This is no longer a scoop: the country is facing an unprecedented energy crisis, which will require some adjustments at the height of winter. To avoid the “black-out” and relieve an electrical network under tension, the government has thus provided for the implementation, if necessary, of rotating load shedding.

These cuts, lasting two hours, will occur at “peak hours” in terms of electrical activity: between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the morning, and 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the evening.

They will take place at the scale of a district, for urban areas, or of several villages, for rural areas.

These areas will be targeted at the last moment, on a case-by-case basis. Thus, specified Bastien Toulemonde, regional director of Enedis Midi-Pyrénées Sud, to the daily La Dépêche: “every Frenchman is likely to be cut off”. Companies will not be spared either. Some traders, moreover, are already organizing themselves to deal with the risk. And supermarkets are no exception.

These can be warned three days before any load shedding, by the EcoWatt system, in order to reduce their energy consumption as much as possible to avoid the worst.

As such, Carrefour has signed a charter detailing what is planned in the event of a peak in energy consumption. “Through this charter, Carrefour undertakes to reduce the electrical power required by stores, shopping centers and warehouses”, details a press release from the group.

On the program, therefore, to reduce the energy bill in the brand’s supermarkets: the change of lighting to LEDs, the closing of cold cabinets, the transformation of CO2 cooling units and the deployment of tools for managing the centralized energy (such as, for example, remote control of the light intensity in the rays).

If, however, the efforts of the French and companies are not enough, a reminder will be sent to them on D-2 of the scheduled cuts. They will receive a final “shedding schedule” alert at 9:30 p.m. the previous day.

This is where the situation could be critical. Because in supermarkets, shopping centers and shops, users could find themselves in the dark, without checkouts or operational security gates, or even stuck in elevators…

Michel Edouard Leclerc, boss of the eponymous supermarkets, even assured last July on Franceinfo: “we can close stores on certain time slots”, in the event of a risk of cuts.

The sector, however, does not seem to favor the worst-case scenario at this time. “Professionals have taken the file in hand and all together, we should be able to guarantee French consumers and users not to have large cuts”, added the boss of the E.Leclerc stores.