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If required how often would the controlled power cuts be in France?

France’s electricity providers are preparing to carry out cuts if the network comes under significant strain this winter

A reader asks how often they might be affected by power cuts if they do occur this winter Pic: Enrique Micaelo / Shutterstock

Reader Question: It has been reported that if power cuts occur they will only last for two hours but how regular will these two-hour periods be? Will it be daily? Weekly? 

Firstly, please note that the power cuts that electricity providers are planning for are not definitely going to happen. They will only be carried out if the network comes under significant strain, for example, if the winter is particularly cold. 

If power outages are required, it is thought that energy suppliers will work to limit them to the month of January to keep their impact to a minimum. This means that the chance of a cut occurring should not extend beyond then. 

Read also: Why rural areas in France are expected to be worst hit by power cuts

Energy suppliers are expected to stagger any cuts across different parts of the country so that no household will be impacted twice in a row. 

So, while the two-hour cuts could occur with any level of frequency across France as a whole – depending on the pressure being applied to the network – if you are always in the same property or at least the same village, you should not face repeated power outages.

A power cut will only occur if the EcoWatt tool’s barometer of electricity supply strain reaches a red alert level, which will happen from three days in advance of a potential power cut day. You can sign up to the EcoWatt app or for SMS alerts if you want to be notified. 

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

Electricity suppliers will then release details of the addresses which will be affected by power cuts at 17:00 the day before. 

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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