Published on: 14 February 2023
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What's New with the 2023 Energy Voucher?
Since December 12th 2022, the government has sent out energy vouchers worth either 100 or 200 Euros to help households with the lowest incomes pay their electricity, gas, and energy bills. How do you get it? How can you use it?
Twelve million French households have already received, are receiving, or will soon receive the 2023 energy voucher in their mailbox to help them pay part of their energy bill, whether for electricity or gas services. The 2023 energy voucher follows on from the spring 2022 energy voucher and the November 2022 fuel voucher scheme.
In addition, households can also request an additional exceptional energy voucher to pay for fuel bills or heating fuel (wood, coal, propane).
What is the Energy Voucher for?
To help the French people cope with the high costs of their gas and electricity bills, the government has been distributing money since 2018 to people who meet certain criteria set by the tax authorities.
In response to inflation that governments are no longer able to contain, the energy voucher solution has been adopted to enable low-income households to pay part of their energy bills. Beneficiaries can also use the energy voucher to pay for heating in:
- eligible APL (Personalized Housing Aid) conventioned housing;
- autonomous residencies;
- long-term healthcare establishments;
- EHPAD or EPHA (residences for elderly persons).
Beneficiaries of the energy voucher can also use it to pay for renovation works related to energy efficiency in a home. These services must be performed by an RGE (guarantor of environment) professional. Each RGE professional is obligated to accept the energy voucher. It can be used in conjunction with other housing renovation operations, such as MaPrimeRénov' aid, or other social housing aid (CAF, Solidarity Fund for Housing, etc.).
Who is Eligible for the Energy Voucher in 2023?
According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, 18% of the French population is expected to receive the 2023 energy voucher. It is the tax administration that draws up the list of beneficiaries. Eligibility criteria are set according to incomes for 2021 declared in 2022 and number of people per household as of January 1st, 2022.
For each household a reference income by consumption unit (RFR/UC) is calculated. Consumption units are based on the number of people in the household: one person is equal to one consumption unit and 0.5 for a second person. Each additional person from third onwards counts towards 0.3 consumption units. If a household’s RFR/UC amount is below €10,800, they will be eligible for a €200 voucher. If their RFR/UC amount is between €10,800 and €17,400, they will be eligible for a €100 voucher.
The chequeenergie.gouv.fr website offers an online simulation tool to check eligibility and know if one can benefit from it or not.
How to Get an Energy Voucher in 2023?
There is no need to take action to request the 2023 energy voucher. If your reference income by consumption unit falls under governmental limits, you will automatically receive the energy voucher 2023 per mail.
Two other exceptional energy vouchers are available from the government as well. But these will not arrive automatically through mail. You have to apply for them on the portal of exceptional energy vouchers:
- The fuel energy voucher with a value of up to 200 euros that can be requested till March 31st 2023.
- Wood energy voucher (for any heating fuel, wood, coal, propane) with a value of between 50, 100 or 200 euros and can be applied for before April 30th 2023.
For each application an identification number and a purchase invoice of at least 50 euros worth of fuel (or an attestation of collective heating) are needed.
According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition 1.6 million Frenchman's households are eligible for the Fuel Energy Voucher and 2.6 million people can benefit from the Wood Energy Voucher.
How to Use My Energy Voucher?
The 2023 energy voucher can be used with any energy provider. To do so, you can send it by mail to the provider with a copy of your last bill or a document specifying your customer ID and contract number. Both must also be written on the back of the voucher.
It is also possible to use the 2023 energy voucher for online payment on impots.gouv.fr in your personal space. To do this, you need your tax number, customer ID and contract number (available on bills). Then follow the instructions of the portal. It will ask you to provide a masked number that appears on the voucher, which can be revealed after scratching it out (like a scratch card).
The amount of the energy voucher will be used by the supplier to pay for your next bill. If the amount of the check is higher than the bill, remainder will be reported for payments of future bills.
Using an energy voucher online also allows you to automatically allocate future energy vouchers from the energy provider. Payments will be made auto-matically and the household will be notified by mail. No additional action is needed to be taken. The 2023 energy voucher can be used until March 31st, 2024.
When Will I Receive My Energy Voucher? Sending Dates in 2023
The distribution of the energy voucher is done in several campaigns by mail and per department. The government publishes a calendar of sending campaigns by department.
Households who have not received it by the specified date can claim it on the website www.chequeenergie.gouv.fr or call the toll-free number 0 805 204 805 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm.