Last winter’s concerted effort to curb electricity use in France spawned a number of apps aimed at monitoring consumption and forecasting periods of high pressure on the grid.
While the threat of power cuts might have diminished, rising electricity costs mean these apps are just as relevant in 2023.
We look at five of the most popular:
Ecowatt is developed by RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Électricité).
Dubbed votre météo de l’électricité (the weather forecast for electricity), it gives a free three-day forecast of likely electricity demand.
Periods of tension give out orange alerts, and forecasts of power cuts, red alerts – the idea being that people can plan in advance for the worst case.
During orange forecasts, householders are asked to cut consumption and the app gives practical tips on how to do this, especially during peak periods.
2. EDF & Moi
EDF & Moi is from France’s main electricity supplier, which is also state-owned. It primarily offers a way to manage your contracts.
Details of what connection you have, payments and consumption are all given, as are contacts to change details or to request a payment holiday if you are having difficulties.
The free app also allows you to monitor your electricity use day to day, or even hour by hour, and does so in euros as well as in kWh.
It has simulators to show which appliances use the most electricity and how much they cost per year.
Bills can be requested every two months based on actual use, via a Linky meter, and you can set limits on consumption, with alerts when you approach or exceed them.
3. Engie Electricité et Gaz
Engie Electricité et Gaz monitors electricity and gas consumption, providing you are an Engie customer.
You will also be able to manage bills and access useful contacts and advice for free.
4. Engie MaConso+
Engie MaConso+ is a paid-for service (from €2/month) that works in conjunction with the Engie app to give a more precise breakdown of electricity use.
It comes with a receiver (connected to a plug socket) and radio transmitter (connected to your Linky meter) to give real time data, in both euros and kWh, about the consumption of every electrical appliance in the house, allowing you to adapt your use accordingly to reduce costs.
5. Hello Watt
Hello Watt is a free app that offers monitoring of consumption, in euros, no matter who is your supplier.
You will need to input a few details first, including your point de livraison (found on your bills) and address.
It then sets out to analyse your electricity use, and offers tips to improve it.
The app makes money by referring users to tradespeople for energy-saving services, such as better insulation or new boiler installations.
You will have to trust that the firm behind the app has done its research and the companies are reputable.