• Lieudit Revers - 46300 Le Vigan
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Solar water heater

The 29 March 2024

Our energy strategy

As part of our commitment to environmental responsibility, we attach the utmost importance to energy, both in terms of the type and the quantity consumed. We prefer renewable energies to fossil fuels and are working hard to reduce our energy consumption. Why do we do this? Perhaps it has something to do with our repeated reading of “Le Monde sans fin” by Jean-Marc Jancovici and Christophe Blain, which has awakened our awareness of several crucial points.

On a global scale, our energy comes mainly from the transformation of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and, above all, oil. These resources, extracted from the subsoil, are in limited supply. At some point, they will run out, making it difficult to keep our equipment running! Not to mention the direct or indirect impact on global warming. That’s why we’re focusing on sobriety.

Energetic sobriety at Le Rêve

But what does energy energetic sobriety mean in everyday life? It means ensuring that we consume energy as efficiently as possible, while eliminating waste, in the same way as we track down water leaks. Here are a few examples of our approach:

– Avoiding the formation of frost in our fridges, which significantly increases energy consumption.
– When heating is necessary, maintain the temperature at around 19-20°C maximum and dress more warmly.
– Optimise the use of our deep fryers in the restaurant, as these appliances consume a lot of energy.
– Cover the swimming pool with a tarpaulin to conserve calories.
– Turn off the lights in the large washrooms at night, leaving only the small washroom on.

We also try to consume electricity at the most opportune times, i.e. to avoid running energy-guzzling appliances during peaks in demand. If everyone goes online at the same time, demand rises sharply and our green electricity supplier, Énergie d’Ici, runs out of capacity to supply all its customers, so it has to turn to the conventional market. This increases our dependence on nuclear and fossil fuels. Our energy supplier recommends certain consumption times, particularly at night. Here are some of the actions we are taking:

– Heating the water in rental properties, mainly at night.
– Programming the recharging of electric cars during the night.

Renewable energies

Wherever possible, we favour renewable energies to avoid depleting reserves. For example

– Installation of solar lighting along the walkways.
– Our famous solar water heater!

Although solar power and battery-powered equipment (maintenance tools such as hedge trimmers, chain saws, edgers, ZOEs, EABs) are not perfect solutions, as they also require non-renewable resources such as minerals, they are in line with our objective of sobriety… Here are a few energy-free initiatives:

– Installation of transparent tiles in the toilets, which require no energy to do the job!
– Offering games and manual activities that do not depend on technology, thus encouraging interaction and exchange.
– Organisation of walks.

Our solar water heater

Le Rêve enjoys excellent exposure to the sun, being open from late April to late September, when the sun is particularly generous. So it seemed logical to take advantage of this. However, replacing equipment that is still working is not necessarily environmentally friendly. So we waited until our gas water heater was showing signs of weakness, notably when we were advised to “hit the valve with a hammer” to reactivate it. It was time to act, especially as our gas contract was coming to an end. The ADEME (Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie – French Environment and Energy Management Agency) gave us financial support and we had to wait for a craftsman to become available before we could start the work.

We had to trim the hedge in front so that the sun could reach the solar panels properly, hoping not to have to cut down any trees. The year 2024 will serve as a test!

Jancovici's book is available from reception ;-)

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