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Get the facts: smart meter radiation and smart meter health risks

You might have heard that smart meters could be dangerous to your health. Or you might be worried about smart meter side effects. But you can rest assured - there’s no evidence that smart meters pose any risk to your health or the health of your family.

What’s more, our research has found that, in the future, data from smart meters could help to transform health and social care.

Read on to understand the scientific evidence for smart meter safety. Find out why there’s no need to worry about smart meter radiation or health effects.

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Are smart meters bad for your health?

No, smart meters are not bad for your health. There are no risks or dangers to health from smart meters. The smart meters used in Britain have undergone one of the most rigorous smart safety testing regimes in the world. They exceed every UK and EU safety standard.

Public Health England has said that the level of radiation from smart meters is well within guidelines. In fact, they have said that exposure to radiation from smart meters is many times less than exposure to radiation from wifi and mobiles phones.

All smart meters meet the same safety standards, regardless of your energy supplier. They must have undergone checks to ensure they meet UK and EU safety standards. So, every product placed on the market meets the required safety standards. All smart meters are installed by trained professionals.

Is there such thing as smart meter side effects?

No, smart meters are safe. They have undergone one of the most rigorous safety testing regimes in the world. They also exceed every UK and EU safety standard. You can benefit from having a smart meter, safe in the knowledge that there is no reason to worry about smart meter health issues.

For more information on the safety of smart meters, check out our smart meter safety guide.

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Smart meters and health: how smart meters can support carers

 If you’re a carer, smart meters are a great way of giving the person you care for back some of their independence. Smart meters can help you and the person you care for manage their energy bills. It also takes meter readings off your list, giving you the time for the things that really matter.

If you care for someone, a smart meter can make life easier, and give the person you care for more independence at home. For more information, read our page about the benefits of smart meters for carers.

Or check out Carers UK’s guide to smart meters.

Smart meter EMFs (electromagnetic fields): do smart meters give off radiation?

While smart meters do emit radiation, it’s a much lower amount than other everyday devices, such as your mobile phone, or your Wi-Fi router. Peer-reviewed research indicates that exposure to the radio waves produced by smart meters do not pose a health risk.

There is no risk to your health from smart meter radiation. Smart meters are one of the safest pieces of equipment in people's homes. The level of radio waves that smart meters produce is typically one million times less than guideline levels. It is much lower than the items we use every day such as microwaves, TVs and mobile phones.

Smart meters record the amount of electricity and gas that your property uses over time. Smart meters use radio waves to send the information they collect to your supplier. Your supplier receives your meter readings at intervals arranged between you and them. It is up to you to decide how often you want your meter to send a reading to your supplier. For example, this could be half-hourly, daily or, in some cases, monthly. Read our guide for more information about smart meter data collection.

What is background radiation?

Radioactive materials occur in nature. We encounter radiation every day – from the food we eat and the air we breathe, to the materials our buildings are made from and the household items we use. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to every day depends on where you live, what job you do, and many other factors.

You don’t need to take our word for it! Public Health England carried out extensive research to make sure that smart metres are safe. The research had 3 elements:

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Phase 1:

Measuring exposure to radio waves from a selection of smart meter devices. This was done under laboratory conditions.

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Phase 2:

Calculating and mapping the ways radio wave energy from smart meters is absorbed in the body.

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Phase 3:

Assessing a sample group of homes to determine the level of exposures under normal operating conditions.

The results confirmed PHE’s existing advice that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is well below the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). In fact, radio waves from smart meters are likely to be much lower than that from other everyday devices, like your mobile phone or Wi-Fi router.

We put it to the test – how much radiation to common household items produce? And how do smart meters compare?

Smart meters are a safe addition to your home, and they could help you save money too.

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Find about more about smart meters

If you have any other concerns about smart meters, check out our myth-busting pages:

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