Remember when cell phones were supposed to cause brain cancer?

They didn’t – and they don’t.

It’s not uncommon for urban legends like this to emerge around new and advanced technology. The case is no different with smart meters.

Since 2008, DTE Energy has installed nearly 3 million smart meters (also known as advanced electric meters), equipped with technology that allows us to improve service and increase operational efficiency. However, like many newer technologies, smart meters have been confronted by misleading and untrue theories.

Because we want our customers to fully understand smart meters, we’re separating fact from fiction. Get the scoop on smart meters below.

MYTH #1: Smart meters are less accurate than analog meters.

TRUTH: Not only are electric smart meters more accurate and efficient, they also give you the power to control your energy usage. Using the free DTE Insight app you can see exactly how much energy you’re using. The app links your smartphone or tablet to the smart  meter to show your energy usage patterns and more.

MYTH #2: Smart meters are a health threat.

TRUTH: Radio Frequency exposure from an advanced meter is far below limits set by the Federal Communications Commission – and more infrequent – than other common electric devices like cell phones, baby monitors, and microwaves. In fact, smart meters typically broadcast their signal for less than two minutes in any 24-hour period.

MYTH #3: Smart meters are an invasion of privacy.

TRUTH: Smart meters cannot see what is taking place in or around your home or business. The meter simply measures how much energy you use and when, not how you use that energy. In addition, electric smart meters incorporate technology that allows meters to be read remotely, eliminating the need for a meter reader to visit your property each month. How’s that for privacy protection?

We recognize that there are some strong emotional feelings about smart meters. As a result, individual customers have the option to opt out of the smart meter program, and instead have a non- transmitting smart meter installed. Customers who choose to opt-out will be charged a $67.20 one-time fee and $9.80 per month for manual meter reading and related services.

Smart meter infographic final

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