What are "smart meters?"
Smart meter technology uses wireless communication to retrieve energy usage information at frequent intervals from customers' meters via a Radio Frequency (RF) fixed network. A Meter Data Management System receives and houses the data for analysis and use by other systems, such as billing and power outage management.
Smart meters only transmit energy usage readings and diagnostic information. Just like the old mechanical meters, smart meters measure how much energy customers use, not how they use energy.
What are the benefits of smart meters?
- Reduces estimated bills and meter reading errors
- Reduces need to access customer property
- Ability to monitor energy theft
- Less fuel consumption and lower vehicle emissions by Alliant Energy employees
- Online information to better manage your energy usage and costs
In the future, we hope to use smart meter technology to offer new and improved rate options and programs, and improved power outage identification and restoration response.
Are smart meters secure and safe?
The system uses a multi-layered approach to security that makes the data very secure. The system Alliant Energy uses meets all applicable FCC requirements.
Smart meters only transmit four to six times per day and use very short micro-second bursts of data when doing so. When compared to other common consumer wireless devices, such as cordless or mobile phones, the output is substantially lower.