Smart Meters and Privacy
Protecting your privacy
NB Power is committed to protecting the privacy of our customers and maintaining the confidentiality of all personal information collected.
NB Power follows federal and provincial laws on privacy, protection and disclosure of your personal information.
Typically, we use your personal information for invoicing and billing, collection of overdue account and day-to-day business communications.
The law requires us to make sure that smart meters and associated communication networks are equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access.
Any personal information collected by our employees is handled in accordance with corporate policies, our Code of Ethics and the Province of New Brunswick’s Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Under this Act, personal information is considered to be recorded information about an identifiable individual. This can include, but is not limited to, the customer’s name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, fax number, date of birth and financial information.
How are smart meters different from meters that use older technology?
What makes the meter smarter than earlier technologies is that it is capable of two-way communication across a secure wireless network. It is this two-way communication that enables a wide range of benefits. Instead of a meter reader driving by or walking on to your property to record information from the meter, the information is automatically sent to the utility over a secure wireless network. Millions of smart meters are in use at homes and businesses throughout North America.
What data is collected and stored by the smart meter?
No customer-identifying information – such as names and addresses – is stored in the meters or transmitted across the network. Just like the existing meters, smart meters collect how much electricity you use. The main difference is that smart meters collect that information more frequently throughout the day. Some smart meters send utilities a snapshot of customers’ energy usage every 15 minutes, while others may collect hourly energy information.
How is the information protected?
Protecting customer data is a top priority for NB Power, and we adhere to strong privacy protection practices. The data collected by the smart meter is the same data that is collected from the existing meters that are being replaced—the amount of energy used at the residence or business, along with the meter number. The information is then encrypted (coded), and sent over a secure network. Multiple layers of security are incorporated throughout the system.
Smart meters are an important part of a more modern, resilient and efficient power grid, laying the foundation for important customer benefits.