Idaho Falls Power

Smart Grid security

As the energy industry works to transform the antiquated, overburdened electric grid into a more reliable and efficient network, the safety of the data that is transmitted and collected is of the utmost concern.

IFP has dealt with this issue head-on as we've worked toward upgrading the city's metering system, consulting extensively with industry experts and Idaho National Laboratory officials to conduct security risk assessments, develop security plans and design the system that will be used. We have focused on security every step of the way, and we will continue to do so.

Elster, the manufacturer of the meters IFP is installing, is an industry leader primarily because of its work identifying potential security threats and addressing them proactively. Sophisticated security features are built into the meters. Sophisticated security features are built into the meters. Elster's comprehensive approach to security entails a multi-pronged strategy of controlling access to the wireless network we've built, limiting data transmissions to authorized devices, encryption of data so that it is unintelligible to unauthorized parties and monitoring and reporting of any security breach.

Data is protected throughout the network, from the meter back to the utility. The radio system used to transmit the data is commonly used in military communications where security is vital. It's not only encrypted and requires authentication (unauthorized commands are not recognized) but also switches among numerous radio frequencies each time it communicates, using a process that's immune to eavesdropping, interception and interference. Each meter does this, making it even more difficult to predict the next communications channel.

Infiltration of the system is made even more cumbersome because each meter has its own key; so in the unlikely event that it is infiltrated, the harm will be limited. In addition to these cutting-edge security features, Elster has teamed with independent security consultants to test the integrity of the system on an on-going basis--the company believes system security is a never-ending process.  We feel we've developed a system that will keep your information safe while providing a tool to help you save money on electricity.