Radio-frequency (RF) exposure levels from one type of smart meter, even at close range, fall substantially below the protective limits set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the general public, according to a new report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
“RF is a ubiquitous and increasing presence in our daily lives as evidenced by the expanding use of cell phones and other wireless technologies,” said Rob Kavet, senior technical executive at EPRI. “Smart meters are integral technology to a modern smart grid, but consumers need to be assured that health issues associated with RF exposures from new technologies have been carefully examined and are well understood.”
The EPRI report also included detailed characterization of RF emissions from individual meters under laboratory conditions, analysis of individual smart meter activity from more than 53,000 meters deployed in the Southern California area, and measurements of RF in various ambient residential and community environments.
Smart meters of the type measured in the EPRI study use wireless communications to transmit data on electricity use, report outages, regulate load flow and other functions. They are integral in the development of a smart grid that can provide electricity customers pricing options, help system operators pinpoint outages more quickly and improve reliability and efficiency.
The Electric Power Research Institute Inc. (EPRI) www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI’s members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.