Extinction of signs as soon as closing time, reduction of lighting, even lowering of the temperature: the retail sector, from E.Leclerc to Picard via Carrefour or Casino, has agreed on a plan of “sobriety energy” which will be rolled out in the fall, according to a press release on Monday. “Faced with the risk of electricity supply shortages announced by the government for this winter”, the Perifem federation, which brings together all distribution players to act on energy or environmental issues, has defined “common and concrete measures to reduce energy consumption in stores starting October 15.

It is planned to turn off the illuminated signs “as soon as the store closes”, compared to generally one hour after closing currently, and to “systematize the reduction in light intensity” by halving the lighting of the sales area before the public arrives and 30% during “critical consumption periods”. Other measures are also planned, such as “cutting off air renewal at night, delaying ice production” and emergency measures, including lowering the temperature of points of sale to 17 degrees this fall and this winter if requested by a regulatory authority.

President Emmanuel Macron explained on July 14 that the state was preparing an energy “sobriety plan” to deal with the risk of shortages linked to the war in Ukraine, calling for “collectively entering into a logic of sobriety”. These first measures, which have been taken by E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Système U, Les Mousquetaires Intermarché, Auchan, Casino, Franprix, Monoprix, Lidl and even Picard, are also cost-saving measures for retailers in the face of the increase in energy cost.

While “electricity bills accounted for 30%” of retailers’ net income “before recent spikes in energy costs”, it is “essential to reduce the energy bill and to mobilize together to avoid too great an impact on prices for consumers”, recognizes the federation, while the Elan law also provides for a reduction in the energy consumption of stores by 40% by 2030. The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, welcomed in a press release these “first commitments announced by Perifem”.

“This is a first step that has been taken, with immediate measures, which the minister had called for,” said his cabinet, while calling for “continuing this work and going further”, because “it is is to take all the measures that will produce immediate effects to get through the winter but also to sustainably reduce our greenhouse gas emissions”. “The time has come for energy sobriety, this will profoundly change our consumption habits”, estimated in the Perifem press release its president, Thierry Cotillard, for whom this protocol “must be long-term”.

The federation also wants to believe that this protocol can serve “as a basis for all trade and distribution federations for the generalization of these measures”, which will be presented to them “at a meeting on July 26”.