The government lists several measures to be implemented in the digital sector as part of the energy sobriety plan. Many of these levers rely on incentives.
We now know the main axes of the energy sobriety plan to allow France to spend the winter without ramping up its electricity grid. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told the press on October 6 that every lever had to be pulled to ensure that the energy crisis did not lead to a collapse in electricity distribution.
The plan spans a wide network: industry, housing, municipalities, government, transport, business, the service sector, culture, sport… the proposals by sector are diverse. Digital is of course also included. In this area, the government has chosen three paths: in telecommunicationsat the level of data center and on computing power.
More standby for TV boxes and decoders
Regarding telecommunications, operators must establish the criteria for configuring internet boxes and TV decoders so that these devices go into standby mode when not in use. ISPs like Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom didn’t wait until October 6 to start communicating.
The three operators are initially more supporters of the incentive: SFR speaks of readiness to deliver. advices » to its customers for « Turn off the box when not in use “. The same goes for Bouygues Telecom, which evokes the eco-gesture derived from ” Switch off your box or decoder when you are away “. In the event of consumption peaks, Orange even provides an SMS.
According to the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management, the average annual consumption of a box is 97 kWh/year. With a decoder it is 87 kWh/year. The government document lists higher thresholds, based on a study by Green IT. A box consumes 158 kWh/year. Some models up to 300 kWh/year.
Beyond the exact value of the consumption of the box, the criteria for switching to standby and the circumstances in which it is triggered must be observed. It has been pointed out that internet boxes should not be “switched off” indiscriminately, because they can be the heart of a home automation environment (short: connected house).
Turning off a box also has the effect of rendering devices inoperative: surveillance cameras, heating, shutters, sensors, etc. The idea of putting the box on standby or turning it off requires that they be applied to a case can. on a case-by-case basis so as not to increase energy consumption, what might happen in certain scenarios.
Less air conditioning in data centers
Data centers are a critical part of the network: more and more information is stored here. These files reside on servers that heat up as part of their operation. They therefore need constant cooling to function properly.
The strategy here is to cool the rooms where the servers are stored. Ignoring figures reported by France Data Center for 2022, a 2°C increase (from 21 to 23°C) would reduce energy consumption by around 7-10%. In addition, it is also planned improve energy efficiency » State data centers – no information.
Move some very intensive computer calculations
Third essential axis on the digital side: certain mainframe computing power, very energy-intensive, since it lets many devices run at full speed, relocated to cheaper niches. Clearly less used at national level. But for that last point, work still needs to be done on identifying the right niches.
For companies to navigate, it is a matter of associating incentive prices – a bit like a peak/off-peak mechanism. For example, this could be in the middle of the night when the network is less busy. Again, the plan is based on the voluntary commitment of the parties and not on a binding framework.
Some other non-detailed measures
- Awareness and training of agents and employees on eco-gestures and good digital gestures;
- streamline enterprise data storage;
- Set up mechanisms for good hygiene management of documents and emails;
- Adjust the cooling systems of the servers storing the data;
- Encourage use of Wi-Fi when available at work;
- Put the network hardware to sleep or, if possible, shut it down when not in use in the company;
- Reduce screen brightness and turn off additional screens when not needed;
- hibernation or shutdown of workstation when absent;
- Before buying a device, switch to eco-labelled products that are more environmentally and health friendly (which does not necessarily affect the consumption itself).
- Favor the most energy efficient and durable devices thanks to the repairability index.