Without Russian gas and with many nuclear reactors shut down, the government is trying to prepare for winter. This Thursday, October 6, Elisabeth Borne and eight other members of the executive must present the "sobriety plan". Objective: a 10% reduction in energy consumption compared to 2019, and by 2024.
Half a century after the first oil shock, the French, households and businesses alike, will have to relearn how to reduce their electricity consumption during peak hours, in the morning and in the evening, and to burn less gas throughout the winter, to save the reserves which are full but will not suffice. “This sobriety plan is a long-term voluntary plan that starts from the ground and which is intended to be irreversible”, said Wednesday the Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, before the deputies. "It mobilizes first and foremost large companies, large local authorities and obviously the State, because the effort must come first of all from those who have the most means and those who have the most impact".
Among the ten measures planned is the famous maintenance of the indoor temperature at 19°C for private companies and public administrations. It could be lowered by a further degree in the administrative buildings, in the event of an emergency. An envelope of 150 million euros will be released for thermal renovation work. The executive also provides for a bonus of 100 euros from January 1, 2023 for each new registrant on a carpooling platform. However, the Ministry of Transport indicated, Wednesday evening, that the amount was not yet fixed, and that it would only be part of a plan on carpooling presented in the coming weeks.
Mentioned several times since the start of the school year, the government also wishes to encourage companies that can to arrange the working time of their employees for teleworking. This would involve limiting travel and reducing heating in offices. According to an evaluation by the Ecological Transition Agency, this measure would allow a 19% energy saving for companies, provided that all employees are teleworking on the same day. However, to be effective, teleworking should take place on the same days. "It is enough for one or two employees to come to the office, so that the energy gain is no longer so obvious", explained to L'Express Lamis Aljounaidi, infrastructure economist and director of Paris infrastructure Advisory. Especially since a postponement of energy consumption is foreseeable on the household account.
The Ministry of the Public Service will also announce a 15% increase in telework compensation for agents: it would go from 2.50 to 2.88 euros per day. The government wants companies to do the same. Another measure envisaged for civil servants: to encourage them to reduce their speed by car. A moderation applicable to those who will drive during their working hours with their company vehicle.
The administration wants to be "exemplary". Hot water will therefore be cut off in the toilets of the administration buildings, except in the showers. In the world of sport and local communities, one degree less in swimming pools will be required, and two degrees in gymnasiums.
As for public lighting, the government intends to reduce it, especially in the streets. A measure already widely adopted in France where many large cities have decided to turn off earlier, or even not to light some of their monuments. This is the case in Rennes, with the extinction of heritage buildings, in Paris where the Eiffel Tower only shines until 11 p.m., as for public buildings and monuments in Strasbourg. Many municipalities have, for their part, decided to cut off the lighting from 10 or 11 p.m. This is the case for 240 municipalities (out of 260) in the department of Vienne, as reported by our colleagues from France 3.
For companies, there is no longer any question of leaving the signs on all night. A decree was published this Thursday, October 6 to generalize to the whole country the extinction of store lights between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. This ban has until now been subject to exemptions depending on the size of the conurbation. Finally, the executive is launching a major communication campaign with the aim of reminding that "every gesture counts". An energy forecast should thus appear in television programs, to inform the French of the days of tension on the network.