In the summer of 2010, San Isabel Electric Association began replacing electric meters system-wide. The new meters were installed to provide better service, improve system reliability through improved outage management and preventive maintenance and to help control rising operating expenses.
During this time, San Isabel Electric Association has used various means to communicate with members about the meter changing schedule including letters, door hangers and personal conversations with the members.
The new meters are working well and have enabled our personnel to respond more quickly to power outage issues. Additionally, this technology has given members more thorough energy usage information, helping them to understand energy costs in their home or business.
SIEA has received minimal negative feedback about the project from our members with only 3/10’s of a percent of members voicing concerns about the meter change outs.
While technological advances bring exciting changes to the utility industry, one thing is certain: SIEA will continue to bring you safe, reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost. At San Isabel Electric Association, we’re always looking out for you.
Q: Why is San Isabel Electric Association installing new meters?
A: The data from new digital meters helps us serve our members better. Our goals in installing new meters are to deliver better service, control rising operating expenses, improve system reliability through improved outage management and preventive maintenance, and provide our members with information they can use to make informed decisions about energy use.
Q: I’m concerned about my private account information. Does San Isabel Electric sell my data to other companies?
A: San Isabel Electric Association does not sell its members’ data to any third party. SIEA abides by stringent policies protecting the privacy and security of your electric usage data. These policies can be found in San Isabel Electric Association, Inc. Board of Directors Policy / Member/Consumer Privacy / Policy No: 2-8.
San Isabel Electric Association, Inc. is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our members’ personal information.
Q: How does the new system work?
A: Energy (kilowatt-hour) usage information is securely stored in the meter itself and transmitted via data encrypted radio receivers back to San Isabel Electric’s headquarters in Pueblo West via fiber optic cable. Meter data transmissions, which last about one second per hour, will not interfere with your television, telephone, computer, or other electronic equipment.
Q: Are there health issues associated with the new meters and radio frequencies
A: Research conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council and others has found no negative health impacts from digital meters that send information via a wireless communications network. The radio frequencies (RF) emitted by digital meters fall well below the maximum recommended in federal guidelines.
People are continuously exposed to very low levels of natural and man-made radio frequency fields, or RF. Even the earth’s surface and the human body are constant sources of RF fields. Digital meters send information about home electricity use to San Isabel Electric Association by RF signals. SIEA meters emit RF similar to that of many common household devices such as baby monitors, cordless phones, and remote-controlled toys and medical monitors.
The exposure from new meters is much lower than other common sources for two reasons: 1) infrequent signal transmission, and 2) distance. SIEA meters emit power for less than :30 seconds per day. In addition, these meters are typically placed outdoors, with a wall separating the meter from the living space. This combination of placement and infrequent operation means that you would need to be within one foot of 7,000 digital meters all communicating at the same time to reach the FCC exposure limit. You can rest assured our new metering equipment is safe for you and your family. The metering products we selected underwent testing by an accredited lab to verify that they met all FCC requirements.
Your cooperative is a not‐for‐profit private business that is solely owned and operated by the members who receive electric service from our company. When our board of directors approves a policy or procedure for the use of new equipment and technologies, they do so knowing that it will also apply to their own homes. In using this metering system, we have not only deemed it to be a wise and safe choice for all co‐op members and their families but our own families as well.
Q: Is it possible for someone outside of SIEA to hack into the system and gain access to my meter?
A: It’s extremely unlikely but not impossible that someone could access information from the cooperative’s metering system. Meter manufacturers have incorporated security features and encryption technology into their meters, as recommended by national security experts. Increased security continues to be implemented to encrypt and protect data. New meters allow us to determine if someone tampers with your meter.