French TV to show ‘power map’ to avoid winter blackouts

France's national broadcaster said Friday it would begin broadcasting a "power map" to  viewers, showing demand for electricity around the country and areas where over-consumption could lead to blackouts.

Ecowatt colours the map red, orange or green depending on power consumption levels in France (Photo:

Under a deal signed with the main operator of the country’s power grid, France Televisions will begin showing a real-time map called Ecowatt on its channels.

READ ALSO: ‘Ecowatt’: How you should use France’s new energy forecasting website?

The French government is worried about electricity shortages this winter due to cuts in gas supplies from Russia as well as major maintenance problems at its nuclear reactors.

During periods of worryingly high demand — which will be coloured in red — viewers will be encouraged to reduce their power consumption or avoid drawing on the grid at peak hours.

This photograph taken in Montigny-le-Bretonneux on September 15, 2022 shows screens at the RTE (Electricity Transmission Network) dispatch centre. (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)

“One might put the washing machine on at 10pm rather than at 7pm,” France Televisions boss Delphine Ernotte told AFP.

The initiative with the RTE power lines operator is part of the state-run media group’s commitment to combat climate change, Ernotte explained.


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France offers grants up to €1,500 to replace oil-fired boilers

Financial aid of up to €1,500 is temporarily available to households looking to replace oil-fired boilers with a more environmentally friendly heating systems. 

France offers grants up to €1,500 to replace oil-fired boilers

The temporary ‘coup de boost’ aims to encourage households to replace their oil-fired heating systems (chauffauge au fioul) and is in addition to the ‘coup de pouce chauffage’ (heating helping hand) scheme that is already underway to help under the energy saving certificates scheme (CEE).

All households that are primary residences – this aid is not available to second-home owners – equipped with an oil-fired boiler can benefit, with the amount for which they are eligible means-tested according to household resources and the replacement system chosen. 

Households with modest incomes benefit from a higher premium.

To benefit from the new temporary bonus, households must replace their individual oil-fired boiler with a more environmentally friendly heating system:

  • heat pump (air/water or hybrid);
  • combined solar system;
  • biomass boiler (wood or pellets);
  • connection to a heating network supplied mainly by renewable or recovered energy.

The total amount of financial help from the two schemes is €4,000 to €5,000 for low-income households; and from €2,500 to €4,000 for middle and high-income households.

For the connection of an individual house to a heating network, the amount of the bonus increases from €700 to €1,000 for low-income households; and from €450 to €900 for middle and high income households.

Estimates for the replacement of an oil-fired boiler must be accepted between October 29th, 2022, and June 30th, 2023, and work must be completed by December 31st, 2023.

The Coup de boost fioul aid can also be combined with MaPrimeRénov to replace an oil-fired boiler, meaning the least well-off households in France can benefit from aid of up to €16,000 to replace an oil-fired boiler with a pellet boiler or a combined solar system.

Since mid-April 2022, MaPrimeRénov’ financial aid has increased by an additional €1,000 for the installation of a renewable energy boiler. This can now reach €11,000 for the most efficient boilers (pellet boiler, combined solar system) and for households with modest incomes.

It must be noted that the installation of a very high energy performance gas boiler will no longer be eligible for MaPrimeRénov’ as of January 1st, 2023.

Find more details on the scheme HERE.