Radio Frequency Facts

How safe are the new AMI meters?

  • The signal from a SmartMeter™ typically lasts between 2 and 20 milliseconds. These intermittent signals total, on average, 45 seconds per day. For the other 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day, the meter is not transmitting any RF.
  • Light & Power did extensive research and testing before choosing to use Landis + Gyr meters.
  • Electric SmartMeters™ utilize the same digital metering technology that utilities have widely used since the 1980s.
  • What is new compared to the earlier technology is the inclusion of a small 1-watt radio that allows two-way wireless communication between our customers and Light & Power, which will eventually enable customers to review their hourly energy usage.
  • Radio Frequency (RF) is used in many products that most people use as part of modern daily life such as cellphones, baby monitors, microwave ovens, wireless laptops, radios, televisions, pagers, cordless telephones, garage-door openers and walkie-talkies.
  • The RF from an electric SmartMeter™ is roughly one one-thousandth that of a typical cellphone. 
  • You’d have to have one of our meters on your home or business for more than 1,000 years to get as much exposure to radio waves as a typical cell phone user gets in just one month. 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and many other health agencies confirm that there is no persuasive evidence that low level RF exposure (such as from SmartMeters™ ) causes any adverse health effects.

The following table compares RF from a SmartMeter™ to RF from common everyday sources in many households.

Item and distance Power Density in Microwatts per square centimeter (RF exposure)
Gas SmartMeter™ (1 foot) 0.00166
Electric SmartMeter™ (10 feet) 0.1
Electric SmartMeter™ (1 foot) 8.8
Microwave oven (3 feet) 10
Wi-Fi wireless routers, laptop computers, cyber cafes, etc.,maximum (less than 3 feet for laptops,7 - 16 feet for access points) 10 - 20
Cell phones (at head) 30 - 10,000
Walkie-Talkies (at head) 500 - 42,000