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La « mise en société » du compteur communicant : innovations, usages et controverses dans les mondes sociaux du compteur d’électricité Linky en France

Abstract : While digital technologies are transforming the energy sector, the scale and forms taken by this evolution remains to be studied. Through smart grids, digitization has been established as an indisputable rational imperative, even becoming the roadmap of the French public authorities with the communicating counter called "Linky". Following a social consultation initiated in 2005, the design of this tool was accompanied by numerous attempts to redefine individual behaviour, advocating the advent of a "smart consumer", which is based both on a logic of opening of the energy markets and on a principle of economy and energy transition. However, the implementation of this new technology (almost a third of the residential park already replaced in September 2018), already installed in many other countries since the early 2000s, is regularly debated in the public space and since its experimental launch in 2010.Advocating against a placeless and a-historical approach of the Linky counter, this thesis in sociology of innovation analyses the forms of politicization and the modes of appropriation that arise in the processes of conception, reception and operation of this new technology. The conditions of development and uses of the meter go beyond technological issues. At each of the stages of innovation in the social worlds studied by the Linky Meter, new controversies emerge, revolving around debates seemingly far apart from each other. The Linky meter, as a digitization infrastructure of the world of energy, triggers questions. Ubiquitous, the figure of the citizen is constantly invoked within these regimes of denunciations: users monitoring their consumptions, precarious access to energy, health casualties, people whose privacy is breached, etc. The actors oppose the Linky counter on the basis of the defence of the general interest (to the detriment of particular interests) and of the protection of citizens, often setting the focus on vulnerable ones (consumers, workers, health victims). This study shows how contestation, both in the company and in the public space, interferes with the development of the communicating meter and sometimes manages to block the emergence of certain technical features or modify their course. The development and politicization of the Linky meter is not only mediated by actors from the worlds of energy and their concerns, but is also updated in the light of contemporary debates. Questions of consumption, health, and digital are endorsed by claims makers, both professional and volunteers (defenders of personal data protection, electro hypersensitive collectives, promoters of the energy transition, activists advocating against the opening of personal data, field staff). The Linky Meter - what it should be, what it ultimately becomes, reveals a plurality of social models (low-energy society, connected society, etc.). The thesis explores the ways in which Linky meter is being embedded in society and thereby transformed and adapted.This research, in partnership with the Research Group Energy Technology and Society (EDF Lab), is based on nearly 135 interviews and ethnographic observations in Île-de-France, in the southwest, in Indre-et-Loire, and in the Lyon metropolis), conducted with all stakeholders, design and dissemination, as well as the study of two contrasting test sites of the Linky meter.
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Aude Danieli. La « mise en société » du compteur communicant : innovations, usages et controverses dans les mondes sociaux du compteur d’électricité Linky en France. Sociologie. Université Paris-Est, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PESC0003⟩. ⟨tel-02614235⟩

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