French ministers have given their approval to the rollout of a nationwide smart grid by GrDF, France’s natural gas distribution business.
In a statement published on its website, GrDF (Paris, France) said that Pierre Moscovici, France’s economy minister, and Philippe Martin, its ecology minister, had given their conditional approval to the scheme, and would make a final decision following a tender for the rollout to be conducted by GrDF.
GrDF plans to begin the rollout in 2015 with a pilot deployment of 150,000 meters, carrying out the replacement of approximately 11 million meters throughout the country over the following six years.
The company expects the entire project to cost around €1 billion ($1.33 billion) but says it will lead to savings on gas consumption and improved energy management.
It plans to fund the rollout by charging higher prices for the distribution services it provides to gas suppliers, but says the resulting increases in final bills for consumers are likely to be very small, with lower consumption largely offsetting the increase.
French ministers believe the project will create new jobs and provide a stimulus to the French economy.