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French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced the country’s smart electricity metering rollout plan, which will begin with the deployment of three million smart meters by 2016. The full rollout of 35 million smart meters across France is scheduled to be finished by 2020. The price tag for the meter upgrade is reported to be €5 billion.

The deployment is part of the Invest in France initiative at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, which is an investment program designed to advance technological innovation and improve economic competitiveness in a number of fields including mobility, IT, healthcare, and urban renewal. Prime Minister Ayrault said a tender for three million Linky meters would be issued by ERDF during the summer.

The Prime Minister notes, “This investment is being mobilized directly for the environmental and energy transition. These new meters will make life easier for users through remote reading, will help them manage their electricity consumption with better information, and will allow the development of  new services as the autopilot of the electrical devices in the home.”

ERDF has been testing its Linky meter in a 300,000 meter pilot in Touraine and Lyon since 2009. In addition, more than 25,000 Linky meters have been deployed in the approximately dozen other smart grid pilots that ERDF currently has under way across France.

It is estimated that up to 80 percent of the meters could be made in France , which would create around 10,000 jobs. The EDF Group has also announced its intention to develop a center of excellence for export.

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