The French seem to have taken the energy sobriety measures on their own. Unless other factors explain the drop in energy consumption observed last week.
Energy consumption continued to decline last week, according to data provided on Tuesday, November 22, by RTE, the manager of the French electricity transmission network.
After a 5.4% drop last week, the French consumed -5.8% energy last week compared to the average for previous years (2014-2019).
Over the last month, the drop is -6.5% on average in France while the government hopes for a drop of -10% in consumption in the country for the next two years.
No voltage on the network at the end of the year
According to RTE, these reductions ensure network stability at least for the end of the year, but the manager recalls that “the risk of tensions is higher in January, due to the slower than expected restart of EDF’s nuclear reactors” .
What are the reasons for this drop?
Should we see, in this continuous decline, the effects of the energy sobriety plan put in place by the government? RTE indicates that “the downward effect in the residential and tertiary sector exists”. But, according to the network manager, it is especially “in the industrial sector, in a context of rising energy prices”, that the decline is the most significant.
The drop in consumption could be explained by the mild weather at the start of autumn, one of the hottest in history in France. But, RTE indicates that “the published data have been aligned with normal temperatures for the period and are independent of the exceptionally mild values recorded in France in October and November”.
Finally, beyond these considerations, this drop in French consumption could also be explained by high inflation. Heating will be one of the items that will have the greatest impact on household budgets this winter and some could simply be victims of sobriety.