Keeping the French motivated, a crucial issue in the sobriety plan


Posted Oct 7, 2022, 6:34 AMUpdated on Oct 7, 2022 at 7:16 am

From Monday, the government is pulling out heavy artillery to mobilize the French around the objective of reducing energy consumption by 10%. Until February, each individual will be tirelessly reminded by the media of the “five key actions for saving energy”. Injunctions intended to raise a wave of adhesion in favor of a totally voluntarist objective and which we will have to very quickly prevent it from falling.

Not that easy. For an eco-gesture to take hold, “we have to succeed in mobilizing 60% of the population. From there, the change spreads without it being necessary to accompany it. It’s the Hummingbird effect,” explains Gilles Marchal, founder of E3D-Environnement, a start-up that has developed support technology leading to changes in practices.

Install eco-gestures

The announcement he expected from the government on Thursday, during the official presentation of the energy sobriety plan, did not come. That of a call for projects of 1 billion euros to allow its various stakeholders – State, communities and companies – to mobilize the 9,000 support agents that it considers to be the minimum necessary to turn things around.

The evaluation of this expert in behavioral sciences is based on the feedback he draws from operations carried out in around thirty districts of large cities, in particular Lyon, Paris and Rennes, to install eco-gestures within populations. of different nature. In the Breton capital, for example, it is the use of the car in three districts which is targeted. Support agents regularly call their inhabitants to present the available offer of alternative modes of transport – walking, carpooling, public transport – and to advise them according to their situation. As a result, car use has decreased by 13%.

A platform to consume less

Companies are interested in this approach. Very recently, the Veolia group undertook to train around ten garbage collectors to support change. “Their mission will consist of making users aware of how to reduce their waste production. The service is financed by the local community”, continues the manager of E3D-Environnement. This start-up relies on a digital platform developed by its twenty researchers and engineers whose algorithm is set to offer savings in all situations. “We have the same tool as Amazon. But the goal is not the same. It’s about consuming less,” explains Gilles Marchal.

In any case, the target audiences are never left to their own devices. They are regularly polled on their choices, but also on their non-choice which will lead to new, simpler proposals. The guides also keep them informed of what is going on in their neighborhood, whether individuals or businesses. The amount of savings that their eco-gesture has enabled them to achieve is communicated to them. “You have to show that everyone is taking action,” summarizes the boss of E3D-Environnement.

How to react effectively to changes?

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