The Canadian province of Quebec has launched since 2012 the installation of smart electricity meters. A deployment carried out three years ahead of France and its Linky meters. As in France, the debates were lively in Quebec at first. Before fading away.
» It is no longer a subject that causes as much ink to flow as it did four years ago. “Laughs Clémence Lamarche, test manager for the local consumer protection magazine” Protect yourself ! « . Because like France, the installation of smart meters has provoked debate and controversy in Quebec.
In question, a questioning of the possible harmful effects of these new generation devices, in particular related to the emission of radio frequencies. To address these concerns, Protect yourself ! conducted its own tests, independent of health authorities.
» We decided to go out and take measurements in the field, under different conditions, to find out what kinds of RF exposures we were dealing with. Measurements were all well below Canadian standards “, assures Clémence Lamarche.
» In this kind of debate, it is important to base your opinions on facts, on conclusive data. You have to be careful not to fall into a kind of paranoia “, she concludes
Radio frequencies related to the communication mode of Quebec smart meters are not emitted by French models, as explained by Jérôme Poulin, a Canadian physicist specializing in metrology (the science that studies frequencies and waves).
» Canadian smart meter technology uses WiFi, while the Linky meter uses Powerline Communication (or PLC) “, he says. A size difference. If the Canadian counter emits radio frequencies (approximately in the same proportions as a Smartphone), the French model does not emit any.
Armed with his probes, Jérôme Poulin moves on to the practical demonstration. Linky does not emit radio frequencies, but an electromagnetic field. » The levels, the peaks that we observe are indeed those emitted by the device. These levels correspond to approximately ten times the Earth’s magnetic field, which is extremely weak. Any electrical device is going to have this kind of electromagnetic field “, he concludes.
Today, more than 97% of Quebec homes are equipped with smart meters. The polemics and debates of the early days have gradually faded. An evolution explained by the doctor in physics Danny Plouffe for whom, » for a year or two, the movement (anti smart meter) has run out of steam « .
» There has been misinformation about smart meters. Often people are very honest in their intentions and firmly believe that there is a negative effect. But they are not necessarily scientists. They are not necessarily experts on the subject. They sometimes select data arbitrarily. They do not have a global vision “, he regrets.
For Danny Plouffe, “ what is clear is that the existence of a negative effect has not been confirmed in the last four years « . Before specifying that, however, » the smart meter in Quebec works with radio frequencies », while the French model does not emit such frequencies.
Linky’s communication goes “ by electric wires. It’s the same as what happens in an electric light bulb, for example. It’s not like radio frequencies in which the frequencies are much higher “, he assures, skeptical about the French debate.
And the scientist concludes: It’s natural for people to be afraid […] But, if there are no radio frequency emissions, it becomes nonsense « .
Despite reports from various French health authorities (Ademe, Anses, Anfr) guaranteeing the absence of health risks, the debate remains lively in France for the moment.