Shortage of electricity: should we expect cuts 2 hours a day this winter?

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Winter is fast approaching… and the fear of the blackout is intensifying. A concern at the origin of many rumors concerning the use of the Linky counter against its users, or even regular, even daily, power cuts.

On September 27, 2022, a decree was published in the Official Journal to include a measure to readjust metering devices as part of the government’s energy sobriety project.

The decree mentions, among other things, the possibility for the managers of public electricity distribution networks to temporarily deactivate “the closing of the controllable contact during the period of off-peak meridian hours”. A decree effective from October 1, 2022, and at the latest until May 16, 2023.

Very quickly, some consumers interpreted this new decree as a way of cutting power daily to users of the Linky device, for two hours a day between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. On social networks, some indignant Internet users denounced this novelty, evoking a “scam”, validated “secretly”.

(Val Titoune) France: Stopped DAILY power outage between 11am and 3:30pm, max duration 2 hours, released September 22, 22. It talks about disabling meters (Linky), no earlier than October 1, 22, at most late November 2022 until April/May 15, 2023. pic.twitter.com/CNqXOIqoR9

An indignation which is explained, among other things, by the words of Elisabeth Borne this summer. Last August, the Prime Minister promised that there would be few or no power cuts and that if there were cuts, they would mainly concern businesses and not homes.

In reality, the emergency measures provided for in the text published in the Official Journal are more subtle than that. First, the “deactivation of the closing of the controllable contact” will only concern certain consumers, and only on certain time slots… Explanations.

Contrary to what the rumor suggests, the decree of September 22, 2022 does not plan to target only users of the Linky meter, but rather users who have subscribed to a “peak hours – off-peak hours” contract with less or equal power. at 36 kVA.

As a reminder, this option allows consumers to benefit from an advantageous kWh rate at certain times of the day, between noon and 5 p.m. and between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. In France, 4.3 million people are affected.

To avoid total power cuts between noon and 2 p.m., a time slot representing a significant peak in consumption, it will therefore be possible for the distribution network to reschedule the start-up of some of your automatically activated devices. Which devices could therefore be paused when needed?

In the columns of BFMTV, Enedis explains that the Linky counter cannot differentiate between the types of devices in activity. On the other hand, the device can disconnect “the automatic engagement signal for controlled electrical uses”. Only water heaters will therefore be affected.

Be reassured, therefore: the consumers concerned will not see any difference on their electricity supply, nor on their energy bill.

“If your cumulus is programmed to heat up at night, that will absolutely not change anything. If you have programmed it so that it also heats up during the day, during these famous off-peak hours at noon, it will be automatically ‘disconnected’ without you don’t have to do anything”, simply explains the news channel continuously.

In reality, this measure consists in avoiding and preventing possible power cuts, and not in causing them. In addition, electricity suppliers who will use this measure must notify their customers in advance.