What is an advanced meter
Advanced meters (or smart meters) are the new electronic electricity meters that's replacing old electromechanical meters. Advanced meters send information about electricity consumption back to the supplier through a radio link. They operate at relatively low power, and only transmit for a very short time each day.

OnMetering-MeterReaderDiagram

Why the industry wants advanced meters
The industry wants advanced meters to save staff and transport costs, eliminate reading errors and the need to estimate bills when the meter cannot be reached. 

Advanced meters are good for the customer and NZ 
At present load demand is very ‘peaky’. That is, the peak electricity usage is very much higher than the average. This requires having the capacity in generators, transmission lines and distribution equipment to meet the peak. As the peak increases, so does the need for new generation, transmission lines and distribution systems. With much more detailed information available regarding the time when individual households, and potentially even when individual appliances, are using power, users have the opportunity to be much more circumspect about their consumption of electricity. It is already possible for many customers with advanced meters to keep continuous tabs on their electricity usage via the internet. With pricing based on available supply versus demand, there are opportunities for saving money when using large amounts of energy (tumble drying, EV charging, water heating). With controllable loads also connected (very likely in the case of EV charging), demand can be shaped to avoid building new infrastructure, thus keeping costs and environmental concerns under control. This is a real chance for the industry and customers alike to change the pattern of consumption to maximize use of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind and hydro), whilst minimizing use of fossil fuels and overall energy, and reducing the need for extremely expensive and unpopular grid upgrades, such as new transmission lines.

OnMetering-MeterHealthConcerns

No health concerns over advanced meters

As with any new technology there are always potential concerns. However the studies below show that there is no reason to be concerned about your health. Wireless advanced meters, when installed and properly maintained, result in much smaller levels of radio frequency (RF) exposure than many existing common household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens.

Radio frequency (RF) is a rate of oscillation in the range of around 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals. Our advanced meters operate around the 900 MHz range and meet the compliance requirements for New Zealand.

SmartCo EMF compliance report

We have gather a number independent reviews on RF from the University of Canterbury and others which show meter signals pose no known risk to health.

  • H&S Aspects of advanced meters EPE Centre.
  • Radio Frequency advanced meters California Council Science.
  • Silver Springs RF Emissions.

Electromagnetic-Spectrum-web

RF-Signals-Compared-web

We understand some people get nervous about wireless communication, cell phones and radio waves and there has been some media coverage overseas about radio waves from meters. Independent research from the University of Canterbury and other independent reviews have confirmed that advanced meter signals pose no known risk to health.

Radio-Graph

As this graph shows, the emissions from smart meters are many times weaker than cell phones and common electrical household appliances in everyday use.

 

* Based on the FCC average exposure standard which averages exposure over 30 minutes of usage (47 CFR1.1310 averaging) ** Measures in milli watts per square centimeter (mW/cm^2) Source: Central Maine Power, Iberdrola USA

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