Energy efficiency means reducing energy consumption (water, gas, electricity, etc.) without compromising living comfort. The French government launched an energy efficiency plan in the summer of 2022, with the aim of reducing consumption by 10% by 2024.

What is France’s energy efficiency plan? Who is it for? What measures has the government taken? How can you reduce your consumption? We explain it all!

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Published on 3 October 2023

Everything you need to know about France’s low-energy plan

In this article:

What is an energy efficiency plan?

Energy sobriety means prioritizing essential needs in collective and individual energy use through action. To put it simply, energy efficiency means rethinking the way we consume energy, at every level of society. The idea is not to stop all consumption and “go back to the candle”, but to be much more careful. These challenges are both economic and ecological, insofar as they help combat global warming.

To reduce household consumption and meet the government’s targets, a list of 15 measures has been drawn up. These will be published on October 6, 2022 and apply to all households and businesses. These 15 key measures are designed to combat waste and help manage energy consumption more effectively.

Why an energy efficiency plan?

The implementation of this plan takes place against a delicate political and ecological backdrop. The war in Ukraine is causing disruption to natural gas supplies. These difficulties could lead to network saturation during peak consumption periods. The conflict has also contributed to rising energy costs. On January1 and February1, 2023, natural gas and electricity prices rose by almost 15% each.

In addition, heatwaves, forest fires and drought are on the increase, accelerating global warming. The need to move away from carbon-based energies (oil, gas, coal) is becoming more pressing by the year.

Who’s concerned?

All businesses, households and local authorities are concerned by this plan. In fact, the measures were defined after consultation with several professional bodies such as the :

  • Local authorities and the State
  • Housing players
  • Companies and work organizations
  • Transport professionals
  • Establishments open to the public and commercial premises
  • Sports professions
  • Digital and telecommunications companies
  • Manufacturers.

The measures defined are recommendations to be implemented, under the slogan “Every gesture counts”.

What are the plan’s 15 key measures?

The government has drawn up a list of 15 measures for households, businesses and local authorities. These are divided into various categories:

For buildings :

  • Offices must be heated to no more than 19°C. At night, when the building is closed for more than three days, the temperature must be between 16°C and 8°C .

 

  • When outside temperatures permit, and whenever possible, stagger the start and end of heating periods by 15 days.

 

  • In the workplace, reduce the use of hot water except for those uses for which it is essential (e.g. showering). Where possible, managers will have the option of turning off the domestic hot water.

 

For transport :

  • Encourage carpooling. Any new carpooler who registers on a platform will receive a bonus of around €100. Whenever possible, use public transport rather than the car. And for journeys of less than four hours, take the train rather than the plane.

 

For the State :

  • On days when the electricity system is under heavy strain, when the Ecowatt signal is red, turn down the heating from 19°C to 18°C and work staggered hours.

 

  • Encourage telecommuting to reduce fuel consumption. At the beginning of 2023, to help agents cope with rising energy prices, they will benefit from a 15% increase in the fixed teleworking allowance.

 

  • On freeways, for non-urgent business trips, limit speed to 110km/h. In this way, you can reduce fuel consumption by 20%.

 

For local authorities :

  • Reduce electricity consumption linked to public lighting, which accounts for an average of 30% of a local authority’s electricity costs. Switch to LED lighting with automated control. This action will result in savings of 40 to 80%, with a return on investment of between 4 and 6 years.

 

  • Reduce heating of sports facilities. In other words, the national association of elected sports officials recommends lowering the temperature in gymnasiums by 2°C and in swimming pools by 1°C.

 

  • Limit the number of heated square meters by grouping public services in the most suitable premises, even if this means using them for longer periods of time.

For companies :

  • Turn off interior lighting when buildings are unoccupied, and reduce outdoor lighting, especially for advertising, to 1 a.m. at the latest. Control heating, air conditioning and ventilation, or group trips together and eliminate those that seem unnecessary. More than 30 CAC 40 companies have already signed up to this energy-saving plan.

 

For sports :

  • Reduce the lighting time before and after matches by almost 50% for daytime competitions, and by more than 30% for evening matches.

 

For the French population :

  • Introduction of a sobriety bonus to reward energy savings and lower bills. Households that succeed in controlling their energy costs will receive a bonus on their electricity and gas bills. Several energy suppliers are already offering this service
  • Assistance of up to €9,000 for the installation of a heat pump in an individual dwelling. Thanks to MaPrimeRénov’, you can save an average of €250 per apartment on the cost of connecting a multi-family dwelling to a heating network

Ecowatt, the weather forecast for electricity

The Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE) and the Agence de la transition écologique (ADEME), has set up a kind of electricity weather forecast, called Écowatt. This totally free service allows any consumer to :

  • Knowing the voltage level of the French power grid
  • Choosing the best time to recharge electrical equipment
  • Know when to reduce electricity consumption (especially when consumption peaks in winter).
  • Find out what you can do to reduce your energy consumption
  • Be alerted in the event of a power cut

What financial assistance is available?

To encourage households to save energy, the French government has set up a number of subsidies as part of this energy-saving plan. These financial arrangements differ from one subject to another.

For accommodation :

  • When replacing heating equipment, households are eligible for financial assistance (MaPrimeRenov’, prime CEE, etc.). For the installation of an efficient heating system, assistance can be granted up to €15,000 for a pellet stove and up to €9,000 for a heat pump.
  • The French government offers assistance of up to €65 per household for the installation of a programmer on an existing boiler.

For mobility :

  • From the 1stst On January 1, 2023, a bonus of around €100 will be distributed to anyone registering on a car-sharing platform. This bonus is granted for daily or long-distance journeys.

Reduce your energy bill:

  • Some energy suppliers offer bonuses to households that manage to control and reduce their energy consumption.

These grants will enable households to take the plunge and purchase energy-efficient equipment. What’s more, there are other ways to reduce energy consumption in buildings and homes. There are devices specially designed to meet the requirements of the energy efficiency plan.

How can you reduce energy costs?

There are a number of devices that can be used to ensure that buildings are energy-efficient and thus reduce bills, such as sensors and detectors from Nexelec. With their cutting-edge technologies, Nexelec products detect temperature,humidity, heat, presence and brightness. These automatically and continuously measure and analyze the ambient parameters of enclosed spaces. By purchasing one of these appliances, you can act accordingly, reduce your energy bill and help reduce the environmental impact of your buildings.

1 year on, where do we stand?

On a national scale, taking into account weather and climate effects, electricity and gas consumption between August 2022 and June 2023 decreased. In fact, there has been a drop of over 12% compared with the same period 2018-2019 (before the COVID-19 virus).

Gas consumption (excluding gas-fired power plants) fell by 17% and electricity by 8%. These figures cover all business sectors combined. This reduction in energy consumption has been beneficial in the fight against global warming. In the fourth quarter of 2022, greenhouse gases fell by 8.5%. The building sector has been particularly marked, with a reduction of almost 15% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2022.

The aim of the energy efficiency plan is to reduce energy consumption by households, businesses and local authorities. The government has drawn up 15 key measures to achieve a 10% reduction in energy consumption by 2024. Since the introduction of these measures, many establishments and companies have been playing along. A report published on the French government’s website shows that the actions implemented have helped to reduce greenhouse gases and energy costs. Nexelec has a wide range of sensors and detectors to help you minimize your energy costs.