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The Partial Observer by Angela Capps

Are Smart Meters Safe? Of Course They Are

An opinion article on June 1, “Smart Meters Coming Soon, But Are They Safe?” asks an important question.

It has just one answer. Yes.

Smart meters are scheduled to be installed in New York State Electric and Gas’ Oneonta division beginning in the spring of 2025. They will eliminate the need for manual meter reads while offering customers greater convenience, more control, and expanded choices to understand and manage energy use.

And yes. Smart meters are safe.

Assessing risk is something NYSEG takes seriously. Customers should, too, and we appreciate interest our customers take in the equipment we install in their homes and businesses. It is why you will always see us mention a credible source and citing it, list a website and link it, or make a recommendation and provide the credentials to back it up. I am writing to address some of the points contained in the June 1 opinion piece to provide our information and the resources we have used to implement this enhancement for the communities we serve.

The opinion piece questions approval of NYSEG’s smart meter installation plan. The plan was approved by the New York State Public Services Commission in 2020. Approval comes with an understanding (Myths vs. Facts: The Truth about Smart Meters ( that the radio frequency energy emitted by smart meters is well below limits set by the Federal Communications Commission and following in-depth review of studies by the World Health Organization that states the very small amount of RF produced by smart meters is not harmful to human health.

The FCC also sets RF exposure limits for other household devices used every day, like televisions, Wi-Fi routers and cell phones. All those devices have higher RF levels than smart meters and are used more frequently, for longer durations, and in closer proximity to our bodies. The fact is, the smart phone or laptop you may be using right now to read this article emits more RF than a smart meter. But rest assured, those devices are well under FCC RF exposure limits as well.

By the end of 2025, NYSEG and our sister company, RG&E, will install more than 1.3 million smart meters and 600,000 natural gas modules in 17 divisions across New York State. When we do, we will join utility companies from all over the country, and fellow utilities in New York State, that have also made the important commitment to modernize their infrastructure and pass along the benefits to customers. But we will be in your community long before our technician visits your home. Like the divisions that welcome smart meters before you, we’ll meet you face to face at open houses, answer your questions at community events and refer you to fact-based materials from trusted organizations that are already present on our website ( months ahead of your installation. The customer benefits of these smart meters include billing based on actual usage and, once fully implemented, improved outage response based on knowing which smart meters report power outages—eliminating customers’ need to call.

We look forward to further discussing the benefits of smart meters in this community.

Angela Capps is manager of meter services for NYSEG.


1 Comment

  1. At the very moment I saw this counter to the June 1 Opinion piece on Smart Meters I knew it must have originated from someone with ties to NYSEG! Interpret the “facts” as you will, and consider doing your own research, but there is still sufficient evidence around the globe to suggest we give the smart meter initiative a closer look!

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