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Smart Meters Not Required in Maryland?

For now, Marylanders may request that utility companies defer installing smart meters. BGE had planned to start installing them in Anne Arundel County.

Pending a final decision by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC), customers may opt out of receiving smart meters.

In a small score for those against the installation of smart meters in their homes, the PSC decided Thursday that Marylanders may request utility companies defer the installation of smart meter devices in their homes or businesses.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) had previously announced plans to start in Anne Arundel County, starting in Pasadena.

"The [PSC]’s order is effective immediately and affects customers in the Baltimore Gas & Electric, Potomac Electric Power Company [Pepco] and Delmarva Power service territories," according to a PSC statement.

"Also, customers who already have smart meters installed, but do not wish to have one, may inform their utility in writing. The utility cannot activate those customers’ smart meter transmitters until the [PSC] issues its final decision on these issues," the statement added.

Still, the commission has "not reached any decision as to whether to permit the customers of the utilities in these cases to 'opt-out' of receiving a smart meter permanently, or, if so, what the terms of any possible future opt-out might include," the commission said.

Smart meters are devices that send information about household energy use to a power company via electromagnetic radiation. A smart meter replaces a traditional electricity meter, which a power company representative must visit every month to get a electricity usage reading.

Smart meters can make it easier for power companies to know about power outages, and the smart meters can help customers track how much energy they are using at different times of the day. But, many object to the electromagnetic radiation and would prefer that such devices stay away from their homes and families, .

Debbi Webber May 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
How do we opt out? Is it not safe as I know nothing about them. but i am one that is all about safety and would like to opt out.
Tracy May 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I called BGE and they let me opt out over the phone, however I am writing sending them a letter also.
tom May 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM
My thinking is that eventually the smart meters should allow us to save money on our usage. Using power during off-peak hours (laundry in the evening instead of daytime), the utility could reward customers with lower rates at those times. With the present meters, there's no way to monitor times of usage, but with smart meters they can. I don't know if this is the way it will work, but several years ago this was touted as one of the benefits. Needless to say, whatever works best for BGE is the way the PSC will ultimately rule. They only seem to give lip service to concerns of the consumers.
Maurice Baldwin May 27, 2012 at 05:09 PM
What about the fees . They are saying a one time fee plus, monthly amount for servicing . I have had BGE for 40 plus years and have never saan them service my meter so why a monthly fee?
Noah Dummy May 27, 2012 at 09:51 PM
If you remember we got a lower rate and even a separate meter for electric water heaters, than the lower rate went away. Then total electric living came along with a lower rate for people with electric heat and then that lower rate went away. If you believe that this will save you money in the long run I have a bridge I want to sell you!!!!
mark johnson May 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM
On some homes you can get a discount on your monthly bill if you participate in BGE’s Peak Rewards program. According to BGE: “The PeakRewards program is designed by BGE to help ease the "peak" demand for electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region. When you participate in the program, you will help offset air conditioner demand during periods of "peak" electricity usage, thus helping to reduce the likelihood of power outages. As a reward for joining, you can save with bill credits this summer and every summer during which you remain enrolled.” I participated in this one time and found that my house was always hot as they would regulate my air conditioning usage during “peak” hours. I’m not one of those conspiracy theorist, but getting this smart meter on your home is another way for BGE to control how much electricity you can use and gives them the ability to turn off your electricity should it be needed elsewhere.
Mike Davie May 28, 2012 at 02:31 PM
When I moved to a new home in Odenton in 1990, BGE offered e digital power meter as an option with radio monitoring and off-peak rates. I still see a few of those meters in my neighborhood. Why is that service never mentioned by BGE or the media?
Carol B May 28, 2012 at 10:40 PM
The BG&E Peak Rewards program works if you select the lowest option, Mark. I think that's 50%, and it's bearable. (I have medical issues that make a greater "sacrifice" than that unwise.) BG&E installs a programmable thermostat which it controls--and during peak hours, it cycles your A/C at a lower rate than it would normally consume (depending on what you sign up for). It definitely does lower your bill, though . . .
George Karadimas June 26, 2012 at 05:41 PM
OPTING OUT OF THE SMART METER PROGRAM: The Maryland Public Service Commission has ordered a temporary deferral of smart meter installations but you must notify your utility! You can send something like the communication below to your service provider. We recommend certified mail to avoid any miscommunications. Baltimore Gas & Electric Pepco Delmarva Power Smart Grid Deferral Smart Grid Deferral Bay Regional Office P. O. Box 1475 701 9th Street NW 2530 N. Salisbury Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21203 Washington DC, 20068 Salisbury, MD 21801 I am hereby notifying your company and its agents that you are NOT to install a Smart Meter anywhere on my property pursuant to Order No. 84926 issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission on May 24, 2012. (Include your Electric Billing account number.) Sincerely, __________________ Printed name: [insert address] Keep the green and white certified mail form in a good place. You are also strongly advised to post a warning sign on your meter if it is outdoors in case the installer is unaware that you do not want a smart meter. That sign can be downloaded at: www.marylandsmartmeterawareness.org For further information on smart meters go to that website or call (410) 358-4616.
George Karadimas June 26, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Here is why. Smart Meter CONCERNS Education in Video Format For your Viewing Pleasure. http://thepowerfilm.org/smartmetervideos/external-videos/taking-action/ Select the issue you want to learn about from the List On the Right side panel. Electromagnetic Fields and Leakage of the Blood Brain Barrier: Dr. Leif Salford http://thepowerfilm.org/smartmetervideos/external-videos/videos-health-issues/
Traci M. Radice September 09, 2012 at 03:16 PM
did you know that Smart Meters can cause fires??? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48949032/ns/local_news-delaware_valley_pa_nj/t/puc-calls-meeting-peco-smart-meter-vendors/ Visit www.marylandsmartmeterawareness.org for more information and if you have had ANY power surges, electricity issues since receiving a smart meter, please contact us immediately.

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