We recently had our new 'Linky' electric meter installed...lovely!
The rollout of 35 million Linky meters across France is costing a total of €4.5/€5 billion. The main costs break down into 80% on procurement and installation of meters, 10% on data concentrators and 10% on an IT system.The costs to ERDF will apparently be offset by the savings they will make on not employing (in France?) the 2,000 technicians manual meter readers.
After our experience of the 'Link vans' I can understand the high cost of installation. We had received notification of our installation by post to say our area was just about to be fitted out with the new meters and were awaiting confirmation of a date. However, on discussing this with our neighbour (over aperos) we were advised that we actually had to book an appointment.This actually suited us as we had our houses plus neighbours (part-timers) houses to attend to. Pauline did an excellent job of tying in appointments by phone (which is never easy here) for 6 houses.
On the appointed day the 'Linky man' arrived in Barrou at 8.30am and Pauline led him around the village (she is now invited to their next social event) dealing with five of the six properties. He was very efficient,it has to be said. The house in Le Grand Pressigny was booked in for the next day but it would be some other 'Linky man'.
As it happened we had to go over to the house in the afternoon and when we arrived a 'Linky man' was parked across the street attending to our neighbour. As we had a a window of between 10.00 and 12.00 for the next day we asked him if he had time slot for us. He checked his log only to tell us that he wouldn't be doing ours that would be another 'Linky man'.
The next morning we headed over early so we would not miss him. On arrival we saw the Linky van parked up the road and approached the 'Linky man' to let him know we were at the house and could be done anytime, but he informed us that he was not in fact our 'Linky man', That would be someone else. Our man did turn up during the alloted time and again did a tidy job of installing our new meter.
Since then, however, we must have seen a dozen 'Linky men' crossing both villages in every direction and they have reappeared opposte our houses on different days attending to different neighbours, now I know that it cannot be easy tying in whole communities but perhaps because of their huge budget the need for efficiency has gone out the window! BTW the 'Linky men' we were exposed to were very capable and pleasant.