SoCalGas - Radio Frequency (RF) FAQ
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Radio Frequency (RF) FAQ

Radio frequency background

Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas®) advanced meter modules and the network communication system will operate in the 450 to 470 megahertz (MHz) bands and 800/1900 cellular frequency, respectively. The technology products SoCalGas will use for its advanced meter project comply with U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for human exposure to RF energy (FCC OET bulletin 65).

Scientific research

We continually monitor regulatory and scientific developments related to human exposure to RF energy. SoCalGas relies upon the expert findings on science related to RF exposures and potential health effects through the following organizations and agencies:

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)
  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

According to these groups, no adverse short- or long-term health effects have been shown to occur from the radio frequency signals produced by Advanced Meters or other such wireless networks.

  • What are the key factors that contribute to RF exposure from a transmitting device?

    There are three key factors that contribute to RF exposure:

    Signal duration: SoCalGas' advanced meters will normally transmit a signal for a fraction of a second per day or for a total of less than two minutes per year.

    RF energy: The RF energy emitted by an advanced meter is considerably less than that from common items used every day that emit RF, such as laptops, cell phones, and baby monitors.

    Distance from source: Advanced meters will be located in the same location as the gas meter. When the advanced meter is transmitting the exposure level is thousands of times lower than the general population exposure limits set by the FCC:

    • At eight inches from the front of the meter, exposure is almost 10,000 times lower than the 450-470 MHz FCC exposure limits;
    • At two feet away, exposure drops to 90,000 times below FCC exposure limits.

    Radio Frequency Comparison Chart

    Source Radio Frequency Output Compared to Maximum Output from an Advanced Meter
    Talking on a cellular phone1 up to 1,000,000 times more
    Maximum exposure level operating a microwave oven up to 500,000 times more
    Using a laptop computer with a wireless internet connection up to 5,000 times more
    Most electric smart meters Up to 500 times more
    Advanced gas meter 1 times (reference level)

    1 Cell phones are designed to reduce RF output to the minimum required for reliable communication, but may reach peak power output when signal strength is limited.

    • Will advanced meters interfere with other wireless devices in my home?

      No. It should not interfere with any wireless devices.  The Advanced Meter and it’s communications network operates on exclusive FCC licensed frequencies not used in the home.

      • Where can I learn more about radio frequency?

        We understand that some customers may have concerns regarding radio frequency transmissions. Here are several links to additional information and resources:

        SoCalGas Radio Frequency (RF) Fact Sheet 

        Recent Reports

        Other References

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