Linky meter power reduction test in French homes considered a success

The scheme is not expected to be used again in the foreseeable future

The power at homes in central France was lowered

An experiment to forcibly cut power levels available to homes via their Linky meters has been hailed a success. However, the scheme is not being extended.

The tests, which took place this winter in households in Puy-du-Dôme in central France, reduced the maximum power supplied to homes to 3kVA during two-hour peak consumption periods. 

Affected households still had enough power to use lights, the refrigerator and computer equipment but not washing machines or dishwashers. 

If too much electricity was used, the electricity meter would trip. 

Read more: Warning over Linky electricity meter frauds in France

Residents received small bonus

Households were given a €10 reduction in bills for the inconvenience, but 150 calls were received from people who had forgotten about the test. 

The experiment was prompted by fears of power shortages linked to the war in Ukraine. Electricity supplier Enedis said 20% less power was used at peak times as a result – equivalent to the output of two nuclear power stations. 

“Now it is up to the government to decide if it wants to make a law giving it the ability to cut power,” a spokesman said. 

“As the law stands, we can’t just decide we will cut power to houses as it is against our contracts with customers. 

To do the experiment, which we did at the government’s request, we had to have a decree signed by a minister and a consultation.”

 Read more: How can we cut off utilities at French second home from abroad?