DEWA

Recent public concern around the safety of ‘smart meters’ has led to the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda assuring the public that the meters deployed in Bermuda meet United States Federal Communications Commission [FCC] safety standards.

A spokesperson said, “BELCO is replacing their manual-read meters to ‘smart’ technology and will issue further information to the public in coming weeks.

The installation of ‘smart meters’ and the choice of the device used is a decision of BELCO and the Authority authorized the use of radio frequency [RF] spectrum for smart metering.

‘Smart meters’, or Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), will allow for more accurate usage data, which will be relayed using wireless technology.

According to a Belco spokesperson: “The smart meters use RF only to transmit data from the meters. The RF feature is not used to monitor electricity usage. The smart meters used in Bermuda homes transmit meter data once every four hours, which equates to a total transmission time of less than one second per day. During the other parts of the day, the RF transmitter does not transmit any RF signals.

“The Authority has confirmed that the meters now being deployed by BELCO follow the FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, as per OET Bulletin 65. BELCO Smart Meters have been approved by the FCC in 2015, as being compliant with its requirements."

“In light of recent public concern, the Authority is conducting subsequent specific Maximum Permissible Exposure testing this month to ensure that AMI meters remain compliant with the previously approved FCC standards and will release a report when complete.”