SMEs help local authorities cut their electricity bills

Public lighting accounts for almost 40% of electricity consumption by local authorities, according to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe). In some municipalities, energy costs will have risen by 50% by 2022. To cope with these soaring prices, public authorities are no longer hesitating to call on SMEs to help them lower their electricity bills.

Part of local authority bills paid by the State

The French government has announced new measures to help local authorities cope with soaring energy bills.

These players will be able to benefit from the "electricity shock absorber" scheme, which aims to cover part of their electricity bill. According to Bruno Le Maire, the scheme will apply to business contracts covering the period up to 2023, including those already signed. In concrete terms, the State will cover 50% of the difference between the price of the company's contract and a reference price set at around 325 euros per MW, capped at 800 euros per MWh.

The government also pointed out that European negotiations undertaken to " bring electricity prices down to a level consistent with production costs ", the tariff shield from which 30,000 communes already benefit, the 210-million-euro increase in the global operating allowance (DGF) and the safety net are already in place or in the pipeline.

Tailor-made solutions for elected representatives

Aware of the potential of this market, more and more SMEs are looking to lighten the bill for elected representatives. Among them, Sunna Design offers an alternative to lighting urban areas with autonomous, interconnected solar street lamps. Bordeaux has tested this solution in a district where the streetlights in use are energy-hungry and inefficient. The Gironde-based SME has forecast sales of 9 million euros for 2021, and is set to double this year. According to Ademe, public lighting accounts for around 40% of local authority electricity expenditure.

Almost half of all mayors now say they are prepared to install solar panels to cut costs and make public buildings more efficient. These are the findings of an IFOP survey conducted on behalf of Hellio, a specialist in energy savings.


In addition to solar energy, local authorities are also interested in wind power, geothermal energy and renewable hydrogen. Laurent Favreau, mayor of Venansault, has turned to Lhyfe, which presents itself as a producer and supplier of hydrogen whose production emits no CO2. Based in Nantes, the company built its first industrial production site in the Vendée region, powered by wind turbines. It recently inaugurated the first pilot site for the production of renewable hydrogen from wind turbines on land. This site enables the company to produce renewable green hydrogen at sea in extreme conditions, with its production unit installed on a floating platform.