France commits $7.9bn to efficiency measures

The French government has announced plans to spend $7.9 billion (€6 billion) over the next 10 years on green measures as part of a $15.7 billion (€12 billion) investment in the future. 

The key feature of the government’s plan is to upgrade existing electricity meters to smart devices allowing users to monitor their consumption.

The Association Française de l’Éclairage (AFE) has warned that these plans are ‘weak’ and instead calls for the government to invest in lighting.

The AFE says: ‘A smart meter system cannot and should not be the only answer to the management of the lighting.’

It says it is important to not rush into quantitative management of energy. ‘Quality management remains and will remain the only way to achieve real savings. Overall management of the lighting cannot be limited to "count" consumption. For lighting, it is also the health and safety of the French, the economy and the creation and retention of jobs in the sector of lighting,’ it said.

The AFE has called on the French government and lighting stakeholders to create a plan to invest in lighting, with measures than take on the management of lighting systems, not just ways of measuring use.

The total electricity consumption in France, according to the AFE, is 400TWh, of which lighting consumes 10 per cent. The AFE believes lighting controls systems could save the nation over 50 per cent.

Nobody from the French Ministry of Ecology was available to comment. 

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