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99% of new energy meters don't work

New meter will be compulsory in 80% of French homes by 2020 - but only eight of the 19,000 in service currently work

8 June 2010

A TRIAL into a new type of electricity meter that will be compulsory in most homes within ten years has hit a problem - 99.9% of them do not work.

The European Union requires 35 million households in France to switch over to the new "intelligent" meter by 2020, called Linky, which sends details of their electricity use back to the supplier in real time.

However, out of the 19,000 meters installed in Tours on a trial basis, only eight of them work properly, according to Le Parisien. The others functioned like an ordinary meter and did not send any data back to the supplier.

The bright yellow meter is designed to encourage efficient energy use and lets customers know in real-time how much money they are spending.

It will allow energy providers to offer tailored tariffs based on demand in a particular region - and stop sending staff round to people's homes to read meters.

The cost of installing the meters across France is estimated at up to €9bn - and consumers will foot the bill, with the €230 cost of each individual meter broken down into small installments on energy bills between now and 2020.

EDF said in a statement: "Not all the meters are sending data back because we have not yet activated all of the functions. We will carry out some more tests."

Another trial is due to take place in Lyon, where 200,000 homes are due to have the new meters installed by the end of this year.

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