France bans overnight illuminated advertising in energy-saving drive

The lights will go out on illuminated advertising in towns and cities across France between 1am and 6am from today, as the French government lays out plans for the country to cut its energy use and make it through winter without Russian gas.

France bans overnight illuminated advertising in energy-saving drive

The day after Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne unveiled the long-awaited plan on Thursday, outlining cuts that will help France make it through winter without Russian gas, a law came into force to ensure illuminated adverts must be turned off in every town, village and city, for at least five hours every night.

READ ALSO Cold water, 19C heating and cash bonuses: How France will cut energy use this winter

During these hours, any digital advertisements must show fixed images only.

This law has been in force in towns and cities with fewer than 800,000 inhabitants for some time, but has now been rolled out nationwide, with enforcement stepped up and fines of up to €1,500 introduced.

Adverts in airports, train stations, Metro or bus stations and on street furniture used for public transportation services during operating hours are currently exempt, but a law requiring illuminated advertising supported by street furniture to be extinguished will come into force on June 1st, 2023.

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French electricity network says no power cuts before the end of the year

The head of France's electricity transmission network has assured the public that power cuts are not expected before the end of the year, although they remain a slim possibility for the start of 2023.

French electricity network says no power cuts before the end of the year

No power cuts in France before the end of the year, assured Jean-Paul Roubin, the head of France’s electricity transmission network (RTE) and high-voltage lines, speaking to BFMTV on Wednesday.

Roubin answered questions about the possibility of “load-shedding” (délestages) in France this winter. 

“Before the end of the year, there will not be any power cuts,” Roubin told BFMTV, adding that “At the beginning of next year, we should not panic” and that RTE is preparing by testing a number of “possible scenarios.”

READ MORE: What households in France can expect in the event of power cuts

Roubin also explained that should power cuts occur, they would remain “limited,” reiterating that the population concerned by the load-shedding event would be warned at least one day in advance. 

You can learn more about what to expect if you are set to be impacted by a French power cut HERE.

READ MORE: ‘Ecowatt’: How to use France’s new energy forecasting website and app

People across France had begun to worry about possible power cuts before the new year, as “Ecowatt” – France’s energy forecasting website and application – is likely to activate the “orange” alert (symbolising that the grid is strained at that people are encouraged to decrease energy consumption) either this weekend or early next week due to cold temperatures. 

Should the “orange” alert be put into place, it would mark the first time since April 4th. However, Roubin told BFMTV that he did not foresee any blackouts ahead of this weekend. 

Roubin also congratulated the French for a drop in energy consumption. “There is good news to take into account, such as the drop in consumption by more than six percent to 8.3 percent in the last week alone,” the RTE boss said, signaling the role industries and businesses had played in this.

According to public officials, France needs to decrease its energy consumption by ten percent this year to avoid power cuts.