How are companies anticipating soaring energy prices?

Élisabeth Borne has called on companies to save energy. But most of them have not waited for the Prime Minister's declarations to take the plunge. Here's an overview of the solutions being considered by small and medium-sized businesses to tackle the energy crisis and anticipate soaring energy prices.

1. Do not heat above 19 degrees

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has called on companies to step up their efforts to reduce energy consumption.

"I call on each company to draw up its own sobriety plan in September," she called for during her speech at the Medef summer university.

More specifically, the executive aims to achieve a 10% reduction in energy consumption in France by 2024.

The simplest measure for companies is to limit the temperature in buildings to 19 degrees, whereas the norm is usually 21 or 22 degrees. ADEME also recommends checking that equipment intermittences and ambient temperature levels are correctly programmed in commercial buildings. This should be 16 degrees in rooms unoccupied for less than 2 days, and 8 degrees in rooms unoccupied for more than 2 days.

2. Reduce consumption of IT equipment

To reduce their electricity consumption, many companies have already adopted a few simple measures, such as setting their computers to standby mode, switching off screens completely at night, and preferring laptops, which consume 50-80% less power than fixed workstations. Reducing IT consumption also means using fewer multifunction devices.

3. Master the use of e-mail

Sending 20 e-mails a day pollutes as much as driving 100 km in a car. It is therefore essential to control the use of e-mail. To this end, employees should avoid sending heavy attachments, limit the number of recipients, avoid storing too many messages, and regularly sort and clean their inbox.

4. Reduce lighting

Businesses are advised toswitch off interior lighting at night, at weekends and during closed periods. Outdoor lighting, especially advertising lighting, should also be limited by switching it off at 1 a.m. at the latest.

5. Increase the use of teleworking

Companies could consider telecommuting this winter to save energy by avoiding the need to light and heat office buildings. However, the government has ruled out making this a general rule.

"It's essential that this be left to the discretion of the company," Éric Chevée, vice-president of the Confédération des petites et moyennes entreprises (CPME), told Le Parisien newspaper.

While telecommuting may soon be strongly recommended, it will not necessarily be welcomed by employees who currently benefit from the tariff shield.