Power Hogs Targeted by France in Big Brother Legislation

By Tara Pate
Bloomberg
Oct. 22, 2012

Heating a French home could soon require an income tax consultation or even a visit to the doctor under legislation to force conservation in the nation's $46 billion household energy market.

A bill adopted by the lower house this month would set prices that homes pay based on wages, age and climate. Utilities Electricite de France SA and GDF Suez SA (GSZ) will use the data to reward consumers who cut power and natural gas usage and penalize those whom regulators decide are wasteful.

"It's Orwellian," opposition lawmaker Daniel Fasquelle said by telephone. "The law will create huge inequalities and infringe on people's individual freedoms. It won't work."

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