Pepco is committed to the safety, privacy and security for
all of our customers. We believe that our grid modernization efforts, including
smart grid and smart metering technologies, help us achieve these goals.
We also understand that you may have some questions or
concerns around these technologies. Below you’ll find more detailed information
around some commonly asked questions. If you have any additional questions or
concerns, please contact us at 1-855-NEW-METER.
Pepco places the utmost importance on the security and protection of all
aspects of its electric system and associated sub systems. In keeping with corporate
policy, PHI smart
grid systems and components will guard against cyber and physical attacks.
that equipment support Advanced Encryption Standards as defined by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology. As Pepco’s smart grid is deployed, the
security guiding principles will be implemented and applied as recommended by
the manufacturer and industry best practices. For example, PHI will use firewalls,
VLANs (virtual local area networks), encryption, and other methods as defined
in technology standards to defend, deter, detect and minimize security threats.
This is very unlikely. Each meter is assigned a unique number for each customer
location. Data from your location are matched with the meter number assigned to
that customer location before being sent to our billing system for processing.
Pepco is committed to ensuring your energy use data are private. Therefore,
only the account holder has access to the data. This information cannot be shared
with a third party without the written consent of the account holder.
Pepco will retain this information for seven years.
Pepco’s Smart Grid provider, Silver Spring Networks, uses 900 megahertz (MHz)
and 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) radios in its smart grid hardware devices – the same
FCC-approved frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as
baby monitors, cell phones, remote-controlled toys and medical monitors.
RF emissions are compliant with the levels required by strict federal
regulations and permitted by various international recommendations and as such
should not cause any interference with wireless routers or cordless telephones.
For more information, please refer to our RF
Most smart grid devices use radio frequency (RF) fields for only a few minutes
each day to send signals. Rather than provide continuous output, Pepco’s smart
meters are idle most of the time, only turning on periodically to send a brief
transmission. An individual meter is idle more than 99 percent of the time.
Over the past decade, there have been hundreds of studies in this
area. The smart meters being installed by Pepco use very low-power radio
frequency (RF) fields to transmit power usage data. The RF fields used by smart
meters are in the same frequency ranges used by cellular and cordless phones,
but are at much lower power and typically occur for less than a total of one
minute per day.
There is a
large body of scientific research on RF fields and health. Federal regulatory
agencies have conducted detailed reviews of this scientific research and have
not found any reliable basis to conclude that there are health risks related to
RF exposures at levels below recognized standards.
Scientific research has been conducted on radio-frequency (RF) fields and
health for several decades. Recent research has focused on RF at cellular phone
frequencies. This body of research has been reviewed by many public health and
regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the World Health Organization (WHO)
and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
None of these
organizations has found that the RF signals from smart meters cause or
contribute to any adverse health effects. For example, a recent review by the
WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that while
some studies suggest a possible relationship to cancer based on prolonged use
of cell phones, RF exposures from cell phones cannot be considered an actual
cause of cancer or even a probable cause.
IARC also found
that there was inadequate scientific evidence of any cancer risk due to RF
fields from environmental sources, such as cell phone towers and wireless
networks. WHO has further emphasized that “no adverse health effects have been
established as being caused by mobile phone use.” For detailed information
provided by these organizations, visit their websites at:
Food and Drug Administration
World Health Organization