English presentation

Who we are

The négaWatt Association is an energy expertise and strategy think tank founded in 2001 and established as a French non-profit organisation. Its core objective is to address first the right questions and provide operational answers to switch to a sustainable energy system, and ensure a successful energy transition in France.

Its leadership and coordination is managed by the so-called “négaWatt Company”, a group of around twenty experts and practitioners relying on a network of more than 1,000 individual members contributing in kind.

The organisation’s financial resources principally come from donations and member subscriptions. Several private Foundations, NGOs and business sponsorships also provide support to the work carried out.

Why do we need “negaWatts”?

Overconsumption, growing environmental damages, climate change, depletion threats… As regards energy, the current situation is devastating.

Can’t we do differently, while still living comfortably?

Many solutions exist to consume less and better. In urban areas, do we really need a one ton car to move a single person on short distances? Will we ever need larger and larger TV screens? How reasonable is it to consider normal to wear T-shirts all year long irrespective of the season? There is so much potential to reconsider the way we use and waste energy all around us!

Going for “negaWatts” means avoiding bad habits and favouring a more sober approach to energy consumption. It is about making the most of our precious energy resources instead of consuming always more as if there was no tomorrow.

There is so much to win! Lighter energy bills, a healthier environment, less dependency on energy imports, more jobs.

The négaWatt 2050 energy scenario

negaWatt : energy sufficiency, energy efficiency and renewables

First issued in 2003, and updated several times since then, our 2050 energy scenario for France is now a well acknowledged and recognised thorough piece of work to discuss the country’s energy future, and options to engage in a sustainable energy transition. The scenario is supported by a large number of civil society organisations, and has been considered in official assessment studies and national energy debates.

Covering all sectors (buildings, transport, industry, agriculture…) through thousands of parameters and sophisticated details, it shows how France could shift to a climate-friendly, nuclear-free, and sustainable energy future through an approach based on:

  • energy sufficiency (favouring low energy services and lifestyles)
  • energy efficiency (ensuring that energy is used in the most productive way)
  • renewables (developing first the greenest forms of energy for our supply)


Current activities and contacts

négaWatt is involved in many national and EU-level debates through expertise, advocacy, and support to progressive solutions. The organisation regularly holds seminars and events on the energy transition. It has established in 2009 the négaWatt Institute, a research and training body organising sessions and involved in implementation projects. To contact us: contact /at/ negawatt.org

Our main policy recommendations

High-level priorities

  • Creating an Independent Energy, Climate, and Environment Authority in charge of supporting policy-makers, monitoring their decisions, and sanctioning breaches in the implementation of bills related to the energy transition.
  • Giving decision powers back to local territories, through a new step in the decentralisation process centred on local energy management and energy autonomy.
  • Reconsidering urban planning rules, having in mind the consistent goals of reducing non-renewable energy needs and creating better ways of "living together".

Sectoral measures

  • Energy performance regulations for buildings, with the same level of ambition and thoroughness for refurbishments than for new buildings, also including energy standards for appliances and equipment.
  • The objective of a more reasonable passenger mobility and rational freight system, through a diversification of transport modes and strong incentives for modal shifts towards the most efficient technologies.
  • The launch of a huge action plan to save non-renewable energy resources and raw materials in all industrial sectors, notably through the promotion of reuse, repair, and recycling with a view to relocate production in France.

Supply policies

  • A progressive and realistic nuclear phase-out, taking into account safety and climate change challenges, and favouring a substitution of nuclear power by renewables.
  • Supporting the development of renewable energy sources, whose contribution to the general interest should be acknowledged by law and legally justify interventions upstream (e.g. R&D and market support mechanisms), as well as downstream (coordination and decentralisation of energy grids).

Cross-cutting financing mechanisms

  • The establishment of a single fiscal instrument in the form of a Primary Energy and Environmental Externalities Contribution (”CEPEx” in French), that would account for the impact of all energy supply chains in the country.
  • A widespread use of "bonus-malus" schemes on all goods generating a recurrent energy consumption, designed so as to prevent stock growth.
  • The implementation of a progressive energy tariff principle, in order to discourage overconsumption while making it easier for everyone to access a vital amount of energy.

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