Although the country surges and pulses with nuclear power stations, electricity can be an expensive business in France. Strict regulations govern all electrical installations and if you’re buying a house for renovation the chances are high that the wiring should be redone. If the work is not properly certified you can be forced to have it redone and no claims can be made to insurance companies without the necessary certificates. Only electricians registered in France are aux normes (a little phrase you’ll hear a lot of: ‘within regulations’), they are well qualified but this is an area in which to be especially wary of cowboys (cowboys).

Many regulations concerning electricity are different in France to other countries around the world so don’t be surprised by any peculiarities you might encounter, such as neutral wiring being bleu rather than black and live wiring being any colour it feels like apart from blue or green and yellow.

Also be aware that you have to choose between many different strengths of electricity supply from 3kW up to 36kW depending on how many electrical appliances you intend to use and whether or not you intend on using them simultaneously. Once you have chosen then you can make a decision on what payment option you want to take advantage of, depending on the times during the day or night you intend to be using your electrical appliances. This can involve filling in a lengthy questionnaire and so on… and on…

It is also worth noting that in rural areas the electricity supply can suffer habitual short power cuts – any machine that relies on an uninterrupted power supply needs systems in place to avoid any difficulties that might arise.