Ecowatt, the “electricity weather forecast” that RTE wants to rely on to get through the winter


By Julien Da Sois Posted 2 hours ago, Updated 2 hours ago Ecowatt classifies the level of electricity consumption into four levels: green, yellow, orange and red. The device sends alerts to users in the event of voltage in the network. A useful tool when the shutdown of nuclear power plants and the war in Ukraine complicate the supply of electricity, a service that is still little known, but could prove valuable during the coming winter. A winter that, with the double threat of a cut in Russian gas supplies and the shutdown of nuclear power plants, promises to be tense on the electricity grid. Ecowatt, as it is called, is a kind of “electricity weather forecast” that allows the French to know in real time the level of electricity consumption region by region, and to be alerted in case of risk of electricity cuts, to adapt Developed by RTE, the manager of the electricity transmission network, and Ademe, the ecological transition agency, this tool, with the support of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, has been around for almost fifteen years in Brittany and twelve years in Provence-Alpes-Costa. ‘Azur (Paca). It was extended to the entire national territory in November 2020. At the beginning of next year it will be the subject of a communication campaign aimed at citizens, mainly on social networks, explains RTE: “We could cut the electricity to individuals this winter” Also read Are individuals at risk of power outages this winter? Ecowatt is available for free on a website,, which shows a map of France, where each region is associated with a color: green, yellow, orange or red. Green means that the electricity consumption in the region is “reasonable”, yellow that it is high, orange that the electricity system is “in a tense situation”, and red “in a very tense situation”, with the risk of cuts. “Power Cut Monitoring Alert” Instead of having to regularly go to the website to monitor electricity consumption, Ecowatt offers everyone (individuals, companies, local authorities, associations) the possibility to register for a “power outage watch alert”. When electricity consumption is too high and there is a risk of a cut, it is sent by SMS and e-mail to the French affected, “to encourage each citizen to reduce or modify their consumption”, explains RTE. – Gestures are the most effective. and when to apply them”, also indicates the manager, who already lists on his site a set of eco-gestures, at home (turn off the heating in a room during ventilation, cover the pots, avoid charging the laptop between 8 in the morning and 1 in the morning). and between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., etc.) as in the office (clean out your mailbox, print documents only if necessary and both ways, favor audio over video exchanges, etc.). Read also How the executive is preparing the way to energy energy sobriety Opera Energy. The service aims to empower the users of the electricity network, making them contribute to its smooth operation. “By participating in this citizen device, you contribute to guaranteeing everyone’s supply of electricity”, can be read on the Ecowatt site. Carrefour and Casino new partners And it seems to be working. Last April 4, for example, RTE activated the Ecowatt orange alert nationally, asking for eco gestures between 6 and 12 noon. “The mobilization of individuals, businesses and communities has saved 800 megawatts (MW) at peak consumption,” he welcomed to RTE in a press release issued shortly afterwards. “Equivalent to twice the consumption of the city of Montpellier and almost the power of a nuclear reactor.” Ecowatt’s red signal was activated only once, during the cold strike in January 2021. In terms of local authorities, nearly 50 have signed a partnership with Ecowatt since the system went mainstream in 2020. big companies are also starting. Last month, Carrefour and then the Casino group signed the Ecowatt letter. Specifically, Carrefour has committed to “promote more responsible electricity” in its stores, through four actions (change of LED lighting, closing of cold rooms, conversion of CO2 refrigeration units, training of teams of stores and maintenance) and “for punctuality”. reduce their energy consumption in case of peaks”, for example by lowering the light intensity of the stores and reducing the heating. Also read The big shops are betting on energy sobriety For its part, Casino, also owner of the Monoprix and Franprix brands , will appoint a person in charge in each store and in each administrative place in charge of receiving Ecowatt alerts. “Ecowatt managers of the group can decide to reduce the consumption of certain equipment between 8.00 and 13.00 and between 18.00 and 20.00, to to modulate the electrical intensity of the premises or to optimize the use of heating”, the group details. Will the device be enough to get through next winter without problems? To avoid the “blackout”, RTE obviously has other levers, but they are heavier, as they range from closing large industrial facilities to private discharges SEE ALSO – Should we build new nuclear power plants?
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