Installations of two-way communication meters have more than doubled since 2010—almost half of all U.S. electricity customer accounts now have enhanced meters. Grand Valley Power has chosen a vendor for this technology that exceeds safety and security measures that covers the full infrastructure to the meter.
Myths Versus Facts
Fact: Meters must meet safety requirements and standards spelled out in the ANSI (American National Standards Institute). The test includes, but is not limited to, surge immunity, self-heating, voltage variation and accuracy measurements.
Fact: Enhanced meters have a detection built-in to alert Grand Valley Power if something goes wrong including overheating, tampering and low voltage. All residential meters will have a disconnect switch that is capable of remotely disconnecting the service. This switch may be used for disconnects or for safety measures. For example, a meter may be disconnected if there is danger from a fire in the area or a downed line.
Fact: Grand Valley Power provides a robust security system that protects all communication exchanges, end-to-end. Our meters transmit energy usage data through our secure wireless network. The collected data includes: usage readings, voltage levels, and outage / blink information. For billing and servicing purposes, each member is assigned a unique number which is associated with their usage data. No personal information, such as name or address, is ever transmitted from your meter.
Our secure system covers:
Meter-to-meter communications such as those used for network maintenance,
Field tool communications to meters
Physical security of meters to address compromise of cryptographic material such as keys
Communications to and from the cooperative using secure and private networks
Communications between the head-end and Gateways over the system
Communications between the head-end and user consoles used for operations and maintenance of the network
Communications between the head-end and other related systems such as outage management system
- Head-end to meter end-to-end communications for transmitted meter data or commands sent to the meter for service connect/ disconnect and on-demand reads, etc.
Fact: Meters only measure your usage throughout the day, not how you use it or control it. We cannot control, for instance, when you air conditioner turns on or know when you use your washer and dryer.
Fact: Grand Valley Power does not sell or give out personal information or data usage. We follow all legal requirements in protecting this information.
Fact: The RF (radio frequency) emitted by the meter is well below what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set. In fact, the RF from enhanced meters is so low that you could stand directly in front of a meter for a full year and still have less RF exposure than you’d get from a single 15-minute cell phone call.
Fact: Pacemakers, electronic defibrillators and other medical devices will not be affected.