Water boilers are temporarily idle: the operator forces the French to save electricity - with success

In France, a grid operator is taking drastic steps to force its customers to save energy: hot water boilers are simply switched off centrally for two hours a day.

Water boilers are temporarily idle: the operator forces the French to save electricity - with success

In France, a grid operator is taking drastic steps to force its customers to save energy: hot water boilers are simply switched off centrally for two hours a day. This saves enormous amounts of electricity. That's why the frustration is apparently largely absent.

In France, the announcement that the hot water boilers of millions of households would be switched off at times of the day when electricity consumption was high had caused a stir in order to save energy. The measure has now turned out to be a great success, said the electricity network operator Enedis, according to the newspaper "Le Parisien".

For a month and a half, the boilers of 4.3 million mostly private customers have not heated up hot water between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. According to Enedis, this would have saved 2.4 gigawatts of power, which corresponds to the output of two nuclear power plants or the consumption of 2.4 million people. In the crisis winter, the measure could help to avoid power cuts. 26 of France's 56 nuclear power plants are currently off the grid for maintenance and repairs, the concern being that there may not be enough power at peak times.

Those who already have an automatic electricity meter, called "Linky", installed and have an electricity contract with different tariffs for off-peak and peak consumption times are affected by the savings measure. It is then impossible to generate hot water between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. However, since there is a large supply of hot water in the boiler, this does not usually mean that there will be no hot water at that time. However, the boiler only heats up new water the following night when power consumption is low.

The measure should run until mid-April. The "Linky" electricity meter not only transmits consumption data, but can also receive the command from a distance not to heat up the hot water reservoir at certain times. So far, there have been few complaints since the start of the measure, Enedis said.

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