SoCalGas' advanced meter modules and the network communication system will operate in the 450 to 470 megahertz (MHz) and 900 MHz bands, respectively. The technology products SoCalGas will use for its advanced meter project comply with U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for human exposure to RF energy.
We continually monitor regulatory and scientific developments related to human exposure to RF energy. SoCalGas relies upon the expert findings on science related to RF exposures and potential health effects through the following organizations and agencies:
According to these groups, no adverse short- or long-term health effects have been shown to occur from the radio frequency signals produced by smart meters or other such wireless networks.
There are three key factors that contribute to RF exposure:
Signal duration: SoCalGas' advanced meters will normally transmit a signal for a fraction of a second per day or for a total of less than two minutes per year.
RF energy: The RF energy emitted by an advanced meter is considerably less than that from common items used every day that emit RF, such as laptops, cell phones, and baby monitors.
Distance from source: Advanced meters will be located in the same location as the gas meter. When the advanced meter is transmitting the exposure level is thousands of times lower than the general population exposure limits set by the FCC:
|Source||Radio Frequency Output Compared to Maximum Output from an Advanced Meter|
|Talking on a cellular phone1||up to 1,000,000 times more|
|Maximum exposure level operating a microwave oven||up to 500,000 times more|
|Using a laptop computer with a wireless internet connection||up to 5,000 times more|
|Most electric smart meters||Up to 500 times more|
|Advanced gas meter||1 times (reference level)|
1 Cell phones are designed to reduce RF output to the minimum required for reliable communication, but may reach peak power output when signal strength is limited.
The advanced meter's communication works similarly to the way a wireless router operates and should not interfere with any wireless devices in the home.
We understand that some customers may have concerns regarding radio frequency transmissions. Here are several links to additional information and resources:
SoCalGas Fact Sheet