FPL busts myths at SKA meeting


FPL busts myths at SKA meeting


Date: May 10, 2012
by: Alex Mahadevan | News Editor



Ahead of the Florida Power & Light Co. plans to install smart meters in Sarasota County, a project manager representing the electric company took questions and presented a video to the Siesta Key Association to ease resident concerns about the switch.

Project Manager Steve Anderson led the session, which proceeded with near silence from SKA members to accommodate quiet computer speakers supporting the video. He explained that FPL expects to complete the meter switch for its 4.6 million customers by 2013; Sarasota County meter upgrades are expected to start in November.

New meters come with a wealth of benefits, Anderson said. They emit a radio frequency to FPL allowing it to alert the firm when a customer (or customers) loses power. Instead of waiting to field calls complaining about outages, they can quickly zero in on a region that has lost electrical power and speed up technician response time. There could even be fewer surprised consumers opening monthly electricity bills, because smart meters will generate monthly forecasts so forward-thinking customers can plan ahead.

But change is sometimes accompanied with concerns: Privacy was one of the issues that got the most attention. One member of SKA asked about public availability of the information gathered by the meters. Anderson explained that customer data transmitted to FPL would be protected. He also addressed a myth that the company would be able to break down what customers are using electricity for — such as toasting bread, for example. Anderson said FPL will only see the kilowatts of electricity a customer consumes.

Additionally, Anderson said there would be minimal intrusion by crews during the upgrade progress. The company will send technicians to install a customer’s smart meter and technicians will visit the meter “two or three times” for testing.

When the potential health hazards of the new meters was brought up by an SKA member, Anderson responded with a poll of those who own cell phones. When a majority of hands shot into the air, he asserted that frequencies emitted by cell phones are far greater than what smart meters generate.

“Radio frequency is part of everyday life,” he added.

Smart-meter installations have already started in Dade and Broward counties, Anderson said. Of the 3.2 million that are complete, 2.5 million have been activated.

Sarasota County residents can expect to receive a notice in the mail with more information about smart meters and when crews will switch out their meters.

Anderson said that changing out the meters should take less than a minute and explained that despite the new name and capabilities, installation would be no different than switching out a malfunctioning meter.

“(FPL) has been changing out meters for years,” he said.


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Currently 1 Response

  • 1.
  • "When the potential health hazards of the new meters was brought up by an SKA member, Anderson responded with a poll of those who own cell phones."

    Please notice that he was clever. He did not respond with the scientific evidence of safety. Safety not just of the individual device but of the accumulated safety of EMF's from cell phones, cordless phones, wireless internet, microwave, etc. Is our total exposure safe?

    Google safety concerns and find out for yourself.

    Also ask FP&L to explain why they have the following disclaimer on their website on the smart meter page.

    Acknowledgement & Disclaimer:

    This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-OE0000211.
    Disclaimer: This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.


    Do we really need to risk exposure to more radio waves while putting more Floridians out of work and allowing them to than raise your rates by time of day usage. Get ready to wait until 11pm to do your laundry when the rates go down.

    Do your own research. Make FP&L provide the studies and scientific evidence and make sure they are liable if they are wrong!
  • marilynne Martin
    Thu 10th May 2012
    at 8:00pm
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