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French companies and consumers were urged to conserve electricity, gas and oil by the chief executives of Electricite de France.

In an opinion piece published in Le Journal du Dimanche, Jean-Bernard Levy, Catherine MacGregor, and Patrick Pouyanne said that we must collectively take action on energy demand. They will have to manage the coming consumption peaks and smooth out technical events.

As soon as this summer, the bosses of the country's largest energy groups wrote, France will be better prepared for the winter. They wrote that France needs to make a huge effort to boost energy efficiency in order to lift the purchasing power of households and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Europe must reinforce power and gas interconnections in order to invest in low-carbon energy.

The French government said it would work with companies and local authorities to come up with a plan to curb energy use. It is pushing for gas companies to fill up storages as soon as possible in order to boost the development of renewable energy.

The EU leaders are bracing for a hard winter.