Faced with the controversy over the billing of the connected Linky meter, the government assured yesterday Tuesday that consumers will not “pay[aie]nt no more ”. They “will not pay an additional cost due to Linky”, insisted the minister responsible for ecological transition, Emmanuelle Wargon, at the National Assembly.
“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] », Explains the minister. This commission “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”, she assures us.
The CRE had warned in 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 renewables (connection of production sites, development of electric vehicles, etc.). Regarding Linky, CRE considered that the savings allowed by Linky should make it possible to offset the increase in costs associated with its deployment.
“The Linky meter does not increase consumers’ bills”
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 Linky advanced meter offset the investment costs of the project”, CRE once again concludes. It recalls having set up a “deferred pricing” so that the costs “are reflected in the tariffs at the same time as the benefits”.
The press article which set fire to the powders mentioned that users equipped with a Linky meter should expect an increase in their bill from 2022. An increase which aims to reimburse Enedis for the cost of installing these counters, estimated at 5.7 billion euros.
An amount that Enedis has already paid: the company has in fact taken out a loan of 5.39 billion euros in order to finance the installation and commissioning costs of the Linky meters, the rest being financed with own funds. . But, as explained The Parisian, the EDF subsidiary intends to reimburse this advance by invoicing users for installation costs, in addition to their electricity consumption bill, from the end of the year.
Linky is supposed to allow savings for the operator of the distribution network
This is due to a so-called “deferred tariff” mechanism, granted by the Energy Regulatory Commission. This mechanism was implemented in order to smooth as much as possible the impact of the installation of new meters on the energy bill, by neutralizing the costs associated with the installation of Linky meters until the end of 2021, date by which Enedis must achieve its objectives of 90% of customers equipped with Linky. For Enedis, this mechanism is justified because “the savings are noted once the deployment is completed, while the investment costs are immediate”. The company also indicates that from its point of view, everything is going as planned: “the Linky industrial program generated investment costs borne entirely by Enedis and completely offset over time by the savings generated by the deployment at the end of 2021 of 35 million meters ”.
Linky is 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. 90% of the planned deployment has been completed to date. The installation program, started in 2015, is due to end in a few months.
In 2011, Eric Besson, then Minister of Industry and Energy, assured that these new smart meters would not cost “individuals a cent”.