Russia has slashed gas exports to Europe in response to Western sanctions over its war against Ukraine, while many of France’s nuclear reactors — providing around 70 percent of its electricity — are offline for safety checks or repairs.
TotalEnergies said Wednesday that bonuses of €30 to €120 would be paid to private clients who adopt the government’s calls for energy “sobriety” over winter months.
Usage is measured by smart meters that show real-time consumption, which have been installed for over three million clients, the company said.
Rival energy group Engie also announced a bonus programme starting mid-October for households that cut back on days when the grid is under particular strain.
For clients who reduce use by 10 to 20 percent those days, Engie will offer rebates of five to ten euros, said marketing director Marion Deridder-Blondel.
State-owned EDF — by far the largest electricity supplier to French households — is facing a €29-billion hit to profit from the nuclear reactor outages that will require it to buy electricity from other producers.
It has not announced a new plan to encourage energy savings, but already offers rebates to clients who cut back on so-called “red” days of peak usage in winter.
Worries about rising prices for a slew of everyday goods have moved the forefront across Europe as supply disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine persist, raising the risk of economic slowdowns or even recessions.