Question #3

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Q&A

Will the communications system interfere with equipment in my home or business?

Smart meters run on two frequencies. The frequency communicating to the electric meter is 900 MHz (megahertz). If the premise also has a gas meter, the frequency from the electric meter to the gas meter is 2.4 GHz (gigahertz).

The electric meter frequency is similar to a cell phone and the gas meter frequency is similar to a computer router. Neither device will interfere with any wireless devices in the home and it is highly unlikely that the relatively weak fields produced the meter would interfere with the operation of a medical device.

Will a smart meter give my utility control over how and when I use energy?

No. Actually, you control your usage, not the utility. Advanced metering gives you more control. Participating in residential energy management and other energy efficiency programs is completely optional. Customers who participate can use the information they receive to manage their energy usage day by day. Or, they can set preferences (select a maximum temperature for air conditioning, for instance) and let the system automatically make adjustments based on the cost or availability of energy. Either way, the customer is in complete control and will have the option to override signals or not participate in energy-efficiency programs at all.

The smart meter takes frequent readings of your energy usage, but it only measures the electricity used in your household, it does not control it. If you have opted in to a program such as a PeakRewards program, your smart meter will not change how this program operates. The utility will continue to cycle air conditioner compressors and hot water heaters on and off as needed during peak usage times, the same as when you first signed on to this program. In the future, the smart meters will enable utilities to remotely turn service on and off at customer premises. This feature will be used when customers move out of their current homes and start service elsewhere. This cost effective feature eliminates the need for a utility field visit when customers move or start service. The remote connect feature will also enable the utility to place customers back into service more expeditiously.​

Will smart meters increase my energy bill?

Smart meters are tested for accuracy and their primary function is measuring power usage. Similar to your old meter, smart meters will measure the energy that is used by residents of your home. The meter itself cannot and will not increase your bills. Your bills could actually be lower because smart meters and smart grid technology will provide you with personalized information and tools to decrease your energy usage. Old analog meters can stick or run ‘slow’ resulting in inaccurate bills. In cases like this, the smart meter will now provide an accurate reading of your energy usage.

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