Meter EMF Clarification Notes

Digital vs. Analog meters

  • Digital meter
    analog meter

    Analog Meter

    • electronic (has a circuit board and an SMPS – Switching Mode Power Supply)
    • sensitive to environmental conditions (temperature, humidity)
    • cause EMI
    • life span – 5 to 15 years (AMI meters have a shorter life span than non-communicating meters)
    • increased fire risk
  • Analog meter
    • electromechanical
    • life span – 40 to 75 years

AMI vs. AMR meters

  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (wireless)
    • 2-way communication using microwave band frequencies
    • Electricity usage meters
    • Able to disconnect remotely
    • Gas meters may be able to use network
  • Automated Meter Reading  (can be digital or analog)
    • 1-way communication
    • Requires meter reader to drive by with receiver to capture data
    • Used for gas, water and electricity metering
  • Both meters based on pager technology from the 1980’s

New Standard meter for Seattle City Light

  • Transmitting meter – Landis & Gyr FOCUS RXR-SDFocus RXR
  • Non-transmitting – Landis & Gyr FOCUS AXR

Focus AXR

  • Descriptions of all models:
    • FOCUS AX – A solid state energy and demand meter.
    • FOCUS AXR – The FOCUS AX meter with an internal pulse recorder.
    • FOCUS AX-SD – The FOCUS AX meter with a service disconnect switch.
    • FOCUS AXR-SD – The FOCUS AX meter with an internal pulse recorder and service disconnect.
    • FOCUS RXR – The FOCUS AXR meter programmed with a second energy function (kvarh or kVAh). The meter is only capable of displaying one approved demand function.
    • FOCUS RXR-SD – The FOCUS AXR meter programmed with a second energy function (kvarh or kVAh) and service disconnect. The meter is only capable of displaying one approved demand function.

Electromagnetic Profiles

  • Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) is also called Radio Frequency (RF) or microwave radiation
    • The FOCUS RXR-SD transmits at 900MHz and 2.5GHz (like a wireless modem or router)
    • AMI is a Wi-Fi network (wireless, like an Internet modem) and is similar to cell phone networks.
    • High intensity, pulsed EMR measured at 2000 microWatts per meter squared and higher spikes every few seconds.
    • Studies indicate DNA damage and biological cell interference (as in the link to brain cancer from cell phone use)  see Dr. Martin Pall’s work, or the World Health Organization metadata report BioInitiative Report
  • Magnetic and Electric Fields (EMF)
    • The power panel (fuse box) has high magnetic and electrical fields, but these fields dissipate quickly relative to distance. Other high EMF sources are refrigerators, inductive ovens/stoves, and radiant heaters.
    • Electromagnetic Interference or Radio Frequency Interference (EMI/RFI) are electric fields generated by motors or Switching Mode Power Supplies (SMPS) that are plugged into your home wiring outlet. This EMI (also known as Conductive Emissions or Dirty Electricity) is emitted from the wires throughout your house. The RFI is a little different in that it is added to the wiring from outside EMR sources because the wiring is like an antenna, and this is referred to as inductive.
    • Digital meters use SMPS’s and therefore add EMI to the house wiring at the ingress. (Note: there is one meter, that we’ve heard of, that does not add EMI because it is either properly grounded or filtered.) Other devices in the house can be unplugged or turned off say at night, the digital meter is just on adding EMI 24/7.
      • There is speculation about whether the EMI has a different quality or character from digital meters versus other SMPS devices. At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that adding the digital meter will add any measurable difference to the wiring than all the appliances and electronics already plugged in (i.e. refrigerator, TV, computer, air conditioner, fan, …).
    • Health impacts:
      • Magnetic Fields
      • Electric Fields such as EMI/RFI
        • Interference with medical devices (pacemakers, hearing aids, …)
        • Studies are complicated to conduct on EMI/RFI effects; but there is a growing body of evidence (anecdotal and epidemiological) that these fields cause interruption and irritation of the body’s electrochemical  processes.
        • See Dr. Samuel Milham’s site or Dr. Magda Havas has some indicative case studies in this report
Meter Model EMR/Microwave /RF EMI/RFI – Electric Fields from Interference Magnetic Field from electricity connection panel
FOCUS RXR-SD YES YES YES
FOCUS AXR NO YES YES
Analog NO NO YES
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