Bad weather: you’re out of power, here’s how to get a replacement

1.2 million homes were cut off after storm Ciaran hit north-west France on the night of 1/2 November. More than two weeks later, several thousand homes are still in the dark. Power is slow to be restored, especially when trees have fallen on the power grid or poles have fallen.

Compensation for long outages

From 2021, the regulations provide for a flat-rate compensation mechanism in the event of a long power outage. In detail, this device concerns “any interruption of power lasting more than 5 hours due to a fault in the public distribution network managed by the distribution network operator, including emergency events” according to the meeting of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) of January 21, 2021 (Annex 7 – Incentive regulation of electricity quality).

The compensation system is triggered after 5 consecutive hours of power failure. Its amount is set at 2 euros per kVA (kilovolt-ampere) of written-off power for 5 hours of outage. For a 9 kVA power contract, the recommended power for housing is between 80 and 120 m2: the compensation is 18 euros for all installments. The compensation increases to EUR 3.50 without tax if the subscribed power is higher than 36 kVA. Please note that the limit is set to 40 slices, which represents 8 days and 8 hours of downtime. The total amount is paid directly by the electricity manager to the energy supplier, who then deducts it from the customer’s bill.


Storms Ciaran and Domingos: insurers estimate damage costs at 1.3 billion euros

General restrictions or specific to your home

In addition, there are two types of failures. A power outage may be specific to your home at first. This is then either connected to consumption overload – too many electronic devices are connected at the same time; or a short circuit – the cause is a faulty appliance or electrical outlet. In these two cases, you need to look at the circuit breaker on the electrical panel: if it is at 0, the power failure is specific to that house. If it’s on 1 and you don’t have power: it’s a general outage, meaning it affects your entire building, your neighborhood, your city, etc.

If the fault is general, you must report it to the Enedis fault service on 09 726 750 XX, the last two digits correspond to your department numbers. Page Enedis – Power outages provides information about power outages in real time. Unless it is load shedding, i.e. voluntary disconnection by the Electricity Transport Network (RTE) on parts of the network when consumption is too high. Generally, this type of outage lasts for two hours. To be notified of load shedding, it is possible to register on a dedicated list on the Ecowatt website.

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