Energy sobriety plan: the list of proposals for digital

The government lists several actions to be carried out in the digital sector, as part of the energy sobriety plan. Many of these levers are based on incentives.

We already know the main axes of the energy sobriety plan so that France can spend the winter without recharging its electricity network. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told the press on October 6 all the levers that must be activated, so that the energy crisis does not lead to the collapse of electricity distribution.

The plan is very broad: industry, housing, town halls, the State, transport, companies, the services sector, culture, sports… the proposals by sectors are multiple. Digital, of course, is also in the loop. In this area, the Government has chosen three ways: in telecommunicationsat the level of data centers Y about computing power.

More waiting for TV boxes and set-top boxes

In the field of telecommunications, operators will have to define the configuration criteria of Internet boxes and TV decoders so that these devices enter standby mode when they are not being used. Internet service providers such as Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom did not wait until October 6 to start communicating.

At the moment, the three operators are rather followers of the incentive: SFR thus speaks of delivering ” tips » to your customers for « turn off the box if not used “. The same goes for Bouygues Telecom, which evokes the eco-gesture consisting of ” turn off your box or decoder in case of absence “. Orange even provides SMS in case of maximum consumption.

A Livebox 6. // Source: Numerama

According to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, the annual consumption of a box is an average of 97 kWh/year. In the case of a set-top box, it is 87 kWh/year. The government document mentions higher thresholds, according to a study by Green IT. A box consumes 158 kWh/year. Some models up to 300 kWh/year.

Beyond the exact value of the box’s consumption, it is necessary to observe the criteria for switching to standby and the circumstances in which it is activated. has been pointed out that Internet boxes should not be “cut” indiscriminately, because these can be at the heart of a home automation environment (in short, the connected house).

Turning off a box will also have the effect of rendering equipment inoperative: surveillance cameras, heating, shutters, sensors, etc. The idea of ​​putting the box on stand-by or turning it off is to be able to apply it on a box- case by case, so as not to cause an increase in energy consumption, what might happen in certain scenarios.

Less air conditioning in data centers

Data centers are a critical component of the network: this is where ever-increasing amounts of information are stored. These files are on servers, which get hot as part of their operation. Therefore, they must be constantly cooled to work properly.

The strategy here is to cool down the rooms where the servers are stored. Ignoring the 2022 figures reported by France Data Center, an increase of 2°C (from 21 to 23°C) would reduce energy consumption by 7-10%. In addition, it is also planned improve energy efficiency » State data centers: no details provided.

data center technology network cable
Less air conditioning for data. // Source: CommScope

Move some very intensive computer calculations

Third significant axis on the digital side: move certain large computing processes, very energy consuming, since they make many devices work at full speed, in more favorable niches. Clearly less used nationally. But for this last point, there is still work to be done to determine the appropriate niches.

For companies to find their way, it is a matter of associating incentive prices, a bit like a mechanism for peak hours/off-peak hours. This could be, for example, in the middle of the night, when the network is less busy. Once again, the plan is based on the voluntary commitment of the parties, rather than a mandatory framework.

Some other measures not detailed

  • Raise awareness and train agents and employees in eco-gestures and good digital gestures;
  • Rationalize data storage within the company;
  • Put in place mechanisms for good management of the hygiene of documents and emails;
  • Adapt the cooling systems of the servers that store the data;
  • Encourage the use of Wi-Fi when it is available in the company;
  • Sleep or, if possible, turn off network hardware when not in use for business;
  • Reduce screen brightness and turn off additional displays when you don’t need them;
  • Hibernate or shut down the workstation in case of absence;
  • Before buying a device, opt for products with environmental labels, more respectful of the environment and health (which does not necessarily affect consumption per se);
  • Favors devices with lower energy consumption and longer life, thanks to the repairability index.

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