In France, the Linky smart metering program is seen as a driver of economic growth, according to Les Smart Grids website.
The deployment of 35 million smart meters across the European country by 2021 will generate an estimated 11,000 jobs, in a country where unemployment averages at 9.15%.
Job creation will develop in two phases with the first centering around the manufacture of Linky smart meter units followed by installation.
Following the selection of six smart meter manufacturers in August 2014 to produce the modules, including French companies Maec and Samgecom, one company – CG’s ZIV – expects to create 200 jobs at its new plant in Grenoble, and more opportunities are expected to follow with the other suppliers.
National electricity distributor ERDF, responsible for the Linky rollout, is expected to create 10,000 jobs, according to the article on Les Smart Grids.
Smart meter installation
The installation of Linky meters in homes and commercial premises will also be labour intensive.
France held a tender process for the installation in the middle of last year and expects to make public the winning bidder soon.
Smart meter benefits
Two benefits of smart meters on end users should also stimulate economic growth, according to the trade press article.
The French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) expects to see a new market for services to help businesses better manage their energy consumption.
And savings resulting from better household energy management should have a positive effect on purchasing power, stimulating growth of the retail market.
Despite having actual data on savings, Minister of Ecology Ségolène Royal is optimistic.
In a presentation in France’s National Assembly last October, Ms Royal said: “On the consumer side, the smart meter, which I want everyone to have the right to, saves, without losing quality of life, up to 20% of the bill.
“Added to better-insulated homes, it can be up to a halving and beyond the bill, so it’s recovered purchasing power.”