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21 December 2016

For Christmas, let us be eco-friendly!


Decreasing our energy consumption matters for several reasons: it contributes to fighting against climate change, improving France’s energy independence and lower the energy bill at the individual level! Some energy efficiency measures require important investments (wall insulation, change of heating systems, etc.) that may hold back the development of energy efficiency. Yet, there are several ways to make savings on our energy bills only by changing some of our habits: let us be eco-friendly!

Simple eco-friendly actions can be implemented in our daily lives to take into account sustainable development, such as reducing the heat in unused rooms, take public transportation, or even turning off the lights of the Christmas tree before leaving the house. Here is some advice to spend a climate-friendly and economical Christmas:

• Put the heating system in frost protection mode and turn the boiler off if you go on holidays;
• Use garlands with low-consumption bulbs to light your house;
• Unplug the coffee machine between meals;
• Do not overheat the guest room to avoid disturbing their sleep: they will thank you.

Eco-friendly measures contribute to the energy system

Eco-friendly measures are useful all the time and in the long-run. But they are even more necessary in the current context of a tense electricity system.
As electricity cannot be fully stored, its generation must be equal to the consumption at all time, especially in winter when electricity consumption is at its highest. This year, about a dozen of nuclear power plants (out of 58) have been temporarily closed, either for maintenance operation reasons or for control purposes at the request of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). Uncontrolled consumption could bring additional tension to the electricity system. Limiting or shifting in time energy consumption can be particularly useful to reduce the national energy consumption peaks.

Collective mobilisation for a safe winter

France’s transmission system operator RTE, which is responsible for the security of the French electricity system, has put in place for several years now the free app Eco2mix. This platform gives everyone access to a variety of information on the French electricity system. Since the beginning of the December, this app has also been able to alert users on the state of the electricity system. The app notifies every user in case of tension to incentivize them to reduce their electricity consumption through simple eco-friendly measures, such as delaying the start of the washing machine for example. Several electricity suppliers have also set up information systems that send a message to their customers during critical periods, so as to sensitize them to these eco-friendly measures. The sum of all these little individual actions can reduce the French electricity consumption by 2 to 3%; and this could be key to ensure a merry Christmas to all.

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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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