Luxembourg“Relaunch the theme of teleworking” to save energy
LUXEMBOURG – Claude Turmes, Minister of Energy, clarifies Luxembourg’s plan to reduce its gas consumption by 15% by March 2023.
“The essentials”: Is it a lot for the country to save 15% of natural gas?”
claude turmes: Yes, and all the actors will have to be involved. We will define clear measures for all public buildings. The State and municipalities must set an example to motivate citizens and companies. We are working on this with Ministers François Bausch and Taina Bofferding.
Will you set a maximum temperature for public buildings?
It is not intended to say: “It will be 19 or 20 degrees.” I don’t know if that would be really helpful. Our method will consist first of all in optimizing all the technical installations and encouraging the occupants not to waste. Don’t set the thermostat too high, turn off the lights when you leave the office.
Illuminated roads and windows, heated terraces, will that change?
The Ponts et Chaussées, responsible for public lighting, have been instructed to study what they can do. For supermarkets and shop windows, the Union des entreprises luxembourgeoises will offer its members (industrialists, traders, SMEs) a voluntary agreement on measures. As for the terraces, I think we can wear a plaid instead of heating them with gas.
Should night sports games be stopped?
You have to find a good balance between what is effective and what can cause a lot of confusion or hostility in the population. See where the potential profits are. In terms of electricity, for example, there is great potential for savings in data centers. Operating them at 22 or 23 degrees instead of 18 would weigh much more than all the football games in the afternoon.
Why wait until September to launch the plan?
Unlike Spain or Italy where there is more air conditioning and extreme heat, in August we have the lowest level of gas consumption of the whole year, people are on vacation. Such a campaign must be launched at the right time. The right time for Luxembourg is September.
What about the big companies?
We had conversations with the UEL, with the Fedil to identify, among the large consumers, Guardian, Arcelor, DuPont or Goodyear, what we can do. They are very proactive and there are large volumes of gas reduction. Arcelor, for example, will be able to reduce its gas consumption by 15% in Luxembourg next winter. Resellers like Enovos, SudEnergie will also accelerate all incentives to citizens.
Will aid increase?
State aid is already at a very high level. We have kept them at this level and have simplified access. Electricity and gas providers are considering increasing the discounts granted to citizens in the event of changing from a gas boiler to a heat pump.
What do you expect from the citizen and what do you do yourself?
Already today, I do not heat my room, I control the temperature in the rest of my apartment. I take three-minute showers instead of thirty. What we can do is review the installation before winter, reduce waste in temperature and hot water consumption, because it is the second largest consumer of gas in Luxembourg buildings.
The country’s emergency plan in case of shortages will be corrected at the end of September…
It was calibrated in a short duration event, a pipe rupture. There we are in a different scenario with a possible shortage in January, February and March of next year. Private consumers are protected customers, manufacturers are not. Therefore, the load shedding plan mainly affects them, with reduction obligations that would go beyond 15%. But we really hope that the voluntary measures in Europe will be enough to avoid having to resort to them.
And for telecommuting?
At a European level, we are currently in a voluntary system of reducing consumption by 15%. A second stage provides that, in the event of a real shortage, we move to a mandatory system. The day this happens, I think it would be in Luxembourg’s interest to put the issue of telework back on the table at European level.
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