Linky meter: water heater, consumption… what can the little neon green box really do (and not do)?

Linky meter: water heater, consumption... what can the little neon green box really do (and not do)?

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Since its rollout in France, the Linky meter has been at the center of controversy. La Dépêche du Midi analyzes what a plug-in box can and cannot do in your home, while controversy surrounds its use by Enedis to deactivate off-load devices in water heaters.

There are now 35 million Linky smart meters installed in French homes. However, for several years the connected box has been at the center of many controversies, in particular regarding its impact on health and the appropriateness of collecting personal data about consumption.

The latest controversy to date: a decree allowing power grid managers to suspend power to hot water tanks during off-peak hours at noon. The role of the smart meter may be marginal, but some still highlight it. But how far do Link’s capabilities reach?

Automatic consumption report

The Linky meter monitors your household’s exact electricity consumption by recording data every month. Therefore, the reading of consumption is carried out automatically, remotely.

The green box allows households to be billed for their actual consumption on a monthly basis, rather than an annual estimate adjusted by a one-off adjustment, as was the case with the old meters.

In addition, Linky allows households to access more accurate data about their total consumption (per month, per week, per day, per hour, etc.) and thus adapt it. This data is available in the customer’s account, which can be viewed from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

But these measurements made by the meter are global. “Linky cannot know the differentiated consumption of each device or each room. It is impossible to find out, for example, how much you watch TV or how often your oven works,” assures Enedis Customer Service Director Eric Salomon. Figaro.

Encrypted signal

The Linky meter uses Power Line Carrier (PLC) technology, which is a wired mode of communication. It circulates only in low-voltage power grid cables. And not through the Internet. It has nothing to do with radio frequencies, which are radio waves that propagate through the surrounding air, like WiFi or FM radio.

To protect customer privacy, this data is fully encrypted. “Therefore, we can guarantee that our customers’ data will not be compromised. [piratées, NDLR]”, – shows our colleagues Eric Salomon.

Remote service

The Linky meter allows you to remotely carry out technical operations that until now required the intervention of a specialist at home, for example, commissioning electricity, eliminating certain breakdowns or even changing the power.

The fluo green box can also delay the supply of the hot water tank. About 75% of the electrical cluster areas in France are “enslaved”. In other words, they are automatically triggered by the network only at off-peak times for customers who have chosen this type of contract. However, this deactivation is not directly related to Linky, as it was already possible on older counters. It should also be noted that the customer can manually reset their hot water tank at any time they wish.

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