French Energy Heads Call For 'Immediate' Reduction In Consumption

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

French Energy Heads Call For 'Immediate' Reduction In Consumption

In a rare tribune cowritten in the Journal du Dimanche, the heads of TotalEnergies, EDF and Engie have called on the French to “immediately” reduce their consumption of fuel, oil, electricity and gas in the face of shortages and soaring prices which threaten “social cohesion” next winter.

“The effort must be immediate, collective and massive. Every gesture counts,” said the joint forum by Patrick Pouyanné (TotalEnergies), Jean-Bernard Levy (EDF) and Catherine MacGregor (Engie). “Acting this summer will allow us to be better prepared to tackle next winter and, in particular, to preserve our gas reserves.”

The three competitors are “committed to actively collaborating” and seek a “major energy efficiency program” and a “national waste hunt.” The trio said that soaring energy prices ‘threaten our social and political cohesion and have a too heavy impact on the purchasing power of families.”

Despite a drop in Russian gas deliveries, France is looking to fill its gas reserves 100% by the beginning of autumn.

“The best energy remains that which we do not consume” the three company heads communicated as they called for an “awareness and collective and individual action so that each of us—each consumer, each company—changes their behavior and immediately limits its consumption of energy, electricity, gas and petroleum products.”

Their appeal, however, may fall short. A recent study revealed 71% of the French admit they drive a car every day to get around, with nearly one in two justifying car use as most practical.

INSEE has reported that “year-on-year consumer prices have continued to increase significantly in recent months, reaching 5.2% in May 2022 (after 4.8% in April).” The national statistics agency predicted that “over the next six months, inflation will continue to increase before stabilizing  by the end of the year.” On average, inflation “will reach 5.5% in 2022, following 1.6% in 2021.”

They also stated that the biggest contributor to inflation continues to be energy (up 2.2 percentage points in May) even if “it has been relatively stable since March.”

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.