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Facts about Digital Meters

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative has completed and deployed new, digital meters to improve the efficiency and reliability of our electric system. The Turtle power-line carrier system automated reader currently in place is obsolete technology and soon will no longer be supported.

With these new meters, Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative can read the meter remotely from our central office.  Information from the meter is recorded and transmitted back to the co-op. Transmitting this information electronically means that a meter reader no longer comes to your house in person.

Why did we change to the digital meters? What are the benefits?

The support for older meter technology is becoming obsolete. This meter upgrade provides Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative members with numerous benefits. The new meters will help us to:

  • Save Members money by replacing existing obsolete and costly automated meters.
  • Improve billing accuracy, eliminating misreads or inaccurate readings.
  • Pinpoint the exact location of outages more quickly, meaning a faster response time.
  • Help our Members to troubleshoot high-bill problems by providing information about power consumption patterns, outage and blink count history, voltage information and reducing usage.
  • Improve electric service reliability and power quality with fewer outages, blinks and surges.
  • Help secure the overall safety of the cooperative employee team.

Are there any potential health impacts from a meter that can receive and send data?

Research conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council and others has revealed no health impacts from digital meters. The radio frequencies emitted by digital meters falls well below the maximum recommended in federal guidelines. Contrary to some misconceptions, the new meters emit radio frequencies (RF) only when responding to a request for data from the co-op office or immediately following an outage or voltage disturbance.  Compare this activity to a laptop with a wireless connection, which is constantly sending and retrieving data.  A digital meter equipped to send and receive data has an RF density hundreds of times less than the RF density of a cell phones – and the meters are installed on the outside of your house not near to your ear. Digital Meters - the Real Story

Despite news coverage of consumer concerns over digital meter radio frequencies (RF), numerous reports and industry group findings show that digital meter technology is very safe. Current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards provide an acceptable factor of safety against the health impacts of existing common household electronic devices and digital meters. Learn More. 



We demonstrate our Concern for Community by volunteering and donating to local charitable causes. Nearly $500,000 in grants have been distributed in the last decade through grants and Operation Round Up funds to individuals and organizations in need. We also provide assistance to Habitat for Humanity, schools, churches and community events. To learn more, click on Community Involvement above. learn more

Members benefit from electric service reliability, competitive rates, money after co-op bills are paid in the form of patronage/capital credits, discounts, informative co-op publications, easy-to-access payment plans, rebates, scholarships, family-friendly Member-only events and a vote in the direction of Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op. To learn more, click on Member Benefits above. learn more

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative has granted more than $100,000 in scholarships within the last decade. An additional Power Systems Engineer (PSE) Scholarship has been added to the program. The winner of this scholarship is eligible for paid internship(s) in the co-op’s engineering department. learn more