Paris, France --- (METERING.COM) --- September 2, 2009 - Residential customer switching in France’s energy markets has slowed, increasing by 18 percent in the electricity market and by 15 percent in the gas market in quarter 2 of 2009, compared with rates of 26 percent in the electricity market and 22 percent in the gas market in quarter 1 of 2009 and 34 percent in both markets in the last quarter of 2008.
 
In its latest Electricity and Gas Market Observatory, the French regulator, Commission de Régulation de l’Énergie (CRE), reports that at June 30, 2009 a total of 1.035 million electricity customers and 586,000 gas customers had switched suppliers since the market was opened in July 2007.

This compares with 875,000 electricity customers and 508,000 gas customers who had switched suppliers at March 31, 2009, and 692,000 electricity customers and 416,000 gas customers who had switched suppliers at December 31, 2009.

There are a total of 29.6 million electricity customers and 10.8 million gas customers.

Switching by non-residential customers, however, remained fairly constant during the second quarter of 2009. At June 30, just over four and a half years after market opening for these customers, 359,000 electricity customers and 105,000 gas customers had chosen an alternative supplier. This compares with 356,000 non-residential electricity customers and 101,000 non-residential gas customers that had switched suppliers at March 31, 2009, and 354,000 non-residential electricity customers and 96,000 non-residential gas customers that had switched suppliers at December 31, 2009.

In total 9 percent of non-residential electricity customers (accounting for 12 percent of total consumption) and 15 percent of non-residential gas customers (accounting for 18 percent of total consumption) have now chosen an alternative supplier.

During quarter 2 of 2009, alternative suppliers were responsible for 31 percent of all gas connections (both residential and non residential) and 7 percent of all electricity connections.

About 160 local suppliers, including the incumbent suppliers, were active in France at June 30, 2009. These suppliers operate locally or regionally and offer contracts to one or more segments of customers.