If some appliances, computers or communications equipment have been working oddly lately, the Maine Public Advocate’s office said your electric meter may be to blame. A spokesman for Central Maine Power says the company is aware of the problem with its smart meters, seen being installed last year in Portland, and has set up a special unit to handle complaints. The office put out a statement this week saying Central Maine Power Co.’s “smart meters” — which use low-power radio frequency transmissions to send meter readings to the company — are interfering with a wide range of household electronic devices, from garage door openers and WiFi devices to security systems.
The Office of the Public Advocate is complaining that the utility isn’t providing enough information to customers, though only about 250 customers have complained. The meter’s radio only actually only kicks on for a few minutes every so often, which means those suddenly having interference problems likely have a hard time tying it to the new meters. According to the Utility’s FAQ, the company recommends users move equipment or change their AP channel to either 1 or 11.