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Smart Meters

Appalachian Power is installing new digital meters, better known as smart meters, throughout the company's Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee service area. Over half of Appalachian Power customers have the new meters now, and remaining customers are scheduled to receive new meters over the next two years. The new meters improve customer service by providing remote meter reading and remote handling of some customer requests, such as new service connections, service transfers or disconnections.

In addition to more quickly getting service installed or disconnected, outage time may be reduced because our team knows instantly when power is out and can quickly dispatch a crew to the site. Plus, digital meters help reduce carbon emissions by eliminating the need for us to drive to your home to read a meter or to install or disconnect service.


These meters use both radio frequency and cell phone technology to transmit meter readings to the company. Currently, most Appalachian Power meters use radio frequency transmission, and trucks drive by homes and businesses to pick up meter readings. With smart meters, that is not necessary – readings are transmitted automatically. The meters also allow us to remotely connect and disconnect service, which helps customers get their service needs taken care of more quickly.

Radio frequencies (RFs) emitted by digital meters are well below that produced by other common household devices like cell phones, microwaves, baby monitors and home wifi networks. The RFs are also well below the limit set by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC has determined digital meters are a safe product.

Digital meters transmit less than two minutes a day. It would take 10,000 years of exposure from a digital meter to be exposed to the same amount of radio frequency as you receive from one year of moderate cell phone use.

The American Cancer Society has found no link between smart meters and cancer.

The FCC has jurisdiction over the approval and use of radio frequency devices. More information about the FCC's jurisdiction, as well as more information on radio frequency exposure can be found in this white paper.

Appalachian Power uses advanced security and encryption technology to safeguard customer data.

Mechanical meters haven't been manufactured in the U.S. since 2007 and are no longer available. Appalachian Power has not used mechanical meters for a decade, since radio frequency meters were first installed. Smart meters are essentially the same as the radio frequency meters in place today, except that they are updated to provide two-way communication.

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