The Linky meter suffers from many disputes. However, this did not prevent Enedis (formerly ERDF), the company responsible for managing and developing the electricity distribution network in France, from having it installed on almost all of French soil. In total, informs the EDF subsidiary on its site, more than 8 out of 10 households are now equipped with a smart meter and “90% of them are satisfied with the installation”. Enough to allow, insists the company, a better monitoring of its electricity consumption, but also access to personalized offers, the simplification of self-consumption installations… and in general significant savings. “It is a necessary modernization for better controlled energy consumption, more efficient services and savings as a result”, comments Enedis.
The fact is, however, the Linky meter is not unanimous. As Planet has already had the opportunity to explain, the Enedis device has been disputed for a long time; some claiming it was unhealthy while others cited the risk of fire, breakdown due to ants or, among other grievances, price hikes. Most of these attacks were swept away by Enedis, with a lot of denials. But it is clear that at present, the anti-Linky fight seems to have lead in the wing. Should we think that the anti-Linky war is over? The response of Stéphane Lhomme, environmental and anti-nuclear activist, known for his commitment against the anise meter.
“Today, the challenge is perpetuated in simple acts, such as keeping your ordinary meter. It turns out that we can keep it and it is perfectly legal since Enedis, a public company, would not charge for an illegal service. It envisages invoicing from 2023 (or 2025, for those who practice self-reading) and not a penalty. It’s a clear admission that old meters are still legal. There are still around 4 million in service today”, says the activist, who also explains that the fight is not limited to this.
“We are preparing new actions, in particular a challenge to the billing that Enedis intends to put in place on the old meters”, recognizes the founder of the Nuclear Observatory for whom the situation is more nuanced than a simple defeat-victory dichotomy .
For the time being, the activist does not wish to reveal what form the rest of the protest will take. “The collectives coordinate. We have regular meetings and we are working on documents to challenge the billing. It is our lawyer, Maître Boda, who is taking care of it today”, summarizes Stéphane Lhomme.
The activist concedes, in some respects, a defeat. “In a way, we can say that the battle is lost: millions of people have been fooled and are now equipped with a Linky meter. In terms of cash, it has even supplanted the needle counter. However, we must not minimize the other dimension of the fight: millions of people, who remain less numerous, of course, have been able to resist. They do not have a Linky counter yet and do not suffer from all the associated problems”, he slices.
One question remains: what future for the needle counter?
The activist is convinced of this: in the future, French men and women who have had a Linky meter installed risk facing, for some, serious problems. Therefore, the future of the smart meter, as well as the needle meter, is “open”.
“Many people experience inconvenience, but no fewer are satisfied with it. Everything will depend on how the general sentiment evolves about Linky. If consumers realize that it is used to do something very different from what was announced, such as the implementation of moving tariffs, perhaps we will see a stronger mobilization in the future”, wants believe Stéphane Lhomme.