Up to individual French companies to decide how to reach energy saving target - minister

French Minister for Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher delivers a speech during a press conference on the energy situation in France and Europe, in Paris, France September 14, 2022. Bertrand GUAY/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The French government will not impose binding measures on companies on how to reach a national energy savings target, Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Thursday, as France prepares for a possible tough winter regarding supplies of energy.

President Emmanuel Macron's government is due to announce sector-by-sector energy saving measures later on Thursday, designed to avoid power outages or shortfalls in gas supplies during the winter. Some business leaders are also due to unveil their saving plans.

The measures, aimed at bringing down the country's energy consumption by 10% compared to 2019, will include turning off hot water in state administration buildings and lowering the temperature in swimming pools and gyms.

Asked whether the government would also impose any binding measures on businesses, Pannier-Runacher told RTL radio that it was "up to each company to define the measures which have the strongest impact."

"We give them the target, they better reach it," said Pannier-Runacher, adding that in order to "build a plan for energy efficiency which can last", the method of voluntary commitments by individual players was preferable to imposing more binding legislation.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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