Energy savings, heating in the line of sight

Sobriety, yes, but sobriety “chosen”. Rather than coercion, the government wants to rely on “consultation” to reduce the country’s energy consumption by 10% over the next two years. Distilled for several days in the press, his plan of attack was detailed with great fanfare at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris on Thursday, October 6.

Nine ministers followed one another for several hours in order to detail how the State intends to reduce France’s energy consumption this winter. In the range of about fifteen key measures, all-out heat “hunting” figures prominently.

Make the state “exemplary”

As such, the state wants to be “exemplary”. It owns a third of the building stock in the tertiary sector. The Minister for the Public Service, Stanislas Guerini, announced 150 million additional euros so that no boiler renovation projectdeployment of smart thermostats is blocked”.

In the administrations, the hot water will be cut off in the toilets (except in the showers and water points for the household) when the conditions allow it. “The consumption of domestic hot water represents about 10% of the energy consumption of buildings”, advances the government.

19°C, a rule that remains to be applied

Alongside the State, representatives of employers, employees and several economic sectors “undertake” to raise awareness and apply the maximum heating temperature of 19°C in offices, a rule already set by the energy code. “You will tell me that it was in the law, but was it applied?, asks the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher. With this plan, by making it our common grammar, it will be. »

The 19°C rule has no “not intended to apply in certain premises, due to the nature of their activity, such as health establishments or crèches”, says the government.

Individuals will be encouraged to adopt eco-gestures by a campaign launched on October 10 on television, radio and social networks: regulate the heating and the water heater, switch off appliances on standby, install a programmable thermostat. But “there is no question of asking for additional efforts from the 12 million French people in a situation of fuel poverty”, had already specified the Minister.

Behind the energy emergency, the climate emergency

The crucial issue: reducing gas consumption, half of which is used to heat buildings, as well as electricity consumption. Faced with the war in Ukraine, the stated objective of the plan is to limit the risk of cuts and to strengthen energy sovereignty. Another goal is to reduce demand to bring down energy prices on the markets.

“There is an urgent need to act, the fight will not stop in the winter of 2022-2023”, declared Thursday Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who also insists on “the emergency for the planet”. France should indeed reduce its total energy consumption by 40% if it wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan will thus act as a “first step”.

Invest to make sobriety a collective practice

“Today, the government wants to encourage individual actions, which are importantanalyzes Benoît Leguet, member of the High Council for the Climate. But to achieve real sobriety, it will be necessary to transform all these gestures into collective practice. To draw a parallel: when you want to encourage people to take public transport, there must first be public transport. It requires investment. »

Energy consumption at the national level will be monitored week by week. The Climate Action Network (RAC), which has published proposals “for an effective plan”, calls for commitments to be accompanied by an obligation to “reporting” – ie communication on the results – by the actors who are involved. A first test of the new method of ” planning ” wanted by the government.


Mobility measures

The government also wants to encourage people to reduce fuel consumption.

Public officials will be encouraged to limit their speed at 110 km/h on the highway during their professional journeys.

At the same time, they will be encouraged to telecommute to reduce fuel consumption. The flat-rate telework allowance will be increased by 15% from the beginning of 2023.

The government also wants to promote carpooling by offering a “bonuses” for any new carpooler who registers on a platform.

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