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French power cuts: will we be notified in advance if in area affected?

Energy companies are providing internet search tools for customers to use if power cuts are needed but you can also have basic details sent to your phone

We look at whether there is a way of finding out about potential winter power cuts other than online Pic: kyokyo / Shutterstock

Reader Question: I am not very internet-savvy. Is there any other way of finding out about planned power cuts in advance? 

If France’s electricity providers need to carry out power cuts this winter, the majority of information on locations and timings will be made available to customers online. 

However, if you do not use the internet much, there is a way of getting basic details sent to your mobile phone. 

A power cut will only occur in parts of France if the national EcoWatt usage barometer of electricity supply strain reaches a red alert level. If so, a notification will be issued three days in advance, reflecting that a power cut, at least in certain areas, is inevitable if usage does not drop. 

Rural areas are said to be most at risk.

Read more: Why rural areas in France are expected to be worst hit by power cuts
You can sign up for free to the EcoWatt app or for SMS alerts if you want to be notified. 

If you want to receive text notifications, go to this page and enter your mobile number and then click S’inscrire (Sign up).

Read more: How to check when electricity usage is under strain in France

Electricity network operators Enedis and RTE will publicise details of addresses which will be affected by power cuts at 17:00 the day before, via their websites.

Enedis has, for example, launched an online tool through which customers can search an address or postcode and see whether it will be included in a power outage. 

However, it is not currently possible to be sent this information by text so if you want to avoid using the internet you will only have access to the nationwide alerts issued by EcoWatt, and will not know exactly which areas will be affected by any cuts that are set to occur.

Related articles 

France sets out its strategy for winter power cuts to homes

Easy-fit French solar panels could cut electricity bill by €30 a month

'Automatic water heater switch-off could save France from blackouts'

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