Luxembourg: “Relaunch the issue of telework” to save energy


Luxemburg“Relaunch the issue of teleworking” to save energy

LUXEMBOURG – Claude Turmes, the Minister of Energy, clarified Luxembourg’s plan to reduce gas consumption by 15% by March 2023.

Claude Turmes (far right) is working with the rest of the government on energy-saving possibilities.


“The requirements”: Is saving 15% natural gas too much for the country?

Claude Turmes: Yes, and all actors must participate. We will define clear steps for all public buildings. The State and municipalities should set an example to encourage citizens and businesses. We are working on this together with the ministers François Bausch and Taina Bofferding.

Will you set a maximum temperature for public buildings?

It’s not meant to say, “It’s going to be 19 or 20 degrees”. I don’t know if that really helps. Our approach will consist primarily of optimizing all technical installations and encouraging residents not to waste. Don’t set the thermostat too high, turn off the lights when leaving the office.

Lighted streets and windows, heated terraces, will that change?

The Ponts et Chaussées, responsible for public lighting, were instructed to study what they could do. For supermarkets and shop windows, the Union des entreprises luxembourgeoises will offer its members (industrialists, entrepreneurs, SMEs) a voluntary agreement on measures. As for the terraces, I think we can take a plaid instead of heating it with gas.

Should night sports be stopped?

You have to find a good balance between what is effective and what can cause a lot of chaos or hatred in the population. See where the potential wins are. In terms of electricity, for example, there is great potential for storage in data centers. Running it at 22 or 23 degrees instead of 18 is heavier than all night football games.

Why wait until September to launch the plan?

Unlike Spain or Italy with a lot of air conditioning and intense heat, we in August have the lowest level of gas consumption of the whole year, people are on vacation. The campaign should be launched at the right time. The right time for Luxembourg is September.

What about the big companies?

We have discussions with UEL, together with Fedil to find out, among many consumers Guardian, Arcelor, DuPont or Goodyear what we can do. They are very active and have a large amount of reduced gas. For example, Arcelor, will enable Luxembourg to reduce gas consumption by 15% next winter. Resellers like Enovos, SudEnergie will also speed up all the incentives for citizens.

Will aid increase?

State aid is already at a very high level. We keep them at this level and simplify access. Electricity and gas suppliers are considering increasing the bonuses given to citizens when there is a change from a gas boiler to a heat pump.

What do you expect from the citizen and what is your own?

Now, I’m not heating my room, I’m monitoring the temperature of the rest of my apartment. I shower for three minutes instead of thirty. What we can do is check the installation before the winter, reduce the temperature waste and the consumption of hot water, because it is the second largest consumer of gas in buildings in Luxembourg.

The country’s emergency plan in case of a shortage will be corrected by the end of September…

It is calibrated to a short-lived event, a pipeline rupture. There, the scenario is different that there may be shortages in January, February and March next year. Private consumers are protected customers, manufacturers are not. So the load shedding plan is ahead of them, with reduction obligations exceeding 15%. But we really hope that voluntary measures in Europe will be enough to avoid going to this.

And for telecommuting?

At the European level, we are currently in a voluntary system of reducing consumption by 15%. The second stage provides that if there is a real shortage, we will switch to a compulsory system. The day this is the case, I believe it will be in Luxembourg’s interest to bring the telework issue back to the table at the European level.

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