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20 December 2018

For Christmas, act ecologically!


It is the last month of the year. With cold weather settling in, let us all remember that we have a responsibility to limit our energy consumption. This is also very much linked to the discussions on purchasing power that have been at the core of the debates in France of the past few weeks! Indeed, reducing one’s energy consumption is not only necessary to fight climate change and improve French energy independency, but it also reduces the energy bill for consumers! Some energy efficiency measures require significant investments (insulating walls, changing heating systems) and can actually reduce energy saving. However, thanks to eco-actions, energy bills can be reduced easily as they only require changing your habits.

Eco-actions are the common actions of everyday life motivated by the consideration of sustainable development: reducing the heating of unused rooms, using public transport instead of a private car, or even… switching off Christmas tree lights when you leave home! Here are some tips for spending a climate-friendly and economical Christmas, without restricting yourself:
Turn the heater to frost-free mode and turn off the water heater if you are celebrating Christmas at your parents-in-law’s house;
Do not leave your devices on standby: disconnect your chargers or your TV… Keep only the essential electrical appliances plugged, your fridge for example;
Use garlands with low-energy light bulbs to light up your Christmas tree;
Put a lid on your pots and pans when you cook the Christmas feast;
Do not overheat your home or guests’ rooms to avoid disturbing their sleep: they will thank you for it. Indeed, lowering the temperature of your home from 21°C to 20°C saves 7% of energy consumption.

Eco-actions that relieve the electrical system

Eco-actions are useful all the time, over the long term and for all energies. But they are even more important in the current context of peak demand in the electricity system. Electricity is very difficult to store, therefore electricity generation must equal consumption at all times. Peaks mostly occur in winter and uncontrolled electricity consumption could create unbalances in the electricity system. It is therefore particularly useful to limit or postpone one’s consumption to moments when the overall electricity demand at national level is less important.

Collective mobilization for a peaceful winter

RTE, the French Transmission System Operator in charge of the security of the electricity system, has developed for several years the free App Eco2mix. This platform offers public access to a multitude of data on the French electricity system. This app also alerts users on the status of the electricity system. In case of peak periods, users will be notified and encouraged to control their electricity consumption through eco-actions, such as delaying the start of washing machines. This was the case in South France last week, for example, when RTE activated this system to encourage the local population to limit its consumption between 6pm and 8pm. Some electricity suppliers have also developed similar information systems that send a message to their customers in case of critical periods, making them aware of eco-actions. Adding small individual actions can reduce French electricity consumption by 2 to 3%, which could be decisive for all French people to have a great holiday season.

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The Union of the French Electricity Industry is the trade association of the French electricity sector. We bring together companies from the whole value chain of the electricity industry.

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