The news was announced proudly at the beginning of the summer. The first sector to respond to the government’s call for sobriety, mass distribution had agreed on a plan to deal with the energy crisis this winter, under the aegis of Perifem, the Technical Federation of Large Distribution.
The measures were to be put in place no later than this Saturday, October 15. Among the signatories: brands such as Auchan, Leclerc, Carrefour, Casino or even System U. In the process, several non-food brands followed suit.
Cold, 50% of energy consumption
What does this map contain? Dim the lighting by half before the public arrives; decrease in heating temperature; closing of the exterior doors of the stores; cutting of ventilation at night and the very symbolic extinction of illuminated signs after closing. Some high-consumption uses, such as ice production, may also be postponed.
According to Perifem, the electricity bill represented a little less than a third of the net income of the brands before the recent surges in energy costs. “Half of consumption is linked to the production of coldlist Thierry Cotillard, president of Perifem. Air conditioning and heating represent 18%, and lighting 14%. » He hopes that all the measures announced can lead to a 6% reduction in consumption in stores.
Other measures could be implemented in the event of tension on the network, like the reduction of lighting when customers are present and the reduction of heating to 17°C.
In fact, stores should not radically transform overnight. “We first worked on a guide for stores with a number of recommendationsexplains Thierry Desouches, spokesperson for System U. The measures have gradually been put in place in recent weeks. »
With pitfalls? “Most of the measures announced remain relatively simple gestures to implement.continues Thierry Desouches. But going further in energy savings could require some stores to change equipment that requires heavy investment. » Among others: door refrigerators, much less energy-intensive than open fridges in stores and whose cost can rise to several hundred thousand euros.
“Our Système U stores are for the most part well equipped and are in good financial health, explains Thierry Desouche. But we must not deny that for some, initiating such investments could prove difficult, all the more so in a period when operating costs are going to explode. » Perifem estimates that 30% of French super or hypermarkets are not equipped with it.
race for sobriety
Displaying themselves as good students, some brands have displayed more ambitious measures, or at least more precise, than those provided for in the agreement signed in July. Auchan has therefore set the heating temperature at 18°C and lowered the temperature of the domestic hot water. Leclerc had announced on September 12 the reduction of lighting in the presence of the public and the lowering of the heating temperature by 1°C. Over the next two years, the sector as a whole is aiming for a 10% reduction in energy consumption to align with the government objective.