Question #2

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Q&A

How is my personal usage information kept private and secure?

Answered by various utilities, security is a top priority for utilities:

AEP Ohio: The privacy, protection and disclosure of personal information are important to AEP Ohio. Cyber security is essential to the success of any smart grid project. AEP Ohio intends to advance the cyber security of the smart grid by establishing a dedicated cyber security operations center in Columbus. Cyber security is a familiar concept to the utility industry. They have extensive experience maintaining security on the information systems needed to operate the electrical grid. Installing advanced meters adds a new component to their system, but the meters, communications and information management will be subject to the same Department of Energy security standards that keep the grid secure.

SDG&E: The Information Technology (IT) security controls SDG&E have in place for smart meters reflect energy industry best practices. They are designed to provide a very high level of assurance that our systems cannot be compromised. SDG&E considers security a top priority. SDG&E takes all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure the services they provide their customers are not only high quality and easily available, but also extremely secure. In addition, they constantly monitor for evolving threats and attempts to breach security and progressively update their system protection as needed.  They also regularly review, test and practice incident response processes.

SCE: Security protocols for Edison SmartConnect are adapted from the banking and defense sectors in order to ensure the highest levels of security and privacy. All information transmitted between meters and the utility is encrypted using U.S. government-approved and recommended standards, and we work with federal and state agencies to stay ahead of cyber threats.

How do I know if I have a smart meter?

If your electricity meter has been replaced since January 2009 with a digital meter, it is likely a smart meter. Smart meters have a white face, with an LCD display, short for liquid crystal display, which is similar to the display used in digital watches and many portable computers and televisions. If you still have a meter reader visiting your house to take regular readings then you don’t yet have a smart meter. Another way is to check is that sometimes, depending on your utility, your monthly utility bill will have a statement in the "Notes" section indicating that your home is equipped with a smart meter.

Will I be able to read my Smart Meter?

Yes. Smart Meters have an easy-to-read digital display instead of a series of dials. Once the communications systems are operational, you also will be able to track your daily usage on the internet.  Gas meters will continue to have dials, as they do today. Watch a video on how to read your advanced meter.

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