Over the past few years, smart meters have been installed in 70 million homes across the United States – that includes over half of all households in the country. We’ve studied smart meters for years and have waited to install them until we were confident they would exceed all of our safety, security and privacy measures. Your smart meter will provide you with insights into your energy usage while helping us deliver cleaner, more reliable energy and faster, more responsive service.
Smart 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.
Smart meters communicate via RF for only a few minutes a day and at very low wattage. They 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 smart meters is so low that you could stand directly in front of a smart meter 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 smart meter provides very little exposure to RF.
We take our customers’ privacy very seriously. Even though smart 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.
Smart meters cannot track or record individual appliance usage. Instead, they can only record whole-house electrical usage information – the same information collected by your old meter. This means Pacific 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 smart 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 smart meters.
Notice to California customers: See information on the privacy of energy usage data.
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.