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LIVING IN FRANCE

French admin websites now accept post-Brexit carte de séjour numbers

It has been one extra little niggle Brits living in France after Brexit - but a glitch with French administrative websites seems to have been fixed, so they now accept the card numbers of the post-Brexit residency card.

French admin websites now accept post-Brexit carte de séjour numbers

Since October 2021, any Briton living in France, including those who were here before Britain formally left the EU, has had to hold a carte de séjour, proving their right of residency here.

The home address of the card holder is printed on the document, so if you subsequently move house after receiving your card, you need to change the address.

You also need to replace the card if it is lost or stolen, and the card number may be required for other administrative processes, such as travel certificates for children.

READ ALSO What to do if you lose your French carte de séjour

The post-Brexit residency card is its own category of card, different to the one that other non-EU nationals like Americans get and different to the card required for new arrivals from the UK. The post-Brexit card give extra rights, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement, to Brits who were living in France before the end of the Brexit period.

However, a number readers have reported that official French websites did not recognise the number on their cards, making using the online administrative process impossible. 

READ ALSO Reader question: Do I need to change the address on my carte de séjour if I move house?

The Local contacted the Interior Ministry about this problem, and while they didn’t actually reply, it seems that the issue has now been fixed.

There are two numbers on the post-Brexit carte de séjour – a 9-character mix of numbers and letters at the top of the card and the 10-digit numéro personnel further down – it’s the numéro personnel that you enter to the website.

If you have moved house, you need to change the address on the card within three months – here’s how.

If you have lost the card or it has been stolen you will need to order a replacement.

And if you have children who are 18 they don’t need their own card, but some people find a DCEM (Document de circulation pour étrangers mineurs) is helpful for travel – full details here.

 Have encounter technical problems with post-Brexit admin? Let us know on [email protected]

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MONEY

Reader Question: Why did my French electricity bill increase by more than 4%?

The French government has capped electricity prices rises at four percent - but as with many French rules, there are certain exceptions.

Reader Question: Why did my French electricity bill increase by more than 4%?

Question: I read in the media that electricity prices in France are capped at four percent, but I just got a letter from EDF telling me that my bill is going up by almost 20 percent – is this a mistake?

The French government’s bouclier tarifaire (tariff shield), froze gas prices at 2021 levels and capped electricity price hikes to four percent – it remain in place until at least the end of 2022.

However, there are some customers who will see increases to their bills of more than that – here’s why: 

The regulated tariff rate

The French government involvement in price-setting doesn’t just happen during periods of energy crisis, normally regulated tariff prices are updated twice a year: usually on February 1st and August 1st.

Typically, this value is calculated by the CRE (commission de régulation de l’énergie) and it is based on several different factors, which are explained on this government website. These tariffs proposed by the CRE are then subject to approval by the ministers in charge of energy and the economy.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why are French energy prices capped?

These affect the state-owned Engie (formerly Gaz de France), the mostly state-owned EDF and some local distribution companies. Around 70 percent of people in France get their electricity from EDF but other suppliers do exist in the market.

These alternative suppliers, like Direct-Énergie, Total Spring or Antargaz, are free to charge more – but don’t usually charge much above the EDF rates for obvious commercial reasons.

Basic rate

The government-set limit in price rises refers only to the basic rate (option base) for electricity.

This plan represents over 80 percent of the 32 million households connected to the electricity grid in France. So, there is a good chance you might be subscribed to this without even realising it. 

If you are on the basic tariff rate, your bill will not increase by more than four percent this year.

Other tariff options

However, other options for electricity bills do exist, including off-peak rates, green deals and fixed energy prices for a certain period.

Typically people who sign up for these will have been paying less for their electricity in the preceding months than those on the base rate.

However, there are certain special deals that are not covered by the four percent cap, and some users will find that their deal period has come to an end, they are then shifted onto the base rate – which is likely to represent a price increase for them of more than four percent.

It’s little consolation when faced with rising bills, but you will likely have been paying significantly less than customers who have been in the base rate for the past few years.

READ MORE: French government to continue energy price freeze until at least 2023

Kilowatt price

Because most electricity price plans are bafflingly complicated, the easiest way to compare is to look at the price per kilowatt-hour.

Your electricity bill consists of a fixed part, the monthly subscription (abonnement) and the variable part, which depends on the quantity of electricity consumed (in euro per kilowatt-hour, kWh). The latter part is what is concerned by the tariff shield of four percent.

Here is an example of what that might look like:

The mid-August base rate price per kilowatt-hour is €0.1740/ kWh, so if you’re with EDF they cannot charge you more than this rate.

Other EDF plans charge significantly less than that – for example the Vert Electrique Weekend deal has been charging €0.1080/kWh on weekends and €0.1434/kWh on weekdays. 

Bill rises

With the tariff shield, the average resident customer on the base rate will see a €38 rise on their bill this year, while professional customers will see an average of €60 rise. 

Without the tariff shield, electricity prices per residential (non-business) customer would likely have increased an average of €330 a year, according to the CRE.

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