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Extra fees for new electricity meters

EDF's charges for new 'intelligent' Linky device could outweigh the potential savings, new figures reveal

21 June 2011

A NEW "intelligent" electricity meter that aims to help households cut their energy bills could have the reverse effect and end up costing them more.

EDF is currently testing out its "Linky" device, which makes it possible to monitor your electricity consumption in real time.

The meter sends details of electricity use back to the supplier automatically and will allow energy providers to offer tailored tariffs based on demand in a particular region.

However, new figures seen by Le Parisien show the cost of installing the meter, and extra fees levied by EDF for accessing your account online, mean many households will see their bills grow.

The meters cost up to €240 each, with the cost spread over several years, typically about €2 a month. The government has considered subsidising this, and will reach a decision this summer.

Customers also face a €42-a-year charge to access a new online account where they can access their meter readings and monitor their consumption.

EDF estimates that the meters will allow people to save about 10% on their energy bills. Households would therefore need to use more than €640 of electricity a year before the savings outweigh the costs.

Some 250,000 meters have been installed so far in Lyon and around Tours. Industry minister Eric Besson will receive the first results from the pilot scheme next week. If the project is agreed, the state will aim to place the Linky in 35 million homes by 2018.

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