What is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter is a digital meter that offers a number of benefits to customers. These benefits provide you with more detailed information about your energy use as well as improved outage restoration and customer service. Smart meters also offer a platform for us to provide you with future energy efficiency and cost-saving programs, and energy-management applications
Why do I have a Smart Meter?
Smart meters were an important step in creating a more energy-efficient future and offer a number of important benefits. Some of those benefits include:
With access to detailed data, smart meters give you the power to review and evaluate your energy use.
Smart meters provide remote outage detection and help us restore your power faster.
Our representatives are equipped to answer specific questions about your personal energy use, should you ever want to contact us for assistance.
Remote meter reading reduces the number of our vehicles and trucks on the roads, which in turn helps reduce carbon emissions.
Smart meters are the key to greater energy efficiency, reducing the need to build power plants and decreasing the use of older, less efficient power plants that typically have higher greenhouse gas and other air emissions.
Is my energy use information secure?
We place the utmost importance on the security and protection of all aspects of our electric and gas systems and associated sub-systems. In keeping with corporate policy, our smart grid systems and components will guard against cyber and physical attacks. We require that our equipment support Advanced Encryption Standards as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
As our smart grid is deployed, these guiding principles will be implemented and applied as recommended by the manufacturer and according to industry best practices. For example, we 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.
For more information about smart meter security, visit our
Privacy and Safety page.
Are Smart Meters safe?
Our smart grid provider, Silver Spring Networks, uses 900 megahertz (MHz) and 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) radios in its smart grid hardware devices – the same Federal Communications Commission (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 radio frequency (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.
Scientific research has been conducted on RF fields and health for several decades. Recent research has focused on RF at cell phone frequencies. This body of research has been reviewed by many public health and regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FCC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
None of the leading health organizations, including the FDA, FCC, WHO and NCI, have found that 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 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 AdministrationFederal Communications CommissionWorld Health OrganizationNational Cancer Institute
For more information about smart meter safety, visit our
Privacy and Safety page.
What if I generate my own electricity?
Net metering enables customers with solar panels or other forms of renewable generation to benefit from the lower energy costs smart meters bring. Any excess kilowatts the customer generates are subtracted from the number of kilowatts used when the monthly bill is calculated.
Please note that it is important to notify us if you are planning to install solar panels or other forms of renewable generation. The current applicable tariff requires such customers to have a registered “net-metered” account. In addition, your meter needs to be specially programmed to accommodate net metering. Please call our Green Power Connection Team at (866) 634-5571 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not submitted your application or to obtain additional information.
I have solar panels installed at my home. Sometimes I cannot access My Account or see my energy-use data via My Account. Why is that?
Net metering customers, such as those with photovoltaic systems that are interconnected with our grid, are at the forefront of a wave of change in the energy industry. The separate electric generating systems at their premises are not yet fully compatible with My Account online energy analysis tools. Currently, the software prevents the display of self-generated energy-use data, and some net metering customers may be unable to enroll in My Account. We’re working on the necessary updates and expect these services to be available at a later date.