Does teleworking really save energy?

Baptiste Morin, edited by Gauthier Delomez

The telework incentive is the sixth flagship measure of the energy sobriety plan unveiled by the government. In particular, the State wants to encourage public officials and companies, but is such a measure really effective in achieving energy savings? Europe 1 takes stock.

This is the sixth flagship measure of the energy sobriety plan: the incentive to telecommute. In particular, the government wants to encourage public officials and also invites private companies to join the effort. In reality, according to RTE, the manager of the electricity network, for real efficiency, all the employees of a company must be teleworking at the same time so that the building is completely empty, and this must also be prolonged several days in a row.

In this case, and only in this case, the Ecological Transition Agency estimates the energy saving at 19% for the company. It is important, but in reality, it is almost impossible.

Reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere

For good reason, nearly two thirds of French people are not eligible for teleworking. Their profession simply does not allow them. Another obstacle, if it allows savings in the workplace, teleworking logically increases consumption at home. The proof: during the first confinement, from March to May 2020, CO2 emissions fell in all sectors, except in housing where they increased by 30%.

Telework above all saves greenhouse gas emissions related to the home-work journey. But is this sufficient to conclude that this measure is effective? The government will conduct an experiment. The Ministry of Ecological Transition will close four of its sites in Île-de-France for four days, from October 28 to November 1 inclusive. The results of this experiment will probably decide a part of the sobriety plan.