France/Adapting the functioning of local authorities to energy sobriety
Travel, digital use, teleworking, heating of public buildings... Rather than closing certain public services and penalizing users, the think tank Le Sens du Service Public recommends transforming daily life and adopting a sobriety plan in seven measures.
As local authorities face rising energy prices and have to adapt their policies to the climate transition, they must set an example in terms of energy consumption, according to the think tankthe climate transition, they must set an example in terms of energy consumption, according to the think tank Le Sens du Service Public. By calling on administrations to adapt their operations to sobriety, the group is following the lead of the government, which is expected to present itsthe government, which is expected to present its energy efficiency plan on September 22, 2022. The roadmap is ambitious: reduce energy consumption by 10% over the next two years compared to 2019. In a circular dated July 25, 2022, the Prime Minister asked the administrations to be exemplary.
The think tank recommends, for example, reducing the temperature of premises to 19 degrees andworkshops and storage areas to 16 degrees, to proceed with the thermal renovation ofbuildings (especially those open to the public), or to encourage mayors to use their powers to reduce the temperature of their buildings.Encourage mayors to use their police powers to prohibit the heating of terraces or illuminated signs.
But above all, succeeding in reducing the carbon footprint requires a transformation of the administration's daily routine: "to face the energy shortage announced this winter, we call on the administrations to set an example byWe are calling on administrations to set an example by preparing a plan of measures that will erase peak loads," explains the think tank in a press release. Plans that, while not affecting the continuity of activity of public services, must reduce "drastically" energy consumption. Rationalize, rather than close public services. The plan consists of seven measures. Starting with allowing voluntary agents to increase the number of days they telework to reduce fuel consumption. Telecommuting could be used more often when it allows offices to be closed (Fridays, Christmas vacations, etc.), or even imposed during periods of extreme cold when possible. To compensate for the heating at home of teleworkers, it would also be advisable to group together the agents present in order to reduce the heating of closed buildings
The Sense of Public Service also recommends cancelling all business travel for a period of at least one week and giving preference to video-conferencing. The use of digital tools should be reduced: disconnection at the end of the day, centralized shutdown of computers in the evening after a certain time...
The heating of public administrative buildings could be postponed until after the All Saints' vacation and turned off before the spring vacations. In addition, public lighting in buildings and streets could be turned off after 10:30 p.m. if possible, while taking into account locallocal particularities and provided that the feeling of safety is respected so as not to discourage night-time outings. Finally, rather than closing some pools, the water temperature could be lowered toFinally, rather than closing some pools, the water temperature could be lowered to 25 degrees and the air temperature to 26 degrees, in order to reduce the energy bill.