Orange & Rockland will be installing smart meters in Rockland County beginning this summer and continuing through 2020. A smart meter is a digital meter that communicates between a residence or business and O&R through an encrypted wireless communication network. While traditional meters and automated meters record total energy consumption, which O&R collects on a monthly basis, smart meters record and transmit energy consumption regularly throughout the day (via a secure wireless network) and will be used to create a smart grid for Orange and Rockland counties.
Smart meters will give detailed information about a location’s daily energy use and customized information to help conserve energy and save money. Smart meters will also alert O&R immediately about problems so O&R can get to work restoring power faster. For locations utilizing solar energy, a smart meter will help O&R manage these renewable resources more efficiently.
O&R’s cybersecurity measures follow standards for smart meters set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and are comparable to those used by financial institutions. Smart meters do not collect, store or transmit any personal information. Like a traditional meter, the only information collected is the amount of energy used, and all energy usage information is kept confidential by O&R and its vendors.
Rockland homes and businesses will get a postcard from O&R about three months before O&R begins smart meter installations in a given neighborhood, and a letter 45 days before installations begin. Appointments will only be necessary if the meter is inside the location. Installation takes 10-15 minutes with the possibility of a brief pause in electric power in some cases. Gas service will not be affected and O&R will leave a note when the new meter has been installed.
Smart meter installation is not mandatory but by opting out there will be a monthly meter-reading fee of $10 for gas or electric service only or $15 for both. There will also be a penalty of $25 if O&R is unable to obtain access to a meter for eight consecutive months. Commercial customers will be charged $100 if O&R is unable to obtain access to read a meter for two consecutive months. For questions about smart meters call 1-877-434-4100.