SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

6 apps to help you cut your energy use in France

Thanks to the government price cap, gas and electricity bills have not spiralled in France has they have in other countries - but a price increase is on the cards for 2023, while the government is appealing to everyone to cut their energy usage in order to get through the winter without Russian gas. Here are some apps that will help.

6 apps to help you cut your energy use in France

Gas prices in France are frozen to 2021 levels, while electricity price rises are capped at four percent. However, this will change at the end of the year with utility companies allowed to increase prices by up to 15 percent – an extra €20 a month for the average household.

The French government has also launched an energy-saving plan known as sobriété enérgetique, encouraging households to cut down on their energy consumption to avoid the risk of blackouts this winter.

So if you want to cut down, here are some apps that may help.

Room temperature

French government guidelines (which are entirely voluntary for households) is that heating should not be turned up higher than 19C, or 16C in bedrooms – although these guidelines may be inappropriate for the elderly or people with medical conditions.

However many older heating systems don’t include a thermostat or temperature gauge, so it can be hard to know what temperature your room is. In this instance you can use an app to measure the temperature of the room, if your phone does not provide this as part of its settings.

There are several apps on offer but Room Temperature is a free one that measures the temperature in the room, as well as giving you a weather update for your local area. Available in English.

Edf & Moi

If you are a customer of Edf, you can head to the website edf.fr and in the Mon compte section find a detailed breakdown of your energy usage per month, measured in either kilowatts or euros. 

You can see how much electricity you’re using per month and how that compares to previous months or this time last year. The site also gives you a guide on the biggest energy consumers – for most households this is overwhelmingly heating and hot water. 

Edf & Moi is largely the same information, but in a more detailed format – so that for example if you have a Linky smartmeter you can see how much electricity you use each day, which can help you spot any patterns of behaviour or appliance use that make your energy use rise. The app also gives you tips for energy saving (although most of these are pretty obvious, such as using energy-saving lightbulbs).

The app is free, but only available in French.  

Eficia

This is similar in form to the Edf & Moi app, but can be used by anyone who has a Linky smartmeter, it is not limited only to Edf customers. 

The app is accessed via the eficia.com website, not the app store, and is free and available in English.

It offers a detailed breakdown of your energy usage, plus tips on saving energy. It’s also possible to set up an alert in case of a sudden increase in consumption, so you will find out early if there is a technical problem with an appliance.

Hello Watt

This app describes itself as an ‘energy coach’ and can be used by anyone who has a Linky or Gazpar smartmeter.

Like the others, it shows you how much gas or electricity that you are using and offers energy-saving tips, but Hello Watt claims to be more precise than other apps and can offer you a room-by-room breakdown for your home, plus predictions on how much money you can save by taking a certain action eg lowering the heating by 1C.

It is free to use, but is funded by commissions made by people changing supplier, so expect plenty of suggestions to change your energy supplier. Only available in French. 

Mon Pilotage Elec

This one is a combined energy monitor and remote-controlled heating system, allowing you to both monitor energy usage and turn your heating up or down remotely via the app. 

It’s run by gas supplier Engie, and you need to first purchase a smartbox for use with your heating system. This must be installed by an electrician and the company claims that it is compatible with 90 percent of central heating systems.

You will then get a code to download the app, which allows you to both monitor your energy usage and control the heating remotely. 

EcoWatt

Not an energy-saving app as such, but one that tells you how urgent energy-saving is.

This is produced by the French government and shows how much strain the electricity grid is under in France, giving each day a rating – green, orange or red.

Green means everything is fine, orange means there is some pressure on the grid and energy-saving is advised, while red means that there is severe pressure on the grid and if energy use is not lowered, power outages are likely.

The app is at present pretty basic – it tells you the alert level for the day and the three days ahead, and then has a section on energy-saving tips, although these are all generic and not tailored to the user. 

It’s possible to set up alerts that will be sent to your phone in case of an orange or red alert.

The app is only available in French. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

How and when to send Christmas presents from France

If you want to send Christmas presents to friends and family overseas you need to know the deadline dates and how to avoid being hit with extra charges - here's what you need to know.

How and when to send Christmas presents from France

Deadlines

First things first, you need to make sure your parcel arrives in time for Christmas, which means sending it before the deadline.

The French postal service La Poste has the following deadlines;

In Europe

If you’re sending a parcel within France, the deadline to have it delivered by Christmas is December 23rd. 

If you’re sending to the UK or Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spanish islands (eg Tenerife), Croatia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Norway, Portuguese islands (eg Madeira) or Romania you have until December 16th.

If you’re sending to Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden or Switzerland you have until December 17th.

If you’re sending to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Portugal you have until December 19th.

Outside Europe

If you’re sending to the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or Hong Kong you have until December 10th. Likewise if you’re sending to most French overseas territories, the deadline is December 10th.

For most other countries the deadline is December 3rd, but you can find the full list here

Private couriers like Fed-Ex and DPD have their own deadlines, although they are broadly in line with La Poste, and if you’re buying online each company has its own deadline on when it can guarantee a Christmas delivery.

Fees and customs declarations

If you’re sending parcels to another EU country then it’s pretty straightforward – just pay the delivery cost (you can check how much it will be to send via La Poste here) and make sure you send it before the deadline.

If, however, you are sending to a country outside the EU (which of course now includes the UK) then you will need to fill out a customs declaration form explaining what is in your parcel and whether it is a gift or not.

In addition to standard postal charges, you may also need to pay customs duties, depending on the value or your parcel and whether it is a gift or not. 

Find full details on customs duty rules HERE.

Banned items

And there are some items that are banned from the post – if you’re sending parcels to the US be aware that you cannot send alcohol through the mail as a private individual, so don’t try a ship some nice French wine or a bottle of your local liqueur. 

Most countries ban firearms and fireworks, not unreasonably, although be aware that this includes items like sparklers.

Sending food and plants is also often restricted with countries including Canada and Australia having strict rules and most other countries imposing restrictions on what you can send.

This also applies the other way and France bans any foodstuffs containing animal products (eg chocolate) sent from outside the EU. 

SHOW COMMENTS