Smart Grid FAQ

SECC wants to help you understand the smart grid. Below, we have answered some frequently asked questions about just that topic. Just click the question that interests you for the answer.

About the Smart Grid

Do smart meters pose a health risk?

No. Wireless smart meters emit radio frequency transmissions comparable to those emitted by wireless home telephones or Wi-Fi. Concerns about radio frequency and electromagnetic fields (EMF) are not supported by scientific evidence, but SECC, like the World Health Organization, invests in topical research and follows the latest studies on electromagnetic frequency. Safety is always a priority. To find out more, download SECC's Radio Frequency Fact Sheet by clicking here.

Will the smart grid cause blackouts to become more frequent?

No. In fact, the current electric grid is rapidly approaching its limitations, and smart grid innovation will increase grid efficiency and help meet the increasing stress of growing demand on existing, aging infrastructure. Smart grid technologies applied across the grid will contribute to fewer and shorter brownouts and blackouts.

Will the smart grid make costs increase for consumers?

Researchers disagree on whether costs will increase with a transition toward the smart grid. Some studies claim that they will, whereas others argue that they will not—especially when the savings of avoided power generation are included in the calculation. Regardless, utilities and consumers will need to work with one another to develop the funding and rate strategies that reflect the needs and the resources of the communities being served.

What are the benefits of the smart grid?

The smart grid will deliver many benefits at individual, community and nationwide levels. Smart grid keeps your lights on, lowers energy costs, and secures America's energy independence. To find out more, download SECC's Consumer Benefits Fact Sheet by clicking here.

What is the smart grid?

The "grid" refers to our nation's electric power infrastructure. Smart grid is the application of information technology, tools and techniques that can make the grid run more efficiently. The current electric grid is highly inefficient and very much in need of modernization.

What are smart meters?

Smart meters, a common form of smart grid technology, are digital meters that replace the old analog meters used in homes to record electrical usage. Digital meters can transmit energy consumption information back to the utility on a much more frequent schedule than analog meters, which require a meter reader to transmit information.