Smart meters use secure wireless communications to send daily meter readings to MLGW, eliminating the need for employees to drive to every customer site and manually obtain meter readings each billing period. By adopting this smart meter technology, MLGW is virtually eliminating estimates, lowering operational costs and improving services—all while keeping smart meter data safe.
· Smart meters are secure. Meter manufacturers use proprietary meter and radio frequency transmission protocols to defend against the unauthorized access of the customer’s meter readings. Encryption is used at each step of the data transmission process: at the meter, during transit from the meter to MLGW and then again at MLGW. Your encrypted meter readings are received through secure gateways and associated with your account for billing.
· The data contains read times, consumption values and communication module numbers, not customer-identifying information like addresses or names. It is virtually impossible to associate transmitted meter readings to an individual customer prior to matching the data in our secure Customer Information System.
· Like many U.S. electric utilities, MLGW is mandated by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to comply with cybersecurity standards which requires conducting regularly scheduled audits of its facilities and operations. Compliance with NERC standards has greatly raised the security awareness and commitment of MLGW to protect its assets and the data associated with these assets. MLGW is implementing smart meter technology with the necessary cybersecurity requirements that will protect MLGW and its customers.
Meters are MLGW’s cash registers, enabling us to accurately measure and bill for the amount of electricity, natural gas and water consumed at each customer site. As a result, cybersecurity continues to be a major component of MLGW’s smart meter implementation plan.