• Privacy and Safety

  • Delmarva Power is committed to the safety, privacy and security for all of our customers. We believe that our grid modernization efforts, including smart grid and smart metering technologies, help us achieve these goals. 

    We also understand that you may have some questions or concerns around these technologies. Below you’ll find more detailed information around some commonly asked questions. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at 1-855-NEW-METER.

    Privacy

    Can someone steal my usage data from your wireless network?

    Delmarva Power places the utmost importance on the security and protection of all aspects of its electric system and associated sub systems. In keeping with corporate policy, PHI smart grid systems and components will guard against cyber and physical attacks.

    Delmarva Power requires that equipment support Advanced Encryption Standards as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As Delmarva Power’s smart grid is deployed, the security guiding principles will be implemented and applied as recommended by the manufacturer and industry best practices. For example, PHI will use firewalls, VLANs (virtual local area networks), encryption, and other methods as defined in technology standards to defend, deter, detect and minimize security threats.

    Can the signals get crossed and the wrong information be used to bill an account?

    This is very unlikely. Each meter is assigned a unique number for each customer location. Data from your location are matched with the meter number assigned to that customer location before being sent to our billing system for processing.

    I live in an apartment building. Will my building owner have the ability to access my individual use data without my consent?

    Delmarva Power is committed to ensuring your energy use data are private. Therefore, only the account holder has access to the data. This information cannot be shared with a third party without the written consent of the account holder. 

    How long will Delmarva store my usage data?

    Delmarva Power will retain this information for seven years.

    Radio Frequency (RF)

    Can someone steal my usage data from your wireless network?

    Delmarva Power’s Smart Grid provider, Silver Spring Networks, uses 900 megahertz (MHz) and 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) radios in its smart grid hardware devices – the same FCC-approved frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as baby monitors, cell phones, remote-controlled toys and medical monitors. 

    Silver Spring RF emissions are compliant with the levels required by strict federal regulations and permitted by various international recommendations and as such should not cause any interference with wireless routers or cordless telephones. For more information, please refer to our RF Fact sheet.

    How frequently does the smart meter send out a signal?

    Most smart grid devices use radio frequency (RF) fields for only a few minutes each day to send signals. Rather than provide continuous output, Delmarva Power's smart meters are idle most of the time, only turning on periodically to send a brief transmission. An individual meter is idle more than 99 percent of the time.

    How much research has been done on the health effects on the smart meters Delmarva Power is using?

    Over the past decade, there have been hundreds of studies in this area. The smart meters being installed by Delmarva Power use very low-power radio frequency (RF) fields to transmit power usage data. The RF fields used by smart meters are in the same frequency ranges used by cellular and cordless phones, but are at much lower power and typically occur for less than a total of one minute per day. 

    There is a large body of scientific research on RF fields and health. Federal regulatory agencies have conducted detailed reviews of this scientific research and have not found any reliable basis to conclude that there are health risks related to RF exposures at levels below recognized standards.

    Is there a health risk from smart meters?

    Scientific research has been conducted on radio-frequency (RF) fields and health for several decades. Recent research has focused on RF at cellular phone frequencies. This body of research has been reviewed by many public health and regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). 

    None of these organizations has found that the RF signals from smart meters cause or contribute to any adverse health effects. For example, a recent review by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that while some studies suggest a possible relationship to cancer based on prolonged use of cell phones, RF exposures from cell phones cannot be considered an actual cause of cancer or even a probable cause.

    IARC also found that there was inadequate scientific evidence of any cancer risk due to RF fields from environmental sources, such as cell phone towers and wireless networks. WHO has further emphasized that “no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” For detailed information provided by these organizations, visit their websites at:

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Federal Communications Commission
    World Health Organization
    National Cancer Institute