What that means is that they are expecting colder-than-normal weather here in our region, and as a consequence EDF, the electricity company is warning there might be brown-outs.
La Bretagne est placée sous Alerte Orange EcoWatt demain, mardi 14 décembre. Les consommations d'électricité vont connaître une augmentation significative, notamment aux heures de pointe. L'ensemble des partenaires EcoWatt est mobilisé.
Nous vous invitons à modérer vos consommations d'électricité particulièrement demain matin et demain soir entre 18h et 20h.
The reason being that people crank up the two-bar fires and oil-filled radiators to cope with this bitter snap cold snap we're experiencing here.
This morning it was 3°C in our living room! That's 37°F! OK, it was colder outside, but not by much.
The building where we live was built sometime mid-1800s. It is granite block construction, however, when it was dry-lined a few years back, they failed to put even a smidgeon of insulation between the granite and the plasterboard. As a result of the mean and centime-pinching economy of materials, it's often cold enough to hang meat in here, and safely at that.
Last winter I spent a mind-boggling 1000€ plus keeping it warm enough for all three of us. This year I'm only warming the girl's room (they've moved into the same room together) and warming the living room first thing in the morning and again after sunset around 5 pm or so, at night. Of course during these 'Alertes', I hold off until after 8pm. I'm so thankful we are no longer under dreaded Tempo, because during Alertes, the cost of electricity sky-rockets.
I've taken to wearing two pairs of socks, sweatpants, a camisole, turtle-neck sweaters, a cardigan, gloves and a hat. Sometimes even to bed. Très sexy. I have placed down duvets on the couch and we snuggle underneath at night together and watch TV. I'm making loads of warming soups, so even though it's parky, our tummies aren't complaining.
Possibly because we are forcing our bodies to adapt to the cold, none of us have had so much as a sniffle for months. Last illness was this horrid 'gastro' that caused severe cramping for weeks, literally. I had it quite bad, but luckily the oldest just had a touch, and youngest went completely unaffected.
Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I'm certainly hoping that's true. About a lot of things...