The smart meter is the next step in managing home energy use — you get improved system maintenance, better response time to outages, live outage maps, power use information, and more.
Smart meters are connected to the same wiring and socket as the mechanical meters they replaced. Both kinds of meters measure electricity use. The key difference is the radio inside the smart meter transmits this energy use information through a low-power radio signal to a nearby secure tower. The total transmission time of this information is about one second per day.
To send information, smart meters transmit relatively low-power radio signals, similar to those used by cell phones, baby monitors and garage door openers.
FPL smart meters operate at a fraction of the safe power limits identified by the Federal Communication Commission. In fact, FPL smart meters operate at a fraction of the exposure of WiFi, microwave oven, cordless phones and cellular phones.
Customer usage data is sent over a private, dedicated network. The meter information is identified by radio number only, not the customer’s name or address. Usage data is stored on secure company servers and is used by the utility for billing and solving customer concerns. This information remains private and is not shared or sold to third parties.
A smart meter only gathers whole-house readings, just like a mechanical meter. It does not have the ability to monitor or control individual appliances.
While FPL smart meters can’t control equipment, the instant connectivity allows customers to participate in special pricing programs.
Customers who participate in time-of-use programs such as Energy Select can control their thermostat and water heater through a device connected directly to their thermostat and water heater inside their home. Before smart meters were installed, FPL had to install a special device on the meters to allow communication with this equipment for Energy Select customers.
The smart meter is the standard approved meter for FPL — and is approved by the Florida Public Service Commission and the FCC.