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Smart Meter FAQs

A. We're upgrading to smart meters as part of building a modern energy grid. The new equipment supports our ongoing efforts to provide an enhanced level of customer service along with safe, reliable and affordable electricity.
A. Your current "Automated Meter Reading" meter is read remotely using drive-by technology. The new meter, also referred to as a smart meter or "Advanced Metering Infrastructure" meter sends data to Tampa Electric through a secure wireless network and eliminates the need for us to manually read your meter each month. Once everyone in our community has new meters by early 2022, we will all benefit from the enhanced services they provide. For example, we'll be able to start or transfer service remotely, respond to outages more quickly and provide you with daily usage information so you can be more efficient.
A. No, your new meter will have no impact on your service, your account number or your billing date. You will experience a brief interruption in service when your new meter is installed.
A. You do not need to be present for the installation. If you have previously provided specific access instructions for regularly scheduled meter readings, Tampa Electric will follow those instructions for entry. If you are not present at the time of installation, a door hanger noting that the installation is complete will be posted.
A. No, Tampa Electric is not monitoring your appliances with the new meter. The new meters are not providing Tampa Electric with information on how you use electricity inside your home or business.
A. Smart meters are proven technology and are safe and secure. All communications are delivered across secure networks.
A. Your new meter will collect and store energy usage data. This data is sent to Tampa Electric through a secure radio frequency (RF) network.

A. The smart meters we're installing emit a low level of RF and only transmit data for a few seconds per hour. The average RF levels are far below the safety standards specified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. Tampa Electric only uses FCC-compliant meters.

Here are some sources for more information.

Radio Frequencies and Smart Meters – SGCC is a consumer-focused non-profit organization aiming to promote the understanding and benefits of modernized electrical systems among all stakeholders in the United States.

FCC Policy on Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields – The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment.

Worrying about wireless, The Economist, Sept. 3, 2011 – In an independent study released by the California Council on Science and Technology, an advisory arm of the state legislature, concluded that wireless smart meters produce much lower levels of radio-frequency exposure than many existing household devices – especially microwave ovens.

"Radio Frequency and Smart Meters," Smart Grid, October 2014 – 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.

Federal Communications Commission letter to Sage Associates Environmental Consultants, Aug. 6, 2010. – The chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology addresses misinformation regarding the health effects of smart meters.

A. Since 1996, the FCC has required all wireless communications devices sold in the United States to meet minimum guidelines for safe human exposure to RF energy. The guidelines are established to protect public health with a large safety margin. In addition, federal health and safety agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration consistently monitor and regulate RF safety.
A. Yes. Itron has rigorous quality assurance processes to ensure the safety, accuracy and reliability of its smart meters. Itron complies with safety standards established by a number of utility industry standard bodies including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission and National Electrical Manufacturers Associations.
A. The smart meters we're installing are designed with multiple layers of security, including a dual security authentication system the encrypts usage data transmitted by the meter. No personal or sensitive data is stored in the smart meter. All personal data is stored behind Tampa Electric's series of firewalls that are governed and audited according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) compliance regulations. Smart meters are proven technology and are safe and secure. All communications are encrypted and delivered across secure networks.
A. You have the option to opt out of receiving a smart meter. If you choose to opt out, we will replace your existing meter with a standard digital meter that does not communicate remotely. Fees approved by the Florida Public Service Commission will apply.
A. Not right away. However, if you choose to opt out, please be aware that beginning October 3, 2019, Tampa Electric begin replacing existing meters with a standard digital meter that does not communicate remotely. This means that we are required to be on your property to manually read your meter each month. Because of the manual intervention, additional fees approved by the Florida Public Service Commission will apply. This includes a one-time meter installation fee of $96.27 and a monthly maintenance fee of $20.64.
A. Starting October 3, 2019, we will begin making confirmation calls to you and other customers who opted out. If we don't reach you by phone, we will send a letter or email. If we don't hear from you, we'll install a non-communicating meter. Once the non-communicating meter is installed, a Florida Public Service Commission-approved one-time meter installation fee of $96.27 and a monthly fee of $20.64 to manually read your meter will go into effect and appear on your next billing statement.
A. For questions about your new meter, please call CCI toll-free at 844-213-8243 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also email: TECO.FIELD@ContractCallers.com.
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