Bermuda RA: Smart meters determined “safe”


The Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (the Authority) has released the findings of its independent assessment of BELCO smart meters.

The Authority tested radio frequency (RF) radiation emissions against the standards for Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE).

Smart meters, or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), are used by BELCO to meter the use of electricity. The meters relay the usage data using wireless technology, in place of manual meter readings.

The Authority initiated the meters emission testing to address public concern about the safety of smart meters in Bermuda.

The study was conducted using a recommended methodology of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of Engineering.

Official Test Results

The Authority’s test results show that smart meters used in Bermuda are considered safe for general population.

The emissions are significantly lower than the maximum allowable limit.

The test results for both models of smart meter used by BELCO are:

• Aclara/GE-I210+c: Emits less than 3% (2.7%) of the maximum permissible exposure.

• ITRON Centron: Emits less than 1% (0.134%) of the allowable limit.

The RF emission measurements were taken in front of the smart meter antenna and 3 feet from the meter. Details of the assessment methodology and the full report is available online.

The Authority’s report states; “Data collected during the activation survey of the area clearly indicated that the general public is not exposed to levels of radio frequency radiation higher than the FCC Standard.”

BELCO is replacing its manual-read meters to ‘smart’ technology island-wide. The installation of smart meters and the selection of the device used, is a decision by BELCO.

The Authority authorised the use of radio frequency (RF) spectrum for the smart meters.