Montréal, January 23, 2012

Press Release

Hydro-Québec’s next-generation meters: First phase of rollout completed

After 18 months of trials and the installation of over 20,000 meters in Boucherville, Memphrémagog RCM and Villeray, Hydro-Québec announces the completion of the initial phase of the rollout of next-generation meters. The next step in the project will be to present the full application at Régie de l’énergie hearings within a few weeks.

The advanced metering infrastructure is a global end-to-end solution integrated with the billing system. The command centre, which collects and processes encrypted electricity-use data, is already up and running, so home visits are no longer necessary in those areas, and bills are now based on remote meter readings.

Close to 100 utilities around the world have already adopted this evolvable technology, which will provide a number of practical advantages, including remote disconnection and connection when customers move, outage detection and service restoration.

Radio-frequency emission levels well below Canadian and international limits

Hydro-Québec is aware that some people may have concerns about this new application of technology, especially the meters’ radio-frequency (RF) emissions, and would like to emphasize that RF emissions measured next to a meter are well below Health Canada’s recommended limits. For instance, the average RF emission level measured a metre away from a next-generation meter is approximately 100,000 times less than those limits.

The Health Canada exposure limits are similar to those recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, which works with the World Health Organization. Most European countries have adopted its recommendations.

In December 2011, Health Canada published a special notice about smart meters, in which it concluded that “exposure to RF energy from smart meters does not pose a public health risk.” The notice also stated that no precautionary measures are needed to reduce RF energy exposure from smart meters, even where several are installed together.

Exposure from RF meters is minimal and well below the background levels to which everyone is exposed all the time.

For more information on the project, please visit our Web site,

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