Radio Frequency Concerns

Smart Meter Technology and Products

The Itron OpenWay® technology and products chosen by SDG&E® fully comply with U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for human exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy. In addition, the FCC recently confirmed that current smart meter installations (including those for multiple meters at a site) comply with FCC radio frequency exposure limits.

Smart meters operate in two ranges (bands) of frequencies*:

  • 900 megahertz (MHz) band—slightly above those used by some of the cellular telephone carriers

  • 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) band—the same range where WiFi and many cordless phones operate.

These bands include the same FCC-approved frequencies that have been used for many years in other devices such as baby monitors, remote controlled toys and medical monitors.

Smart meter data transmission

When the OpenWay device is transmitting, the exposure to radio frequencies is much lower than exposure limits set by the FCC.

  • At 8 inches from the front of the meter, exposure is almost 10 times lower than the 902 MHz limits and more than 16 times lower than the 2.4 GHz limits.
  • The power transmitted toward the rear of the meter is typically an additional five to 10 times lower.
  • At 8 inches, RF energy from the average OpenWay device across combined transmitting and non-transmitting periods is less than 1% of the FCC general population exposure limits.
  • Radio signals generated by OpenWay devices are far below the levels emitted by common household appliances and electronics, including cell phones, baby monitors and microwave ovens.

Scientific Research

We continually monitor regulatory and scientific developments related to human exposure to RF energy.

SDG&E relies upon the expert findings on science related to RF exposures and potential health effects through the following organizations and agencies:

  • World Health Organization

  • FCC

  • U.S Food and Drug Administration

  • Electric Power Research Institute

According to these groups, no adverse short- or long-term health effects have been shown to occur from the radio frequency signals produced by smart meters or other such wireless networks.