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Energy prices in France: People without Linky meters risk paying more

Extra charge will apply to those without a new-style meter and who have not sent in usage readings. As many as 3.8 million people may be affected

A photo of a close-up of a Linky bright yellow smart meter

Not having a Linky meter installed (unless there is a genuine technical reason) could cost you more from next year Pic: NeydtStock / Shutterstock

Not having a Linky smart meter in your home in France from January 1, 2023 could cost you up to €50 more in energy bills per year, a new rule states.

From next year, if you have refused to install a Linky smart electricity meter in your home, and if you have not sent an update of your meter reading for at least a year, you will have to pay extra to cover the service.

The charge will be €8.30 every two months. This equals €49.80 per year. Up to 3.8 million people could be affected.

The change was confirmed in a government statement, after a decision from energy commission la Commission de régulation de l'énergie (CRE).

However, if you do not have a Linky meter but you send Enedis your energy readings at least once a year, you will still benefit from a free service until December 2024. This means you do not have to pay extra.

If, from January 2025, you still do not have a Linky meter, you will not benefit from the free service, even if you send meter readings. The only exception is if Enedis cannot install a Linky meter for technical reasons.

The bright yellow meters automatically send readings to Enedis, instead of customers having to do it manually. This is said to make readings more regular and accurate, and can mean that customers pay less. 

As of December 31, 2021, 34 million Linky meters had been installed. This represents 90% of Enedis customers.

Linky meters have been controversial in France

In 2021, opponents to the devices won a partial victory in court, when the Bordeaux appeal tribunal ruled that Enedis could not force them to install a meter. The court did not, however, say that Enedis should stop installing the meters.

Some claim that the meters cause health problems in people who are sensitive to electromagnetic waves. This condition is itself controversial, with many disagreeing over whether it exists. 

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