Energy savings available to everyone

What can you do to reduce your electricity bill at home? natural sciences asked a few questions to Audrey Zermati, Chief Strategy Officer at Effy, a leader in residential energy renewal.

Audrey Zermati puts an end to established notions: apartment dwellers can also cut their energy bills. This is in need of repair. // Audrey Zermati / Effie / Chaima Deb

Faced with the recent rise in energy prices, more and more French people are wondering how to reduce energy consumption in their homes. After the recent rise in gas and oil prices caused by the war in Ukraine, requests for information are pouring in to rebuild the power system or replace equipment.

Know more natural sciences spoke with Audrey Zermati, director of strategy at Effy, a French company that renews energy for individuals. The specialist gives some advice, in particular, dedicated to the French, dependent on fossil fuels.

According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, every second dwelling is heated with fuel oil or gas.

Natura Sciences: Are the French’s fears of soaring electricity bills justified?

Audrey Zermati : The French are right. Gas prices have been rising since November. At the end of 2021, this growth was already 60%. The government has put in place an energy shield to keep the bills from getting too big. But this measure is not designed for an indefinite period. And the war in Ukraine will not fix anything. In addition, rationing is to be expected, which could raise fears of heating problems next winter.

Concerns about fuel oil are also justified. It is an energy that is expensive and subject to great instability. Over the past few weeks, its prices have increased by 70%. For people who are warmed up with oil, it is obvious that there is a real reflection. It may be appropriate for them to consider choosing a different heating solution, especially if they live in a home.

Read also : Are Russian fossils behind the war in Ukraine?

Is the solution to turn to more off-grid energy sources?

First, you need to know what needs to be changed. The heating system consumes the most energy in a house. So, in order to save money, this is the first thing to do. In fireplaces with gas heating, you can opt for an electric device. Owners of a home equipped with an old oil-fired boiler can replace it with a newer model that uses less energy.

There are other renewable solutions as well. There are, for example, heat pumps that draw energy from air, earth or water. Another solution increasingly favored by the French: solar panels. In these two cases, households become autonomous by two-thirds. In fact, these households’ electricity bills are dropping dramatically.

And even without choosing a renewable energy solution, energy optimization can quickly increase to at least 50%. This is tantamount to cutting his account in half. Take the example of a family of four living in an 80 m² house. By doing the insulation work and installing a new gas boiler, she can hope to save around 1,500 euros a year. With these savings, the work can be amortized over just over five years.

These tips apply to French people living in individual housing. But according to the Departmental Housing News Agency (Adil) in Paris, 97% of the capital’s population lives in an apartment. Can’t these French people do something to reduce their electricity bills?

Everyone can reduce energy consumption. The work they can do is less important than what the cabin owners can do. However, adjustments are still possible. The French who have a gas heating system can replace it with an electric device. Replacing windows and checking their tightness is also a good practice for installing in an apartment.

Is it possible to specify a price range for this work, regardless of whether it is performed in an apartment or in a house?

It’s very variable. It really depends on the type of work and assistance that households are eligible for. Typically, replacement heaters or insulation will cost several thousand dollars. Before undertaking them, it is important that the French learn about the various allowances intended to cover part of the costs.

Leave a Comment