A company owned by Meridiam and Voltalis has secured funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help deploy smart energy meters.

EIB said the European Commission-guaranteed €20m loan will support the large-scale deployment of demand response active management technology developed by Voltalis.

Instead of meeting the increase in energy demand through an equivalent increase in production capacity, Voltalis is proposing smart management of electricity demand so that it can be reduced when prices are high or during peak usage times.

The plan is to install smart meters in a third of French homes heated by electricity and deploy this system throughout Europe in the long term.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, said: “By backing Voltalis with EU funding, we aim to show that energetic, dynamic and smart management is a viable solution for reducing energy needs without compromising comfort and the economy, whilst at the same time facilitating the integration of renewables within the energy system.

“This will enable the firm to reduce its carbon emissions, save money and help us attain our climate goals.”

Ambroise Fayolle, EIB vice-president, said: “Voltalis is a firm that illustrates very well how successfully combating climate change cannot be achieved without embracing innovative solutions.

“For the EU and its climate bank, it is vital to help these firms speed up the deployment of these innovations, so enabling consumers to combat global warming and make energy savings at the same time.”

Mathieu Bineau, Voltalis CEO, said: “We are proud to have the backing of the EIB and Meridiam, our strategic partner: this truly confirms the unique expertise of Voltalis and the value of actively managing electricity demand as part of the energy transition process.

“This support will serve to speed up the large-scale deployment of our technology, which will benefit the power grid and consumers by enabling them to better manage their energy costs.”

Thierry Déau, Meridiam CEO, said: “The inclusion of small-scale businesses is one of the conditions for successfully negotiating the environmental transition and we are delighted to work alongside the EIB in supporting the deployment in France of Voltalis’s technology, which will make rapidly evolving power systems more resilient.

“This ties in with our substantive goal of contributing actively to the European Green Deal.”