A smart meter is a digital meter that offers a number of benefits to customers. These benefits provide you with more detailed information about your energy use as well as improved outage restoration and customer service. Smart meters also offer a platform for us to provide you with future energy efficiency and cost-saving programs, and energy-management applications
Smart meters were an important step in creating a more energy-efficient future for District of Columbia and Maryland and offer a number of important benefits. Some of those benefits include:
We place the utmost importance on the security and protection of all aspects of our electric and gas systems and associated sub-systems. In keeping with corporate policy, our smart grid systems and components will guard against cyber and physical attacks. We require that our equipment support Advanced Encryption Standards as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
As our smart grid is deployed, these guiding principles will be implemented and applied as recommended by the manufacturer and according to industry best practices. For example, we 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.
For more information about smart meter security, visit our Privacy and Safety page.
Our smart grid provider, Silver Spring Networks, uses 900 megahertz (MHz) and 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) radios in its smart grid hardware devices – the same Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-approved frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as baby monitors, cell phones, remote-controlled toys and medical monitors.
Silver Spring radio frequency (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 Fact Sheet.
Scientific research has been conducted on RF fields and health for several decades. Recent research has focused on RF at cell phone frequencies. This body of research has been reviewed by many public health and regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FCC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
None of the leading health organizations, including the FDA, FCC, WHO and NCI, have found that 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 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:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Federal Communications Commission World Health Organization National Cancer Institute
For more information about smart meter safety, visit our Privacy and Safety page.
Net metering enables customers with solar panels or other forms of renewable generation to benefit from the lower energy costs smart meters bring. Any excess kilowatts the customer generates are subtracted from the number of kilowatts used when the monthly bill is calculated.
Please note that it is important to notify us if you are planning to install solar panels or other forms of renewable generation. The current applicable tariff requires such customers to have a registered “net-metered” account. In addition, your meter needs to be specially programmed to accommodate net metering. Please call our Green Power Connection Team at 1-866-634-5571 if you have not submitted your application or to obtain additional information.
Net metering customers, such as those with photovoltaic systems that are interconnected with our grid, are at the forefront of a wave of change in the energy industry. The separate electric generating systems at their premises are not yet fully compatible with My Account online energy analysis tools. Currently, the software prevents the display of self-generated energy-use data, and some net metering customers may be unable to enroll in My Account. We’re working on the necessary updates and expect these services to be available at a later date.