What is an Advanced Meter?
Recently, we began implementation and installation of a new AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) system. What is an Advanced Meter? An advanced meter, or “smart meter,” is simply an upgraded electrical meter that records energy consumption at intervals of an hour or less and transmits that data via fixed wireless networks. The device enables two-way communication between an energy consumer and the electric grid, allowing customers to manage their energy usage in greater detail, and utilities to manage energy operations and distribution more efficiently.
Advanced Meters are Safe
There has been a growing misconception in the public debate over the health effects of advanced meters in regards to their use of wireless radio frequency waves (RF) to transmit energy data. RF waves are a type of electromagnetic energy and are used for a number of different purposes, mostly within telecommunications. Consider the charts below, produced by the California Commission on Science and Technology, and by Elster, which depict the actual levels of RF exposure as compared to other commonly used consumer products. Advanced meters are typically located on the outside of homes and businesses and transmit data for a very short period of time per day. Looking at the RF emissions of a cell phone held to a person’s ear and the amount of time spent using a cell phone each day, advanced meter emissions pale in comparison. Advanced meters communicate intermittently, for mere fractions of a second at a time, equaling, in most cases, less than a minute per day in total transmission time. It is important to understand that when the meter is not transmitting a signal, it is also not producing RF emissions.
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