Share “OG&E: Smart meters do not pose health risk”

Power Play

NewsOK | BLOGS

OG&E: Smart meters do not pose health risk

by Jay F. Marks Modified: July 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm •  Published: July 24, 2013

An Oklahoma City television station is reporting on the possible health affects of smart meters, but the state’s largest utility maintains such concerns are misplaced.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has installed about 800,000 smart meters across its service area in Oklahoma and Arkansas, replacing old analog meters.
“Analog meters are a thing of the past,” spokesman Brian Alford said. “Nobody makes them anymore.”
Smart meters allow customers to monitor their electricity use, while helping OG&E automate its operations.
Alford said the electromagnetic field generated by the new meters is the same as the old ones. The radio frequency that transmits data to OG&E is used for an average of less than a minute a day.
OG&E funded a 2012 study that showed radio emissions from smart meters were considerably lower than cell phones or microwave ovens.
Alford said OG&E has offered to have a third-party test the meter of customer Monique Smith, who complained to KFOR that it had forced her from her home, for unusual electromagnetic emissions.
Smith has asked to have her smart meter removed, but Alford said leaving analog meters in place would create holes in the utility’s network.
“It erodes the network. It jeopardizes the integrity of the network in that area,” he said. “It creates the experience of having to operate in two different worlds, the digital and the analog.”
If OG&E still had analog meters, it would still have to pay meter readers to know how much electricity its customers are using.
Smart meters and other new technology have allowed OG&E to avoid more than 700,000 “truck rolls,” when it has to send employees out to handle problems with the system.

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Oklahoma football: Sooners eighth on Forbes' list of College Football's Most Valuable teams
  2. 2
    Nevada goats help eat, recycle Christmas trees
  3. 3
    Jack Daniels' son is Jim Beam
  4. 4
    Monkey gives first aid to unconscious friend
  5. 5
    Tony Romo calls Pro Bowl an honor, but hopes Cowboys can't play
+ show more