Find out how SmartMeter™ communicates with PG&E

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is leading the effort to upgrade California’s energy infrastructure with automated metering. The PG&E SmartMeter™ program is part of the effort. PG&E upgraded our metering system to SmartMeters™ as part of a state-wide effort to upgrade California’s energy infrastructure. SmartMeter™ technology provides new ways to help you track your energy use, use less energy, and enroll in rate plans that can help you save money.

SmartMeters™ measure and record your energy usage, just as analog meters do. The main difference is that SmartMeters™ are also capable of two-way network communication between PG&E and your home or business. This feature enables you to check your hourly electricity usage online. 

Learn more about SmartMeter™ benefits. Visit SmartMeter™ and Meter-Connector Benefits

Find out how to read your SmartMeter™. Visit Reading the SmartMeter™

Understand how the SmartMeter™ electric system communicates with PG&E

Example of meter communication

Each SmartMeter™ electric meter is equipped with a network radio. The radio transmits your hourly meter readings, periodically, to an electric network access point. This data is then transmitted to PG&E through a dedicated radio frequency network. Radio frequency technology enables meters and other sensing devices to communicate and route data securely. The electric access points and meters create a "mesh" of network coverage.

Data collected at the access points from nearby electric meters is transferred to PG&E through a secure cellular network. Radio frequency mesh-enabled devices, such as meters and relays connect to other mesh-enabled devices. The devices function as signal repeaters, relaying data to access points. The access point devices gather the information, encrypt it and send it securely to PG&E using a third-party network. The RF mesh network sends data over long distances and various terrain. The mesh always seeks the best route to transmit data. This helps ensure that the info travels from its source to its destination quickly and efficiently.

Understand how the SmartMeter™ gas system communicates with PG&E

The SmartMeter™ gas module attaches to your traditional gas meter. The SmartMeter™ module records your meter readings each day. The SmartMeter™ then uses an radio frequency signal to transmit your readings to a local data collector unit. The data collector unit collects meter information from your meter and many other meters. It then transmits the data securely to PG&E over a dedicated and secure wireless network. Because of its simpler data requirements, a SmartMeter™ gas system only communicates one way: from you to PG&E.