Millions of French households to be sent 'energy cheque' in April

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Millions of French households to be sent 'energy cheque' in April
Nearly 6million less well-off households in France will receive their energy cheque payment in April. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

Some 5.8 million low-income households in France are set to finally receive their delayed 2023 “energy cheque” from April 21st, the government’s energy minister has announced.


The means-tested payment - of between €48 to €200 - to cover part of the cost of heating a home over winter is usually distributed at the end of March. But this year’s payments will be made a few weeks later than usual, Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher told RMC radio.

Who qualifies?

Eligibility is calculated based on income and the number of people per household. Whether you are entitled to an automatic payment is decided on your most recent tax returns. 

For this you need your Revenue fiscal de référence (RFR), this is your total taxable income and you can find your RFR on your annual tax declaration, according to  

The RFR is then divided by the unité de consommation (UC) or energy consuming units, otherwise known as people living in the household.

One person equals 1 UC, the second 0.5 UC, the third 0.3 UC, and so on, which means the more people are in a household, the higher the income threshold for benefiting from the energy scheme gets (although the rise flattens out as more people are added, as the picture below shows).

The amount given also increases the more people there are in the household. One person living alone with an RFR below €5,600 will get €194, while two people with the same RFR get €240.

You can try the French government's online simulator (HERE) to see if you are eligible. 


Other grants available

This year’s payment follows additional funds being paid out to 12 million households to help cover rising energy bills paid out at the end of 2022, as well as help for motorists and qualifying households that heat their homes with wood or oil.

In order to benefit from the payment for help covering the cost of wood or oil heating, those who heat primarily using wood can apply with the Agency of Services and Payments at the website The online portal will remain open until April 30th.

READ ALSO How to access French government grants for wood-fired heating

The government has also limited increases in electricity charges to 15 percent in 2023, up from 4 percent in 2022.

On Friday, the Cour des comptes urged the government to make the recovery of public finances degraded by successive crises “a national priority”, after the government forked out nearly €43 billion in state funds over two years in an effort to protect households from the worst of the rising cost of living.


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