By the end of 2021, it is estimated that over 115 million homes and businesses across the United States will be equipped with digital meters, also known as smart meters. We’ve studied this technology for years and have waited to install them until we were confident they would exceed all of our safety, security and privacy measures. Your upgraded meter will provide you with insights into your energy usage while helping us deliver cleaner, more reliable energy and faster, more responsive service.
Digital meters transmit energy usage data using low-watt radio frequency (RF) waves that are proven to be safe and are well within the limits set by the Federal Communications Commission. Additionally, the World Health Organization has concluded that no adverse health effects have been found to result from exposure to low-level RF energy.
Radio frequency waves are something we encounter every day. They are used for everything from radio and television broadcasting to the cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, garage door openers and microwave ovens we have in our homes.
Advance metering technology communicates via RF for only a few minutes a day and at very low wattage. The units are usually outside, farther from people than cell phones and over devices that use RF. Plus, your home’s or building’s walls further reduce RF exposure.
In fact, the radio frequency from digital meters is so low that you could stand directly in front of one for a full year and still have less RF exposure than you’d get from a single 15-minute cell phone call. Altogether, this means that living in a house with a digital meter provides very little exposure to RF.
Digital Meter Health & Safety – Myths & Facts
We take our customers’ privacy very seriously. Even though digital meters only gather and transmit energy usage data through our secure wireless network, we still use the most advanced security and encryption technology to protect your information.
Advance metering technology cannot track or record individual appliance usage. Instead, it can only record whole-house electrical usage information – the same information collected by your old meter. This means Rocky Mountain Power gets no information on the specifics of how you use energy, only the total usage. For example, if your home used 3 kWh of electricity in a given hour, the new meter would transmit “3 kWh.”
To further guard privacy, customers are assigned a unique, random number that is associated with their usage data. No personal information, such as name, address or account number, is ever transmitted from digital meters.
Our cybersecurity protocol meets current industry standards and guidelines published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). To guard against unwanted access, our high-security communication network uses multiple layers of protection including passwords, firewalls, data encryption, continuous monitoring and other security controls. Additionally, ongoing testing and third-party audits of our security measures ensure your data is extra secure.
Digital Meter Privacy and Security
No Health Threat from Smart Meters | Utilities Telecom Council
Radiofrequency Safety and Utility Smart Meters | Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health | World Health Organization
Itron Products and Radio Frequency Regulations | Itron