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 The Turtle power-line carrier system automated reader currently in place is obsolete technology and soon will no longer be supported.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.