French ski resorts are looking into ways to lower their energy consumption for this coming season, including making ski lifts slower, adjusting opening hours and increasing ski pass prices.
It comes as the government has set businesses a target to reduce consumption by 10% due to supply issues linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the fact that more than half of France’s 56 nuclear reactors are offline.
This has meant market electricity prices – which in the EU are tied to gas prices – have soared in recent months.
It could be a problem for the resorts in France whose energy contracts are set to expire this year – they generally sign contracts of three years.
Domaines skiables de France, which represents ski area operators, said that around one third of ski resorts are yet to agree a new energy price with a provider.
For this reason, ski resorts are exploring various options to try to bring down energy bills this winter.
Alexandre Maulin, head of the Domaines skiables de France, has said that ski resorts will be open this year despite the energy crisis, but that solutions would have to be found to keep the resorts running.
Price rises, adapted hours, ski lift changes…
One option is raising ski pass prices. Management at resorts such as La Clusaz in the Massif des Aravis or Val Thorens in the French Alps have stated that their prices will go up, according to BFMTV.
Several resorts in Vosges will also raise prices, France Bleu reports.
Another possibility to bring down energy bills is to slow down the ski lifts. Mr Maulin said that this would only add around one minute onto ski lift trips.
Alternatively, if a slope has two ski lifts in operation, one of them could be closed.
Another plan could be changing their opening hours so that the slopes open later in the morning and close later at night.
Finally, cut backs could be made to areas of the town other than the ski slopes.
A spokesperson for Val Thorens said that the ski area only makes up around 20% of a ski resort town’s energy consumption.
This could mean the town making cut backs such as not having Christmas decorations this year – such as will be the case in Avoriaz. They will also lower swimming pool temperatures by 3C.
Laury Eloy, head of communication at Avoriaz*, said that they will ask hotels to turn off certain lights at certain times or for private chalets to make outside jacuzzis optional.
*Avoriaz is a French mountain resort in the heart of the Portes du Soleil.