36kVA. Students generally have small homes, so their meter’s power hardly ever exceeds 15kVA. 

The Tarif Bleu:  EDF’s the basic option. A fixed price per kWh, regardless of the season and time of the day. The price per kWh depends on the meter’s power: the lower its power consumption (between 3kVA and 6kVA), the cheaper the subscription. 

The Tarif Bleu heures pleines/heures creuses : this option charges you differently following the time of the day. The pricing is attractive during 8 hours at night (off-peak hours) and rather disadvantageous the other 16 hours (peak hours). For this plan to be profitable, you have to use electrical household appliances primarily at night (40% during off-peak yours), which isn’t always very convenient. This tariff is mostly profitable to large dwellings equipped with electrical heating and who can adjust their hot water tank to run at night. The basic Tarif Bleu option is the better fit for you! 


Volts measure a power circuit’s electric potential or electromotive force.

Watts measure electrical power: the amount of power in relation to time (the rate at which electrical energy is dissipated)

How do I know it’s working?

If lighting and electrical appliances work after you’ve taken the steps and after the operator came, you should be good to go!

How much does it cost?

The cost depends for the most part on the place’s square footage. EDF has an online tool that helps you estimate your consumption and energy label (à traduire) 

For a 20m2 dwelling with electrical heating, plan on a €30 monthly bill. 

Depending on the number of residents, of electrical household appliances and on a few other criteria, your electricity bill can be of €600 to €1000 a year. 

If a meter reactivation is necessary, it costs €18,26 and this fee is coupled with your first bill. The fee is the same for all energy providers.

How do I pay?

You can choose the method of payment: direct debit order, paying by card online, cheques, cash in a post office… The most convenient being direct debit.

Is termination charged?  

No, terminating your contract is completely free whatever the reason for your decision. 

How to save money on my electricity bill?

  • The basic stuff: turning the lights off when you leave the room! 

  • Use low energy lamps, they’re far more long-lasting than incandescent bulbs and consume 5 times less energy. Avoid halogen lamps: they aren’t necessarily useful and consume an awful lot. 

  • Lower or turn off heating when you’re not in the place. 1 degree less in temperature is 7% less energy consumed. A good reason to wear this christmas sweater of questionable taste that’s gathering dust in your closet. 

  • Take care of your fridge. Nobody knows that, but if there’s frost in your fridge, it increases electricity consumption. Putting a dish that’s still hot in your fridge also does. Don’t forget to clean the grid that’s behind the fridge once a year. 

  • Avoid switching all of your appliances at the same time. If all of your plugs are at use simultaneously, it can’t be good.