Consuming less energy to "increase purchasing power", respond to "energy sovereignty issues", while "reducing greenhouse gas emissions". A winning equation acclaimed by environmental associations in recent years, but not only... On Sunday June 26, the bosses of the French energy groups Engie, EDF and TotalEnergies published a column in the JDD, pleading for an "immediate" effort , collective and massive" in order to take this turn towards sobriety.
A call for general mobilization to which Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, subscribed the next day on BFM-TV: "There is no alternative to energy sobriety, it is necessary". However, so that this imperative does not turn into wishful thinking, some practical measures can be quickly adopted by everyone, individuals or professionals to reduce the tension on the consumption of oil, electricity and gas.
"An emergency measure". It is with these words that a report by the International Energy Agency qualified a few months ago the need for its member countries to reduce their demand for oil. According to their analyses, and in the face of soaring current prices, close to three million barrels of oil could thus be saved each day, whereas world consumption is currently equivalent to around 100 million barrels per day. These 3 million barrels/day represent more than the quantities of Russian oil that Europe wants to do without by the end of the year. The savings levers are known:
Reviewing the way you move is at the heart of the measures recommended by the IAE. The most efficient, in terms of energy, is the introduction of three days of teleworking per week when remote working is possible: 500,000 barrels per day could thus be saved across the Agency's member countries thanks to this organization. In addition to avoiding journeys, the area needed per job would decrease, and therefore the energy consumed in the offices associated with it.
When using your vehicle remains essential, it is possible to act directly on your level of fuel consumption. Encouraging carpooling during journeys outside the city, ensuring that the vehicle is well maintained -by frequently checking tire pressure, for example- or even minimizing the use of air conditioning makes it possible to avoid, in aggregate, burning up to 470,000 barrels of oil per day. More politically sensitive, reducing the speed from 130 km/h to 110 km/h on the highway, and generalizing the 80 km/h on the national roads would save up to 60% of what France imported in Russian oil before the crisis, according to calculations by the firm Carbone 4. Gestures which also drastically lower the bill when going to the gas pump.
Electricity is everywhere: in the street, at home, in the office... So much so that it is easy to forget certain expenses as they are an integral part of the landscape. Since 1960, household spending on electricity has increased by 9.0% per year, on average, according to INSEE. The savings levers to be activated are obviously multiple. Among those who can change the situation, the transition from an incandescent or halogen bulb to a so-called LED bulb makes it possible to divide electricity consumption by eight or even ten, according to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency. (Ademe). LEDs also last longer, resulting in energy savings in the production process of these same bulbs.
Vigilance should be exercised with regard to devices that remain plugged in. If getting into the habit of turning off electronic, household appliances and audiovisual equipment rather than leaving them on standby can be painful the first few days, the effort is quickly rewarded. These gestures save up to 10% of the electricity bill, excluding heating, according to Ademe.
Longer but less energy-consuming: the "eco" mode of washing machines or dishwashers. On average, 80% of the electricity consumed when running a machine is used to heat water. So, the shorter the cycle, the more intense the amount of energy will have to be delivered to heat up quickly and spin just as fast. And running your laundry during off-peak hours also allows you to take advantage of lower prices.
When there are a large number of electrical devices and the area concerned is very large, it can be a good idea to invest in home automation tools. This makes it possible to analyze its consumption almost in real time, but also to automate certain tasks to make them more efficient: turning off all appliances at a certain time, detecting excessive consumption or lowering the blinds in summer to preserve interior softness. ..On average, count 15% less expenses according to EDF. These smart tools, some of which can automatically reduce heating or household consumption when prices are high, could generate between 2 and 4.5 billion euros in savings per year on the scale of a country like France, according to the company Voltalia.
For our body, the ideal temperature is not necessarily the one in which we feel the most comfortable. According to the doctors, it is necessary to ensure that the domestic temperature does not exceed 19° in the living rooms. In the other rooms, the temperatures can drop: 17°C in the bathroom when not in use, 16°C in the bedroom, and finally 14°C in rooms that are not very busy, such as the cellar for example, according to Ademe recommendations. Reducing the temperature of its habitat by one degree over a period of twelve months would save the equivalent volume of a dozen LNG carriers for France, according to Engie. And for individuals, to significantly lower their bill. Contrary to popular belief, ventilating the habitat facilitates the evacuation of humidity and, in doing so, also makes it possible to consume less energy. Of course, ventilation must be done with the heating off.
In addition to heating - which according to Ademe represents 81.5% of gas consumption in French homes - natural gas is also used for the use of domestic hot water (11.5%) and cooking (6 .9%). Two positions on which the individual can also act. Several reflexes can be adopted easily: lowering the temperature of the tank saves energy while increasing the durability of the hot water tank. With regard to the kitchen, systematically cover pots and pans, choose utensils with a size adapted to the hotplates, regularly clean the burners of the gas cooker or even use the appropriate accessories, for example a pressure cooker rather than a saucepan for cooking vegetables provides significant savings.
Between the 2020 environmental regulations and aid to encourage energy renovation work, the government is relying heavily on the rapid insulation of buildings. If the work, and the associated costs, can cool goodwill, the results are generally the key: insulating the attic allows, on average, to reduce its consumption by 27%. In four years, the investments become profitable according to EDF. When it comes to windows, choosing double glazing means saving more than 15%.