10 effective actions to reduce energy consumption

FIGARO TOMORROW – While the health crisis is putting the French electricity network to the test, all stakeholders have an interest in the French reducing their consumption. Why and how to achieve it?

The demand for electricity around the world is expected to increase in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The State, like energy suppliers, is therefore encouraging the French to reduce their consumption.

Why reduce the energy consumption of individuals?

The Electricity Transmission Network (RTE) calls on everyone to adopt energy saving measures to avoid cuts. Even if it ensures that it has enough levers, the network is now under tension because, in addition to the, multiple maintenance operations of nuclear reactors were suspended or postponed during the first containment. As a result, the organization of the electricity network is shaken up and the nuclear power available this winter is reduced. In France, nuclear power is the primary source of electricity production and consumption. RTE warns that in February, and particularly at the end of the month, tensions will be greatest because new reactor shutdowns are planned. The weather will have a decisive impact, but also the demand of the French.

Thus, to reduce consumption and avoid the blackout, this year the government has entrusted the management of the demand response service to energy suppliers. The erasure consists of “for an operator to ask consumers to reduce their consumption for a given time against payment», Explains a spokesperson for RTE. Energy suppliers therefore have a financial interest in reducing the consumption of their customers.

Individuals also have an interest in reducing their consumption to lower their energy bill. This amounts to 1,552 euros per year on average and represents 9% of the household budget, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Ecological Transition. But with the two confinements, this constrained expenditure item tends to increase for individuals. The French indeed spend more time at home: they heat their homes all day, use their screens more, cook more …

Besides a financial advantage, reducing your energy consumption is also a way to fight against global warming from your home. In fact, housing is the first energy consumer in France: it emits 19% of greenhouse gases, according to the Ecological Transition Agency (Ademe). It therefore represents one of the greatest potential for reducing emissions. The Ecological Transition Agency estimates that to achieve the objectives set by public policies for 2050, the French will have to consume half the energy, while continuing to live comfortably in their homes. “The energy and ecological transition desired by all can only be achieved if everyone is mobilized, at all levels“, Thus indicates the Agency in its study entitled”Ecological and energy transition, what lifestyles in 2030-2050?»

The State has in fact committed itself to achieving, which amounts to dividing by six greenhouse gas emissions compared to the 1990 level. To achieve this ambitious objective, the government has put in place a low national strategy. carbon (SNBC). Among the measures recommended, the reduction in energy consumption of the French figures prominently. In fact, the cleanest energy is the one that is not consumed! Conversely, the higher the national energy consumption, the more the most carbon-intensive energy sources are used. Indeed, electricity cannot be stored on a large scale, a given electric park is therefore more or less in demand depending on demand. Thus, to meet the demand for energy in France, the French distribution network primarily seeks renewable energies – the production of which would be lost if it were not consumed – then nuclear power plants – at low marginal costs – then come thermal power stations (coal, gas, even fuel oil). The latter thus produce electricity during peaks in consumption, but are more polluting and cost more. This is why during these peaks in demand, RTE favors a reduction in consumption by users. But how do you get there?

Effective actions to reduce your electricity consumption

  • Lower the temperature

Lowering the temperature in your home is the most effective gesture to reduce consumption since it represents more than two-thirds of a household’s energy consumption, according to Ademe. However, habits are not moving towards greater energy sobriety in this area since we are heating our homes more and more: in 25 years, the temperature of homes in winter has increased by 2 ° C.

However, increasing the heating from 20 ° C to 19 ° C would reduce energy consumption by 7%.

  • Change your bulbs for low consumption

Lighting is 12% of our electricity consumption. Thanks to the gradual disappearance of incandescent bulbs, the energy consumption of this station should decrease.

  • Turn off unnecessary lights

«If all French households turned off a light bulb, it would save the consumption of a city like Toulouse.», Recalls RTE, the network manager.

  • Switch off your devices in standby

The recommendations are to install a multi-socket switch to turn off devices on standby unnecessarily. According to Ademe, between 300 and 500 kWh per year and per household are consumed unnecessarily and are the consequence of putting the various devices in the home on standby. This has the effect of increasing the annual electricity bill by 10%.

  • Reduce the number of household appliances

The consumption of our household appliances is exploding. There has been a 75% increase since 1990. Even though the devices are more efficient, “we have more and more of it, and more and more powerful, without always making economical use of it. For example, a television twice the size consumes four times the electricity», Underlines the Agency for the Ecological Transition.

  • Cover pans while cooking

This simple gesture makes it possible to consume 4 times less electricity or gas.

  • Defrost your fridge

The objective is thus to relieve the devices and reduce their electricity consumption.

  • Bleed the radiators before winter

Bleeding a radiator aims to eliminate the air accumulated in the installation. The water circulates better inside the pipes and radiators, the heat is distributed better and the rooms are heated more quickly. Ideal temperatures are reached faster and energy consumption is reduced.

  • Wash your laundry at 30 ° C

This action simultaneously saves energy and preserves your laundry.

  • Set the water heater to 60 ° C

By adjusting the temperature of the water tank or your water heater to 60 ° is a way to limit energy and water consumption. Specialists attest that 60 ° C is sufficient to meet the needs as long as the water heater is not too far from the bathrooms.

The State, Ademe, RTE as well as energy suppliers are deploying various strategies to encourage the French to implement these less energy-consuming behaviors. RTE has extended its device called “” to all of France (it was initially only present in Brittany and the South region). This website allows you to find out about the network situation in your region and to get advice on how to optimize your electricity consumption.

Local authorities are also making a commitment, notably by setting up “positive energy families”Via collective challenges to encourage each other to reduce its energy consumption. The Permanent Center for Environmental Initiatives (CPIE) in Brenne-Berry recently launched the Energy Challenge.

Suppliers are also mobilizing. Total Direct Energie is deploying a communication campaign to encourage its customers to consume less on days of high tension by sending SMS messages the day before peak consumption days. The Total subsidiary has also created a “social network»Where its clients encourage each other to take actions via, among other things, challenges as well. For its part, the company Voltalis offers a box that allows it to cut off the heating in phases of 10 minutes during peaks, with savings on household electricity bills. About 100,000 homes are already equipped. Agregio, an EDF subsidiary, offers the same service to local authorities, as does Flexcity (Veolia). It remains to be seen whether this mobilization will be enough to avoid power cuts this winter.

SEE ALSO – Should we fear power cuts this winter?