Nuclear fleet partially shut down, war in Ukraine… France is preparing for an uncertain winter in terms of energy. To the point of expecting cuts for individuals? It all depends on the type of energy. If this prospect, indeed, seems excluded for gas, nothing is guaranteed, for the time being, concerning electricity, according to the government.
Asked about this subject, Thursday on France InterPrime Minister Elisabeth Borne explained: “Even if the winter is cold and we face supply problems, there could be restrictions, but not on households. There will be no gas cuts for households. For electricity, on the other hand, “there may be times when if it is very cold there may be a problem with the electricity supply, advanced the Prime Minister, on August 30 in the program Daily. Each year, we prepare to deal with consumption peaks which can lead to what is called rotating load shedding, that is to say that we cut over a short period, less than two hours, for piece.”
In this context, several Internet users assure that holders of a “smart” Linky meter, which can be controlled remotely by the supplier Enedis and which equips 90% of its customers, could suffer a drop in available power, or even targeted cuts.
“Official info, ELECTRICITY and gas requisition this winter. You all have heat pumps and pellet stoves that run on ELECTRICITY. An advice start vs inform because it’s official, load shedding, heating at 16° thanks to linky, cut”, announcement this user on Twitter on July 22. Several twittos abound in this direction. “Those who have accepted the Linky meter will become disillusioned this winter… They will be able to see their electrical power limited remotely, without the physical intervention of an ENEDIS agent. That was, I think, the real objective of this technically and economically absurd operation,” writes the Internet user Michel Leclair.
Contacted by CheckNewsEnedis, in charge of medium and low voltage distribution over 95% of metropolitan France, and therefore manager of Linky meters, recognizes that it can reduce the available power, but “only at the request of the electricity supplier in the event of non-payment”. The company cannot therefore act on its own initiative to limit a customer’s electricity.
As for the risk of targeted, remote clamping on Linky meters in the event of a shortage this winter, the electricity network manager denies the rumours: “It is not planned, whatever the nature of the meter”, responds to the company CheckNews.
Still, in a situation of shortage, “an exceptional, preventive, localized and rotating cut-off system has always been one of the mechanisms that can potentially be activated in the event of risks to the balance of the electricity system in France, recognizes Enedis. This mechanism could be used, as a last resort, to preserve the supply-demand balance.”
load shedding, i.e. occasional power outages, is therefore possible in an emergency, as Borne mentioned. He is framed by article D141-12-6 of the energy codewhich states that “the average duration of recourse to load shedding for reasons of supply-demand balance is less than two hours.”
The decision is then taken, if necessary, by the electricity transmission network which ensures the balance between the production and consumption of electricity throughout France. But if this option is chosen, it is the entire electricity network that will be affected by power cuts, and not, again, only the holders of a Linky meter.
This article was produced as part of a partnership with the CFPJ for the promotion 61 application journal.