(Montel) France will force commercial premises such as shops and offices to switch off lights as part of new measures aimed at cutting power demand, energy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Wednesday.
The measures, which also included subsidies to help people install thermostats and the promotion of working from home, would make it mandatory for commercial premises to limit the use of lighting to one hour before opening time and one hour after, she added in a statement.
Even though it was in a “much better position” than at the same time last year, the country had “to continue to reduce energy consumption… to avoid load shedding or power cuts”.
Adjusted for weather differences, French power and gas demand was down around 12% year on year after the government urged households to limit heating to 19C, which was a response to fears of an EU energy supply squeeze due to the fallout from the Ukraine war.
The government also wanted to cut energy consumption by 10% compared with 2019 levels by the end of 2024 and by 40% by 2050 to achieve carbon neutrality.
Such targets would be included in new legislation due by the end of the year to map out the country’s energy policy for the next 10 years, the minister added.
French power prices were likely to extend losses over the coming winter due to demand “destruction”, Emeric de Vigan, head of power at Kpler consultancy, said last week.