Feature

Will there be power cuts in Monaco?

electricité-monaco-smeg-nuit
© SMEG

On this issue, the Principality’s destiny is essentially in France’s hands.

Europe is facing an unprecedented energy crisis, as we can no longer rely on Russian gas. Monaco, which depends on its French neighbour for energy, is no exception, and the authorities are considering possible solutions to avoid blackouts at all costs.

As in France, the Monegasque Electricity and Gas Company (SMEG) has drawn up a load shedding plan – approved by the Government in the week of 4 to 10 December – including electricity cuts. But rest assured, if there are cuts, they will be “very localised, for 2 hours maximum, at very precise times and with advance warning, and it is quite unlikely that they would be over several consecutive days”, explained SMEG’s electricity and gas director, Sylvain Didierjean. It should also be noted that certain priority sectors would be spared, such as the medical sector and services that are considered “essential” by the State, such as schools.

If there are cuts, they will be very localised, for 2 hours maximum, at very precise times and with advance warning, and it is quite unlikely that the would be over several consecutive days

Sylvain Didierjean, directeur électricité et gaz de la SMEG

Do think about having an external battery to hand, especialy to recharge your phones in case of emergency, and to have a few candles or torches to light your way. As far as food is concerned, don’t panic: “Fridge contents stay cold for 4 hours and 24 hours for freezers if the door is kept shut”, Sylvain Didierjean reminds us in Monaco-Matin

SMEG could also reduce the voltage of the entire electricity network by at least 5% in order to keep the overall supply going. However, this option, which will automatically lead to a drop in consumption, should present “no risk” to consumers’ appliances.

Monitoring real-time voltage level data

To avoid the plan being put into effect, the only option is to reduce our electricity consumption. Recently, you shared your tips for reducing your energy consumption with us. But do you know the times of the day when it is most important to take action? To help you, SMEG updates an “electricity weather forecast” every 15 minutes and publishes it on its website. The energy situation in Monaco is colour-coded.

Green indicates that consumption is normal, but responsible use is still recommended. Yellow means the electricity grid is stretched and responsible use is required. Red indicates that the electricity system is under great stress and power cuts are inevitable if we do not reduce our consumption. Responsible use is therefore essential. So it’s up to you, you hold the keys. If everyone makes an effort to lower their consumption, “We have more than enough capacity to get through the difficult period without resorting to cuts,” Sylvain Didierjean stressed when speaking to Monaco-Matin


Government support…

Minister of State Pierre Dartout presented a vast energy management plan in November, which included a price cap, in order to protect the population’s spending power and Monegasque companies’ competitiveness. The Prince’s Government also announced at the time that it was going to help households to acquire equipment that is more energy-efficient.