Ecowatt, la «météo de l’électricité» sur laquelle RTE veut s’appuyer pour passer l’hiver

Ecowatt, la «météo de l'électricité» sur laquelle RTE veut s'appuyer pour passer l'hiver

Ecowatt classifies the level of electricity consumption into four levels: green, yellow, orange and red.

The device sends alerts to users in case of network voltage. A useful tool when the closure of nuclear power plants and the war in Ukraine complicate the electricity supply.

This is a service that is still little known, but could prove invaluable during the coming winter. A winter that, with the double threat of cutting off Russian gas supply and closing nuclear power plants, promises to be tense on the electricity grid. Ecowatt, that’s what it’s called, is a kind of “electricity climate» which allows the French to know in real time the level of electricity consumption region by region and to be alerted in the event of a risk of power outages in order to adapt their consumption.

Developed by RTE, the manager of the electricity transmission network, and Ademe, the ecological transition agency, this tool supported by the Ministry of Ecological Transition has existed for almost fifteen years in Brittany and twelve in Provence.-Alpes-Côte d ‘Azur (Paca). It was extended to the entire national territory in November 2020. At the beginning of the next school year, it will be the subject of a communication campaign aimed at the general public, mainly on social networks, explains RTE.

SEE ALSO –“We could cut electricity to individuals 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, which means that electricity consumption in the region is “within reason“, yellow that is high, orange that is the electrical system”in a tense situation“, And red “in a very tense situation», with risk of cuts.

A “watchdog outage alert»

Instead of having to regularly go to the website to monitor electricity consumption, Ecowatt offers everyone (individuals, companies, communities, associations) the opportunity to register with a “watchdog outage alert“. When the electricity consumption is too high and there is a risk of a cut, it is sent by SMS and email to the French concerned.”encourage each citizen to reduce or change their consumption“, explains RTE.

You will know which eco-gestures are the most effective and when to apply them”, indicates the manager, who already lists a set of eco-gestures on his site, at home (turn off the heating in a room that is being ventilated, cover the pans, avoid charging your laptop between 8 am and 1 pm and between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.) and in the office (clean the mailbox, print documents only if necessary and on both sides, favor audio exchanges over video, etc.).

Therefore, Ecowatt is not “based on goodwillof consumers, underlines Julien Teddé, managing director of the Opéra Énergie energy broker. The service aims to empower users of the electricity grid, making them contribute to its proper functioning. “By participating in this civic initiative, you are helping to ensure that everyone has power.“, we can read on the Ecowatt website.

Carrefour and Casino new partners

And it seems to work. On April 4, for example, RTE activated the orange Ecowatt alert nationwide, calling for ecogestos between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. “The mobilization of individuals, companies and local authorities saved 800 megawatts (MW) at peak consumption“, greeted RTE in a press release published shortly after. “That is the equivalent of twice the consumption of the city of Montpellier and almost the power of a nuclear reactor.“. The red signal of Ecowatt was activated only once, during the cold wave of January 2021.

As for local authorities, almost 50 have signed a partnership with Ecowatt since the system went general in 2020. Large companies are also getting involved. Last month, Carrefour and then the Casino group signed the Ecowatt charter. Specifically, Carrefour undertakesto promote more responsible electricityin its stores, through four actions (change of LED lighting, closing of refrigerated cabinets, conversion of CO2 refrigeration equipment, training of store and maintenance teams), and “to temporarily reduce your power consumption in case of peaks”, for example, by lowering the light intensity of stores and reducing heating.

For its part, Casino, which also owns the Monoprix and Franprix brands, will designate a person responsible for receiving Ecowatt alerts in each store and each administrative site. “The Ecowatt managers of the group can decide to reduce the consumption of certain equipment between 8 am and 1 pm and between 6 pm and 8 pm, to modulate the electrical intensity of the premises or to optimize the use of heating.“, details the group. Will the device be enough to get through the coming winter without a hitch? To avoid the “blackout“RTE obviously has other levers, but they are heavier, ranging from cutting large industrial sites to shedding loads on individuals.

SEE ALSO – Should new nuclear power plants be built?

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