Smart meters: you asked, we answered

Have you heard about our plan to replace existing electric meters with new smart meters?

We’ve been talking about how they will provide near-real time meter reading, near-real time power outage detection and allow for more efficient restoration of service following storms. These new devices will eliminate almost all estimated electric bills and provide you with more electric-use information, so you can make informed energy decisions.

With any new technology comes many questions, and we’re here to provide answers.

Q. Will every PSE&G electric customer be provided with a new smart meter?
AYes. The new smart meters will replace currently installed electric meters.

Q. When will you install my smart meter?

A. Although installation work has already started, we expect that almost all of our electric customers will have a smart meter installed between 2022 and the end of 2024.

Q. Are smart meters safe?

A. Smart meters are safe. They use low-power radio frequency (RF) that is generally far less than RF used by devices already in the home such as baby monitors, cell phones, microwaves, TVs and wireless routers. There are approximately 100 million smart meters already installed in more than 70% of homes across the country.

Q. Will information collected by smart meters be secure? How will PSE&G use this data?

A. Protecting our customer’s privacy is our top priority. We have a comprehensive cybersecurity plan to protect customer usage data collected by smart meters and we will only use that data to provide better service to customers. We won’t sell this data to third parties and smart meters do not collect, store or transmit any personal information.

Q. When will I be able to see detailed information about my electric use?

A. We are developing an online portal that will allow customers to see detailed information about their electric use separated into 15-minute intervals. We expect that this portal will be available to customers in late 2022 or early 2023 as part of their My Account profile.

Q. Will smart meters allow PSE&G to remotely connect and disconnect electric service?

A. Yes, it is one of the many ways that smart meters will benefit our customers. This feature is particularly useful when a customer moves into or out of a location, because it allows us to start-or-stop electric account service quickly and conveniently at the customer’s request.

Q. Will PSE&G force energy conservation by using smart meters to remotely shut-off electricity to select meters?

A. No, we will not use smart meters to shut-off power to homes and businesses to conserve energy.

Q. Will PSE&G use smart meters to shut-off electric service remotely for non-payment of bills?

A. The decision to shut off electric service for non-payment only happens after we make every effort to assist the customer. That help can include a referral to a state or federal payment assistance program, establishment of a payment plan and other efforts to help the customer maintain electric service while restoring their account to good standing.

In unfortunate instances where a shut-off is necessary, PSE&G will not disconnect service from a centralized location. Instead, a PSE&G field representative will visit a customer’s home or business to provide them with an opportunity to pay their bill. If the customer is unable to make a payment, the field representative would then access the smart meter remote-disconnect function from a handheld device.  We would also be able to re-connect service quickly using the smart meter remote function once the customer makes appropriate payment arrangements.

Q. Can I opt-out of having a smart meter installed?

A: Yes. Residential customers can opt-out of having a smart meter installed. However, a monthly fee will be added to your bill. This fee covers the cost of manual meter reading that will be required without a smart meter.

 Commercial customers cannot opt-out of a smart meter installation.

What’s next? As we ramp up our efforts in 2022, workers will make their way through our electric service territory from the north, south and west. Your specific installation timing will depend on where your home or business is located. We will notify you beforehand about the timing and details of your smart meter replacement. Installation will only takes a few minutes, with a brief interruption to your electric power.

Still have questions or want to learn more? Check out our website for more information and FAQs.

PSE&G Editorial Team


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  • My property has an electric gate at the driveway entrance. How, and when, did you get in to changeout my meter? I just noticed I have what appears to be a new one.

  • People, opt out of these things at once! DO NOT LET them install one on your house or property! I just got the notice in the mail today. It says, in part, “There are more than 100 million smart meters installed in the United States, which is a testament to the usefulness and safety of these devices…” What a bunch of BS. What they don’t mention is all the thousands of fires that have been associated with them, nor the health risks–which people don’t know about until it’s too late. Search EMF Safety Network, Smart Meter Education Network, and Take Back Your Power.org. DO NOT BELIEVE the hype the power companies are telling you. Do you OWN homework. DO NOT believe for 1 minute that these things are ‘safe’–they are anything but. Did you know, most insurance companies WILL NOT PAY FOR FIRE DAMAGE if it’s done by a smart meter? They don’t mention warnings about RF radiation emissions–zero on the old analog–health effects, or how they can cause ‘dirty electricity’ emissions on wiring. There is a whole bucket of issues with them.

    Read up on them and DO NOT be taken in by the slick PR tactics.

    • False! This is a good answer from Quora, you can read some more here: https://www.quora.com/Can-Smart-Meters-catch-a-house-on-fire

      There is nothing specific to smart meters that causes, or has caused, fires. Smart meters are electrical devices, and many electrical devices can be involved in the causation of so-called “heat events” (most heat events are fortunately detected before a fire starts). So what are the risks that apply to smart meters? These categories exist at a high level:

      Poor wiring terminations caused by sub-standard workmanship when installing the meter can cause high-resistance connections between the wires and the meter’s terminals, that can get very hot under high-load conditions.

      Parts of the electrical installation or wiring around the meter can get hot and start a fire.

      Components or connections inside the smart meter could potentially get hot. This can be caused by:

      a) abnormal external operating conditions (lightning strike into power lines, or line clashes for example), or
      b) design or component quality issues affecting the meter.

      Point 1. above is by far the most common cause of heat events in relation to smart meters. But this is entirely a question of the electrician installing the wires adequately, and as such it is a risk that applies to all electrical power wiring connections, irrespective of the kind of meter, and this risk obviously also applies to wiring connections at any location, not only the meter (point 2. above).

      Point 3.a) is force majeure – in other words, if lightning strikes very close to your place, and there is a lot of energy in it, your meter may literally explode. The reason for that is not that there is something wrong with the meter’s quality, but simply that the meter is the first piece of equipment on the line into the house that takes the full brunt of the high-energy pulse on the line – and if that amount of energy is beyond what the meter can take it may literally blow up. That being said, smart meters comprise surge protectors that deal with most surge events safely. Even in most cases that irreparably damage the meter, this does not result in a fire.

      Point 3.b) may have been an issue with some smart meter makes / models, but it certainly is not common. And again, it is not specific to smart meters. From an engineering perspective, there is little difference between a washing machine and an electricity meter in this regard – both are mains-powered electrical devices that need to meet certain standards, also including electrical equipment safety standards.

  • Not a fan, since installation my bill has never been this high. Huge increase on cost and no increase on use as it is a warm winter in NJ. I question the legality of forcing homes to install this or punitive financial fees if you don’t. Is this really legal?

  • My old house (1960) in Edison has electric-flickering problems on several areas after smart meter installation.
    It seems that reset circuit breaker, the problem disappear; but it happens again after a month or so.
    Any idea or fix available?

    • Yes. There may be a short in the main breaker. Being that old, your breakers are probably worn/weak. A complete panel upgrade may be needed. If it’s a Nob and Tube system, bigger issues abound.
      Good luck!

  • I live in an apartment building and the meters are in a utility room. I got a notice PSE&G will be replacing the meters in about 90 days. I wonder if I will receive a noticed stating the exact date of installation so I don’t lose power unexpectedly during the installation. Thank you!

  • The OPT OUT for the Smart Meter Program should be prominently displayed on your website. It should be readily visible.
    Note that the official PSE&G legal notification letter stated that opt-put is available via the website. I cannot find it; I get a “circular reference.”
    It ought to be prominently displayed, as it is an NJ legal requirement.

    • Does the addition of a smart meter to my residence automatically enable time of day pricing. In other words do I get off peak rates, 10PM thru 7AM without any additional intervention.
      Anyone trying to charge an EV should be interested.

  • Why does opting-out add to the charge? Aren’t readers already coming with the existing cost? And why doesn’t those who get the meter get that cost of $12 discounted from their bill? Looks like just a way to force people to the meters!!!😡

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