A new online platform has been launched in France to alert individuals and businesses if and when gas supplies come under strain.
Ecogaz is designed to act as a ‘gas barometer’, and provides five-day forecasts for gas supplies through a colour-coded system.
Green means that consumption is normal and stocks are not under strain
Yellow means that consumption has risen and moderation is encouraged
Orange means that consumption has risen significantly and the network is under strain
Red means that there is a lot of pressure on the system and the operator may have to carry out selective power cuts to industrial sites.
The forecast is updated once a day based on predicted consumption for the next few days.
In the case of an orange or red alert, Ecogaz will send an email or text to customers who have signed up, asking them to reduce their usage.
Concerns have been mounting with regards to winter gas supplies as a result of tensions with Russia provoked by the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
People in France are therefore being encouraged to exercise “energy restraint”, as even though gas reserves are nearly at 100%, “a very harsh winter could create difficult situations,” GRTgaz, the principal network operator, has said.
It is for this reason that GRTgaz has launched Ecogaz, with assistance from Térega, which runs the network in the south west, and the Agence de la transition écologique.
Ecogaz has partnered up with several different organisations from the energy industry in order to enhance the efficacy of its reports.
Ecogaz is similar to Ecowatt, which warns people when electricity stocks are coming under pressure.
How can I sign up for alerts?
You can sign up by going to the Ecogaz website and entering your email address and – optionally – your phone number.
How can I reduce my consumption?
You can cut your gas usage by:
Only heating your house to 19C and to 16-17C overnight in empty rooms
Reducing your hot water consumption by limiting the temperature to 55C and by taking shorter showers, for example
Covering saucepans and casserole dishes to speed up the cooking process
Reducing heat escape by closing shutters and curtains at night and blocking up any gaps underneath external doors
Keeping your heating system in good working order