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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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