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Orange turns the lights out all over France

Orange shop Opéra Paris.jpg

Orange is reacting to Europe’s energy crisis by moving to batteries for part of the day, switching its lights off and turning down its thermostats.

The company follows Swisscom, which announced earlier this week that it will reduce lighting and will set a maximum temperature of 20°C for all buildings.

Orange is going a degree better, by saying temperature in its offices is now set at 19°.

Christel Heydemann, newly appointed Orange CEO, said: “In an uncertain geopolitical and economic context, we share the French government’s concerns and we have developed a concrete plan to support the national energy saving initiative.”

The measures affect shops as well as network operations. Since the start of September, window lighting at all Orange stores in France, including its prestige shop near the Opéra (pictured) in Paris, is being switched off no longer than 30 minutes after the shops close for the night.

During peak consumption on the network, Orange says it will cut 5% to 10% of its instantaneous electricity consumption for one hour a day.

“Switching to electric battery for several thousand fixed network installations will help save up to 20MW,” said Orange, comparing that with “the instantaneous consumption of a medium-sized city with 40,000 inhabitants”.

It said these energy efficiency measures will have no negative impact on users, but Heydemann warned: “I must point out that networks are crucial for an effective society. We must work together to avoid load shedding measures this winter.”

The crisis is a direct result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which has led to a rise in the price of Russian fuel to generate electricity – though 69% of France’s energy comes from nuclear power, the highest share in the world, according to Statista.

Orange will also warn customers and employees of the need to save energy, said the company. It will send SMS messages during periods of peak consumption to raise their “awareness of environmentally-friendly actions, like switching off their boxes when not in use; switching to Wifi at home, or enabling standby mode for their Livebox [home hub] and TV set-top box”.

For its offices, Orange said that, on days when there are few visitors, it proposes closing some quieter work spaces to reduce their electricity and heating consumption.