The most cautious will have to get used to it: hot water at the tap, it is soon over in the majority of offices. A decree was published in the Official Journal on April 24, reports France 3 Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Until June 30, 2024, the text allows "the elimination of domestic hot water from washbasins in buildings for professional use to meet energy sobriety objectives". However, nursing and catering facilities and showers are exempt from this measure.

This decree of the Official Journal thus returns to the Labour Code which, until now, obliged companies to provide hot water to wash their hands. Cold tap water will become the norm, "provided that the risk assessment carried out [...] has not revealed any risk to the safety and health of workers due to the absence of domestic hot water and taking into account the needs related to the possible activity of workers from external companies," the text states.

This decree should allow companies to achieve energy savings of up to 82%, given that 3.99 kWh is required for 1,000 hand washes at 15°C and 22.35 kWh for 1,000 hand washes at 38°C. Those who would protest by claiming that hot water is more effective at eliminating bacteria, an American study published in 2017 in the Journal of Food Protection proves the opposite. According to scientists, the most important thing is not to botch the duration of hand washing (20 seconds rather than 5!).

  • Society
  • Water
  • Energy savings
  • Work