Questions often arise about intelligent electricity meters, also called smart meters. And for good reason. Installing a new electronic device in your home always raises questions. We explain in detail the reasons for the use of smart meters in Luxembourg and provide answers on the subject of smart meters.
Why are smart meters being installed in Luxembourg?
On 1 July 2016, the grid supplier Creos was the first to start installing smart meters in buildings in the Grand Duchy. Since then, it is the electricity and gas network operators who replace the old meters with the new smart devices or install them in new installations. The smart meter is thus the property of the grid operator.
Their large-scale deployment of smart meters creates a common system for the whole country. Smart meters are more efficient and simpler. Both in use and in maintenance and repair. In addition, local energy production can be better integrated into the grid with a smart meter.
Thanks to this smart meter, users can reduce their electricity consumption, manage it better and regulate it. In addition, there is less environmental impact and financial savings.
Does the smart meter respect my privacy?
Some users who have had the new smart meter installed wonder if this is an invasion of their privacy. We can reassure you: The data on your electricity consumption is transmitted in encrypted form from your smart meter via the existing electricity network to the central system managed by Luxmetering.
There is therefore no risk to your privacy because the frequency of data collection – quarter-hourly for electricity and hourly for gas – does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about your exact consumption behaviour. Nor does it identify the individual devices you own or use. Since the data is also transmitted in encrypted form, it is impossible to hack your meter.
Can the smart electricity or gas meter affect my health?
Some consumers are mainly concerned about the electromagnetic field generated by a smart meter. In fact, however, this has no more impact than any other household appliance that also emits electric and magnetic fields.
For example, if you are 20 cm away from the meter and there is no data transmission, the emission is 0.008 µT (microtesla) for the magnetic field and 1 volt/meter for the electric field. When the meter is transmitting data, the electric field exposure increases by 0.1 V/m. These very low exposure values become vanishingly small when moving away from the meter.
In comparison, the electric field is 4 V/m for a laptop at a distance of 50 cm, 3 V/m for a microwave at a distance of 40 cm, 0.5 V/m for a baby monitor at a distance of 30 cm and 15 V/m for an energy-saving lamp at a distance of 30 cm.
A smart electricity meter emits no more electromagnetic fields than a laptop.
There is currently no scientific evidence of hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields. However, mild symptoms such as a burning sensation, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, dizziness or nausea may occur.
To minimise these effects, there are solutions to shield from electromagnetic waves.
Filters for shielding electromagnetic waves in the living area
For example, you can have special PLC filters installed that prevent the signal from the smart meters from entering the living areas. This is a notch filter that is installed between the interfering element and the connected meter and which considerably reduces the noise during transmission. This device can be installed by any electrician.
Cables that shield electromagnetic waves
Shielding braids are also possible: here, the cable braid is in a braided sleeve that shields the electric field. This field, which is intercepted by this sheathing, is dissipated via a semiconductor wire running inside the sheathing, which must be connected to earth in the same way as the yellow/green conductor.
Another special feature of this cable is that the phase and neutral conductor are braided to cancel out the radiation of the magnetic field. This is therefore doubly advantageous, because both electrical and magnetic waves are shielded.
However, this solution requires the replacement of the existing standard sheathing and is therefore only intended for larger works or new buildings.
Would you like more information on the individual measures for shielding electromagnetic waves in smart meters? Contact Creos at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.