Linky - electricity bill now seven times higher

In November 2020, Enedis installed a Linky meter outside my property. This property remains empty for most of the year when I am not there. Since installation of the Linky meter, my electricity bill has increased by more than seven times.

EDF claim that I use more than 1000kWh per month even when the property is empty. This is an astounding amount of electricity. The only thing connected is an internet router, a couple of light bulbs that turn on at random times during the evening, and a few security cameras. Total electrical consumption at any one time is probably no more than 100 watts.

A 50-watt lightbulb would take 20 hours to use 1 kWh. EDF claim that I use at least 30kWh a day. This is like having 30 light bulbs or 15 desktop computers on all the time 24/7. I know that my “compteur” can’t even handle such high loads at any one time as using a vacuum cleaner and an electric cooker at the same time would trip the system.

I have called EDF and emailed them many times, yet every time they insist that the Linky meter is more accurate and that my previous bills were just wrong. Apparently, for years I have been paying much less than I should have. They say they will “make a note” but they don’t do anything.

Before installation of the Linky meter my property averaged a total of 15-20 euros a month while it was empty. Since installation of the Linky meter my bills are over 150 euros a month. I am obviously paying for electricity that I am not using.

In September, a technician came around to check the Linky meter and the consumption rate suddenly dropped for that month. I don’t know what the technician did but EDF still charged me. However, since October it’s now back ridiculous figures.

This problem is driving me absolutely crazy. I’ve done all the calculations and I know I am not using anywhere near the amount of electricity they claim. I also know that there are no squatters since the place is alarmed with security cameras. This problem all started with the installation of the Linky meter.

Has anyone had this problem? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Are you at the house?

If you switch everything off is there still consumption?

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I’m not there now, unfortunately. When the technician came around, they tried switching off the electricity in the house, and apparently, the Linky reading went to Zero.

I was there last month and unfortunately I didn’t do any tests because I thought everything was resolved. When checking “ma consumption en bref” the readings seemed quite normal, but what I didn’t realize is this is just an estimation. November’s end of month consumption was less than 30 euros but by December this jumped to 230 euros.

What are the neighbours like?? Sounds as if there may be some sneaky wires in place perhaps? Do you have the EDF et Moi app so you can monitor usage (24 hour delay) and see if specific times when usage is high?

Best thing you can do is come over here and check the system for yourself.

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I have a lot of problems with the neighbours. A few years ago the maire authorized the development of council housing right next to my property. Since then there has been lots of vandalism and a break-in early this year. The culprits were arrested. This is why I keep the electricity on only to maintain the alarm system and surveillance cameras.

I have EDF et Moi and it’s been billing me a consistent 5 euros a day this month. I recently switched it from monthly readings to daily readings. Will probably update to 30 minute readings.

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Is someone running a cannabis farm off your electricity? Jane is correct. If all else fails there will be a mediator for the industry, details are probably in the small print on the back of your bill, but you or getting someone else on the spot may be needed.

If someone is running a cannabis farm then it’s probably not connected directly to the power grid of my house since the “compteur” would trip. On the other hand, if the they were connecting directly to the Linky meter, the technician would have noticed this? This problem only started when the Linky meter was installed. It would seem too coincidental.

What worries me is that the Linky meter is accessible to anyone on the road. Can anyone open it and fiddle around with it?

Is your usage consistent over 24 hours, or are there specific peaks and troughs? That might give you a clue. What was happening when you have been in the house?

And if you can’t get here yourself, do you have a trusted keyholder nearby to go and and see what’s happening? The fact that it dropped after a technician showed up also points to a local person connecting off your system.

The consumption is now a consistent 5 euros every day since the beginning of December. I will set it to get readings every thirty minutes.

When I was there a few weeks ago I thought the problem was solved since “ma consomption en bref” gave a gradual incremental reading that reached less than 30 euros for the period of right up until the end of November. However, a few days into December and now the bill for November has been determined to be 230 euros. I barely even had the heating on when I was there.

When I queried EDF about this sudden change from 30 to 230 euros for the month of November, they told me that “ma consumption en bref” is just an estimate and doesn’t have any real meaning. If I had known, I would have set the account to get the readings every 30 minutes but it’s too late now.

The property is alarmed. I have cameras both inside and outside but the Linky meter is out of view. It is physically accessible to anyone. I do have dodgy neighbours. They let their dogs poo in my front gate. They’ve smashed windows and the neighbour’s children have been arrested for breaking in. However, I have no evidence that anyone is stealing electricity.

I have left the keys with someone who I can ask to check up on anything.

I know your electricity problem is serious, but that did make me laugh as a description of dodgy’ness! France in general is behind on scooping the poop…so not considered a heinous crime here yet, and completely ignored in some places.

Once you have had more detailed daily readings for a week or so it might help identify the problem.

Well someone is thats for sure. You need to get your “six” across and stay here for some time to see if the consumption goes down. My guess is someone is nicking the power.

Ultimately I don’t think you are going to get far with “my bill used to be XXX before the Linky, now it’s YYY which is more, the Linky must be wrong” because EDF are much more likely to assume (with some justification) that the Linky is correct.

To get anywhere you will have to prove that you are not consuming the electricity that EDF thinks you are, which is going to need an independent check of the installation and some monitoring with (eg) a clamp meter and some data logging to produce a consumption graph which you can compare with the Linky. Obviously that can be difficult if you are not there.

Of course it can handle that consumption - it’s a constant load of about 5 amps.

When you are there you can look at the Linky to see whether the load that it reports is in line with your expectations.

What else do you have that could be increasing your bill? Water heater on heures creuses for example?

They shouldn’t be able to do anything to alter the reading.

Be careful with the field of view on the outside cameras - it should not extend beyond the boundary of your property.

To get anywhere you will have to prove that you are not consuming the electricity that EDF thinks you are, which is going to need an independent check of the installation and some monitoring with (eg) a clamp meter and some data logging to produce a consumption graph which you can compare with the Linky. Obviously that can be difficult if you are not there.

Yes, that’s what has to be done. But I need to know exactly what to do and what to ask, otherwise, it will be a waste of time.

The last time a technician came I believe that the power was simply switched off from the property and the Linky meter didn’t measure any consumption of electricity.

He also did something to the Linky meter and suddenly “ma consumption en bref” was a lot lower for that month so he must have done something.

I wasn’t present at the time. My neighbour let the technician in. EDF charged me for this and I never received a technician’s report.

You could switch on each circuit at your consumer unit and check the Linky for live consumption.

Try to avoid supposition - you don’t know that he did anything.

You need to look at what you have connected and ask whether it could be the cause of the increased usage, you need to examine your wiring and see if there are any possible faults or questionable connections, you need to connect an alternative measuring device and compare what it says with what the Linky says over several days at least.

Checking that the loads drops down to zero with everything off is useful, but only at that point in time - it does not tell you about anything which could “kick in” at another time.

You could switch on each circuit at your consumer unit and check the Linky for live consumption.

I will try that.

You need to look at what you have connected and ask whether it could be the cause of the increased usage, you need to examine your wiring and see if there are any possible faults or questionable connections, you need to connect an alternative measuring device and compare what it says with what the Linky says over several days at least.

The house is very old and the wiring is also very old. Could this affect the readings on a Linky meter but not so much an old analogue meter? Could it be a problem with the fuse box? The issue started with the installation of the Linky meter.

I was not present during the installation of the Linky meter. It was a forced upgrade during the peak of COVID restrictions. The energy consumption literally went up from 20-30 euros a month to 150 euros a month. I have energy bills going back decades.

What are possible faults or questionable connections? How do I connect an alternative measuring device? I’m not an electrician. Any links to information to read up on this would be helpful.

The most likely situation is that the old meter was under-reading, and the Linky is giving a true usage - although that assumes it is not faulty and no-one is leeching off your supply.

If you can get there, rather than turn the entire house off, it would be better to shut down one circuit at a time, assuming you have a consumer unit/fusebox with multiple trips/fuses covering lighting, sockets, cooker, heating, hot water etc. You need to see that the linky is showing significant usage at the level you described, then shut off one circuit at a time and see which causes a drop. When you have identified that then you can explore further for faults or ‘unexpected wiring’.

If you DO find unexpected wiring or disable a circuit permanently before leaving the house empty, it will be interesting to see if you have another break-in.

It’s a pain but you might need to engage one.

Not sure, perhaps others can answer.

Probably not to this extent.

What else could have changed? It’s actually very unlikely that the Linky is inaccurate.

As far as the wiring goes you need to understand the function of everything connected to your meter and to your tableau, and what state the equipment is in. Hate to say it but you might need the property re-wiring if the installation is very old.

It’s worth keeping an open mind that someone could be using your electricity without your permission/knowledge but I wouldn’t reach for that as the first explanation. That said old French houses can hide oddities - feeding power to what is now a neighbour’s barn which was once attached to your property for instance.

Do you have any outside power sockets which could be abused?

Check the basics as well - take your own meter readings and compare the figures with the bill - do they match up? Does the meter number (PDL) match your bill?

For your own measurements you could use something like this:

However I would not try to install one if you aren’t confident around eletrcal installations

Or (as I said above) a clamp meter to measure the current (which has the advantage that the existing wiring needent be disturbed) - but you’ll need one that can log the data to a PC over an extended period.

Not sure about the EDF app as I don’t use it (no Linky so far :slight_smile: ) but I think Enedis have an app that can give you real time data.

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Quechoisir.org has covered Linky disputes. I don’t have a sub, but it might be in one of the articles they allow free access to.

Try searching “mon linky me faire payer trop cher” - quite a lot of hits (no idea if any useful I’m afraid).