How the Linky meter takes control of your water heater

The energy savings allowed by the measure are not anecdotal: 2.5 GW at 12:30 and 1 GW at 13, according to Enedis. Le Figaro

By eliminating off-peak hours from noon to 2 pm to reduce electricity consumption, Enedis can block the power supply of some electrical appliances.

For twenty-four hours, many French people questioned, indeed protested, the measure adopted by the Enedis at the request of the Ministry of Energy Transition with regard, in particular, to hot water tanks. The wording that the maneuver consisted of removing the water heater from several million households via their Linky meter between noon and 2 pm aroused the ire of specialists. Le Figaro goes into detail on the pros and cons of the measure which, as specified on Tuesday, should prove to be perfectly painless.

Let’s start by specifying that the provision concerns only families, businesses and local authorities that have subscribed to a power lower than or equal to 36 kilovolt-amperes and who have chosen a so-called “peak hours / off peak hours” from your electricity supplier. It is precisely this mechanism “peak hours / off peak hours”, which has already existed since the 1970s, which in reality is at the heart of the provision decided by the public authorities. This type of contract consists in making certain devices work through the electricity meter at times when the demand on the electricity grid is low. the hours said “empty” – in exchange for lower billing. This deferred check is carried out thanks to a “electrical impulse signal that activates the contactor to which it is connected in one direction or the other” the household appliance, explains Nicolas Goldberg, a specialist in these questions.

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Abolition of off-peak hours from 12:00 to 14:00

The water heater is one such electrical device that can be controlled as it works by accumulation: the water is heated, then stored at temperature in the tank and can therefore be consumed later. Likewise, electric inertia or storage heaters, as well as some household appliances (washing machines, dryers, dishwashers in particular), can be programmed by the user to operate at off-peak times, when the demand for electricity on the network is weak.

In many contracts, the so-called period ” dig “ takes place at night, from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am, and in broad daylight. The measure adopted by the government and implemented by Enedis simply consists in eliminating off-peak hours between noon and 2 pm, sometimes called “Off peak noon”. “Some off-peak hours are not well positioned. Typically, the time slot from 12:00 to 14:00 is no longer relevant in off-peak hours because it is potentially a moment of tension on the electricity grid “, says Nicolas Goldberg. In short, consumption habits have changed and off-peak afternoon hours are no longer.

The abolition of the off-peak hours regime in the middle of the day from 15 October will therefore prevent the automatic activation of appliances such as electric water heaters during this time slot. “This measure will be almost transparent for the consumer”, recalls Nicolas Goldberg on LinkedIn. Same observation for the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir: “apart from the great needs of hot water in the central hours of the day, the measure could go unnoticed”. In summary, families affected by the measure should not lack hot water, at any time of day or night.

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Significant energy savings

As already mentioned, the contracts “off-peak / peak hours” existed before the Linky counter was deployed. So why are only the houses that have them affected? Because “Linky allows you to preserve the reduced rate while postponing the launch of the water heater “, explains Thierry Sudret, chief operating officer of Enedis. Without this specific option for the Linky meter, the measure would have been burdensome for households: all their appliances would have been considered working at peak times and their electricity bills would therefore have risen. Furthermore, the measure is in no way coercive. Anyone can turn off the control of their water heater during “peak hours / off-peak hours”, but this is not the case “no interest”defends Nicolas Goldberg.

Recall that the energy savings allowed by the measure are not anecdotal: 2.5 GW at 12:30 and 1 GW at 13, according to Enedis. This further limits the risk of power outages during the peak that occurs every day between noon and 2pm. “The Linky meter is more than ever an essential tool for more responsible electricity consumption», Martella the manager of the electricity grid.

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