The government assured on Tuesday that consumers will not “pay more” because of the deployment of the Linky communicating electricity meter.
“Consumers will not pay more for Linky,” said Minister for the Ecological Transition, Emmanuelle Wargon. They “will not pay an additional cost due to Linky”, she stressed to the National Assembly.
“The expected cost savings will be there”
It was responding to a question from the deputy (LFI, North) Adrien Quatennens, who quoted an article in the Parisian affirming that users would have to reimburse the deployment of Linky despite the initial promise of the public authorities. “Enedis performs a regulated, remunerated public service mission, through a tariff for the use of electricity networks, under the control of the Energy Regulatory Commission” (CRE), recalled the Minister.
CRE “has verified and confirmed that the total cost of the project will be lower than the initial budget and that the expected cost savings will be there and therefore included in the price,” said Emmanuelle Wargon. The CRE had warned last December of an increase in the future tariff for the use of electricity networks, representing 15 euros of the annual bill of an individual by 2024. But it mainly attributed this increase to the boom in renewables (connection of production sites, development of electric vehicles, etc.).
Over 30 million meters installed
Concerning Linky, CRE actually estimated that the savings made possible by Linky should make it possible to “compensate” for the increase in costs associated with its deployment. The regulator also published a press release on Tuesday to affirm that “the Linky meter does not increase consumers’ bills”. “The savings associated with the deployment of the advanced Linky meter offset the project investment costs”, once again estimates the CRE. It recalls having set up a “deferred pricing” so that the costs “are reflected in the tariffs at the same time as the benefits”.
Linky is in fact supposed to allow savings for the operator of the distribution network, Enedis, which can read meters and even carry out certain operations remotely, as well as limit errors or fraud. The authorities also hope that consumers will be able to reduce their consumption by monitoring it more closely. The Court of Auditors criticized the program at 5.7 billion euros in 2018, judging that the gains for the consumer were insufficient. More than 30 million meters have been installed to date.