Smart meters are occasionally the focus of attack from activists involved in efforts to spread misinformation about the devices’ safety and privacy. A video and fact sheet, re-released last week by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), set out to separate the facts from the fiction about smart meters and provide consumers with reliable information about the technology that refutes the most commonly circulated myths. Additionally a newly-released website, www.WhatIsSmartGrid.org, was launched to help consumers understand the many benefits of the smart grid. For example:
- Radio frequency exposure: It would take 375 years of direct contact with a smart meter to equal the same amount of radio frequency exposure from a daily, 15-minute cell phone call during the course of one year.
- Privacy infringement: Smart meters only know how much power is being used – not specifically how it’s being used – and utilities will continue to keep that data private as they’ve done for decades.
- Economic benefits: Smart meters could reduce the cost of power interruptions by more than 75 percent, reducing frustration and saving the American economy more than $150 billion a year.
“We’re setting the record straight about smart meters to help consumers lay their apprehension to rest and understand the many benefits of the technology,” said SGCC Executive Director Patty Durand. “Smart meters can be thought of as the greatest consumer empowerment tool in the last 100 years when it comes to electricity, because consumers will be able to take control of their electricity spending and understand how to manage this cost in ways never before possible,” she said.