Smart meter FAQs
Almost all of our customers will be receiving a smart meter. In total, we plan to install 495,000 smart meters.
Prior to installing your smart meter, you will receive a call from AES Ohio notifying you that you will receive a smart meter. Installations began in December of 2021 and will continue through June of 2025.
No. You do not need to be home as long as your meter is outside and accessible. After it is installed, you will receive a door hanger confirming the installation. If we were not able to access your meter, you will receive a door hanger asking you to call us for an appointment
Smart meters are being installed by AES Ohio employees and contractors. Employees and contractors will have photo identification that says they are with AES Ohio and vehicles will be marked as AES Ohio. If you have any doubts, ask to see their identification. If you’re still not sure, give us a call at 937-331-3900. See our complete list of contractors.
Almost all of our meter installations will occur during normal business hours since most meters are outside and easily accessible.
Unfortunately, there will be a very brief interruption as we exchange the meter so you may have to reset your digital clocks and those on your appliances. We apologize for the inconvenience.
AES Ohio began installing smart meters for residential customers in December of 2021. Residential smart meters have a white face, with an LCD display, short for liquid crystal display, which is similar to the display used in digital watches and many portable computers and televisions. If you still have a meter reader visiting your house to take regular readings, then you do not yet have a smart meter.
This is an image of an AES Ohio smart meter:
Smart meters do not cause fires: smart meters cannot combust or ignite. Overheating is typically caused when there are problems with the meter enclosure. These problems can’t always be detected on a visual inspection and customers should have their meter enclosures checked periodically by a licensed electrical inspector.
AES Ohio is confident in the performance of our vendors and the equipment we are deploying as part of our grid modernization efforts. The meter make and model we selected undergo a variety of rigorous tests before they are approved for use in the field. The standardized tests are used to measure accuracy during various electrical load and weather conditions; the tests are industry accepted and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Additionally, AES Ohio has a testing procedure where we test a percentage of all meters received from the vendor prior to installing them at a customer’s home or business. We also continue to monitor meter accuracy after installation by conducting routine samples and / or periodic testing.
Certainly, AES Ohio understands that with any vendor or equipment, problems may occur after installation, so customers are encouraged to contact us if there are ever any questions about the accuracy of the meter or the bill.
Smart meters are tested for accuracy and their primary function is measuring power usage. Similar to your old meter, smart meters will measure the energy that is used by residents of your home. The meter itself cannot and will not increase your bills. Your bills could actually be lower because smart meters and smart grid technology will provide you with personalized information and tools to decrease your energy usage. Old analog meters can stick or run "slow" resulting in inaccurate bills. In cases like this, the smart meter will now provide an accurate reading of your energy usage.
No. You control your usage, not the utility. The smart meter takes frequent readings of your energy usage, but it only measures the electricity used in your household, it does not control it. In the future, the smart meters will enable utilities to remotely turn service on and off at customer premises. This feature will be used when customers move out of their current homes and start service elsewhere. This cost-effective feature eliminates the need for a utility field visit when customers move or start service. The remote connect feature will also enable the utility to place customers back into service more expeditiously.
Myths versus facts: The truth about smart meters
TRUTH: Smart meters are rigorously tested for accuracy even before they leave the manufacturing plant.
TRUTH: All meter manufacturers must follow performance standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
TRUTH: Prior to installation, utilities repeatedly perform accuracy tests.
Repeated tests help to confirm that smart meters are accurate, in some cases even more accurate than analog meters.
TRUTH: In-depth review of the scientific literature by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that the small amount of radio frequency (RF) energy produced by smart meters is not harmful to human health.
TRUTH: RF emitted by smart meters is well below the limits set by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and it is below levels produced by other common household devices like cell phones, baby monitors, satellite TVs, and microwaves. In fact, you would have to be exposed to the RF from a smart meter for 375 years to get a dose equivalent to that of one year of 15-minutes-per-day cell phone use.
No credible evidence shows any threat to human health from RF emissions at or below RF exposure limits developed by the FCC. With over 25,000 articles published on the topic over the last 30 years, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals.
TRUTH: Just as the banking, credit card, and cable industries have provided secure access to your information online, the utility industry is able to do the same using advanced security and encryption technology to safeguard your data.
TRUTH: Utilities are involved in national consortiums and work with national cybersecurity to regularly audit their systems to ensure privacy and security of smart meters.
The privacy of your data is protected now. Utilities work constantly to safeguard it. That will not change with the use of smart meters.
TRUTH: Smart meters must meet safety requirements and standards spelled out in the National Electric Safety Code (NESC).
TRUTH Public service commissions require independent certification proving that smart meters are safe and show resistance to heat, fire, voltages, surges, and self-heating.
Companies that manufacture smart meters produce certified safe and reliable equipment. Nevertheless, smart meters should be installed and uninstalled only by trained professionals exercising standard safety precautions.
TRUTH: Smart meters measure how much energy you use, based on time of day, not how you use that energy. Unless you install a home energy management system, smart meters cannot tell whether the energy used is from your oven, air conditioner or hairdryer.
TRUTH: Utilities adhere to strict policies, following state laws that regulate the use of personal information for business functions like billing and customer service.
Smart meters are a digital change allowing two-way communication between your utility and you, much like cell phones and banking. Utilities keep your data private and secure, consistent to those industries.
TRUTH: Smart meters measure and transmit your energy usage directly to your utility, eliminating the practice of estimated bills, which means accurate electric usage charges on your bill.
TRUTH: Smart meters provide you with near-real time energy usage information about how much, when and in some cases, at what price, you use energy. With this information, you can take more control over your energy consumption — and your monthly bills.
TRUTH: Working as a part of the Smart Grid, smart meters improve power outage detection and notification. Smart meters electronically report the location of outages before you ever have to call your utility, reducing restoration time and making status notification to you much easier.
Smart meters, which operate by transmitting and receiving information wirelessly, are a key element in the effort to update and bring electric systems into the 21st century. Some people have expressed concerns about the possibility of negative health effects from the radio frequency (RF) waves that smart meters use to communicate.
Radio frequency waves are a form of electromagnetic energy. They move through space at the speed of light and can be man-made or occur naturally. RF waves are used for a variety of purposes, but most importantly, they are employed in telecommunications. Smart meters use low-energy radio frequency waves to transmit information across distances.
Every day, people use and keep nearby to them many devices that utilize radio frequency waves, including microwave ovens and cellular telephones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets RF limits and requires that all radio communicating devices be tested to ensure that they meet federal standards before they are allowed to transmit within the radio spectrum. Smart meters emit less radio frequency energy than many other commonly used wireless devices which, like smart meters, are safe and FCC-approved.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that no adverse health effects have been demonstrated to result from exposure to low-level radio frequency energy such as that produced by smart meters. To further reduce concerns, smart meters transmit RF energy only for short periods each day. In fact, an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) analysis of 47,000 smart meters installed in southern California found that 99.5% of the meters were transmitting for approximately three minutes or less daily.
Radio frequency emissions weaken significantly as the distance between you and the device increases. The casing of a smart meter, as well as wall construction materials, also decreases the level of RF energy in the vicinity.
Continuously standing in front of a smart meter would result in the highest exposure a person could experience, and even then the exposure would be approximately 70 times less than the FCC limits.
Smart meters do not produce any negative health impacts. They emit a low level of radio frequency energy that is both FCC-approved and lower than the level of RF energy emitted by many other devices that are used daily by millions of people. At most, smart meters transmit radio frequency energy for only a few minutes each day, and that energy is reduced further by surrounding materials. Smart meters are a very important step to improving the delivery of electricity for consumers. They will give you more insight into your energy usage and more control over your energy expenditures. Most importantly, smart meters will help create a more efficient, more reliable, and more sustainable electricity world for generations to come.