The Government launches “act 2” of its energy sobriety plan for businesses

While France has reduced its energy consumption this winter, the government wants to continue this momentum. Admittedly, the mild temperatures, the awareness of climate change and the explosion in prices have largely contributed to lowering the use of electricity and gas.

If the public authorities are pleased that individuals, communities and professionals have taken the fold of energy sobriety, they are nevertheless launching “act 2” of their plan dedicated to this question. The objective remains the same: to reduce France’s energy consumption by 40% by 2050.

Gathered around the Minister of Energetic transitionAgnès Pannier-Runacher, the representatives of Afep (French association of private companies) indicated that they had made their employees aware of eco-gestures at 91%, regulated their heating at 90%, better controlled the lighting of their premises at 88% and organized telework at 71%. The optimization of travel and the use of “soft mobility” (cycling, carpooling, etc.) amount to 60%.

New measures

The Afep bringing together the large groups, the executive asked them to promote these sobriety measures with VSEs-SMEs (very small, small and medium-sized enterprises), suppliers, customers and partners with whom they work. Based on this initial assessment, Agnès Pannier-Runacher also asked companies to introduce new measures, particularly related to governance and management of energy consumption.

“Sobriety is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We must install it over time”, insisted the Minister. This would first result in setting quantified targets for reducing energy consumption, having them validated by internal bodies such as a board of directors, and publishing them on the Internet or on dedicated platforms.

The Roquelaure hotel also asked to work on two other measures with the social partners: the integration of an energy saving factor in teleworking, and the request to employees, during their working time and within the framework of their business trips, to drive at 110 km/h on the motorway. “That’s 3 minutes on a 50 km trip, but 20% less CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and fuel consumption”says the ministry.

In the same vein, the idea would be to reduce fuel consumption by promoting carpooling and “cleaner” means of transport while accelerating the transition of professional fleets. As summer approaches, a reminder shot has also been given on the use of ventilation and air conditionerthe latter should not be lit below 26°C.

Positive assessment of telework

A clarification which comes at a time when the first results of a five-month experiment (between November 2022 and March 2023) on the effects of teleworking have just been published. Driven by theAdeme (Ecological Transition Agency) and Ifpeb (French Institute for Building Performance), this study must calculate the energy savings in transport, about ten professional sites and the homes of about a hundred employees during the use of telework.

“The first results show (..) that the energy balance of telework is positive in most cases, and very positive in all cases when it is organized, and in particular when it is accompanied by the closure of a site over more than 48 hours”, says the ministry. Although the experiment is continuing, it therefore seems that the sobriety plan has already enabled an average energy saving of 20%, all uses combined, in the offices. The gain was even 38% on heating in November and December 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

In the accommodation of teleworkers, “the rebound effect” linked to an increase in energy consumption was 1.4 kilowatt-hours per day, a figure “very limited, particularly in view of the gains made on travel and offices”continues the Roquelaure hotel.

For the director general of Ifpeb, Christophe Rodriguez, “this study shows us that energy sobriety implies better consideration of use”. This is why it is necessary, according to him, “densify the spaces tertiary and put them to sleep as soon as possible, thinking in terms of an overall office-transportation-home balance. Repositioning the use and measurement of real performance are clearly key levers for drastically reducing energy consumption”. Ultimately, the objective is to organize the practice of telework as well as possible so that it generates more energy savings.

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