Do You Have Questions About BGE Smart Meters?

The Greater Timonium Community Council is hosting a special meeting with a BGE rep.

Are smart meters safe? How do they work? Why is BGE installing a new device on the side of my house? How do you opt out of installation?

If the Common Questions page on the BGE website doesn't adequately answer your queries then make plans to spend an evening in October in Cockeysville.

If you have questions about BGE's plan to upgrade its existing energy metering system and how it will affect you and  your home, then set aside an hour or two of time on Oct. 10, starting at 7 p.m.

The Greater Timonium Community Council will be hosting a meeting with a BGE representative who will be on hand to answer questions about the new smart meter installations that BGE has been rolling out since spring. The meeting will be held at the Cockeysville Branch Library.

"We just want to educate people," Eric Rockel, the council's president, said. "You hear all the stuff from BGE that Smart Meters are safe and you hear from the opponents that they're not safe. I think people just need to formulate their own opinion."

Rockel said there are plans to host a representative of an opposition group at a later date.

The process to install smart meters to BGE customers and small businesses will take a total of three years, according to the BGE website.

Patch recommends reading the Common Questions page from the BGE website, before attending the meeting. 

Will you be attending the meeting? What questions do you have about smart meters?

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Steve September 18, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I thought "What's the big deal a meter is a meter." Then I Googled "Smart Meter". Holy Conspiracy Theory!! ROTFLMAO There are actually people out there that think the smart meters are some kind of United Nations plot to take over the world.
M. Sullivan September 18, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Smart Meters should be a very big concern for several reasons: 1) Installations in other states and countries have caused fires and appliance damage due to faulty meters or installation. 2) The RF output for these meters has been proven to be much more frequent than we are being led to believe. 3) Right now, BGE can only monitor monthly use. If they can monitor hourly use, they can adjust their rates accordingly. One study has shown that 80% of recipients of Smart Meters have seen their bills rise. 4) Only $200 million of the $500 million cost is being paid by a Federal govt. grant. Where does the other $300 million come from? The RF danger concern is just a red herring being used by BGE to divert attention from some more important issues. These Smart Meters are only to benefit BGE, not us. If you really wanted to monitor your energy use, there are plenty of aftermarket products you can get. We should not be threatened with the extortion of a fee if we choose to opt out!
Steve September 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
It seems to be some sort of anti UN Tea Party driven conspiracy theory. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/us/activists-fight-green-projects-seeing-un-plot.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
M. Sullivan September 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Steve, I don't think or care if the gov't has anything to do with this. I see BGE as the adversary in this case. I believe they are trying to sell the public this bill of goods disguised as a "green" program when the real purpose is increasing their own profits. The problems I listed above have been well documented in CA, TX, OR, LA, etc. as well as outside the U.S. There are real and potential safety issues here for something we don't need and will be forced to pay for while helping to line the pockets of BGE (and perhaps a few politicians).
Steve September 18, 2012 at 06:57 PM
It about time we had some technological evolution when it comes to electrical meters. My parents house was built in the '40's and it still has it's original meter.
M. Sullivan September 18, 2012 at 07:01 PM
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Nick Z. September 18, 2012 at 08:24 PM
1) if bge damages your house, make them pay (duh!) 2) RF transmissions from a ALWAY ON smartmeter (@10') are only 4x that of a radio or TV broadcast, 1/200th of a microwave oven, and 1/5000th of a cell phone. 3) having hourly metering would give the customer MORE CHOICE about when to run appliacnces, allowing for lower rates. Plus most homeowner power usage comes when people get home, during the night, or early morning when demand/rates are lower (dishwasher, lights, A/C, etc...). 4) In the worst case scenario, even if customer have to pay the entire remaining amount, its like 10$ a month for 2 years per customer. Not bad to get a professionally installed electrical upgrade to your house. I'd like to see a professional electrician replace a fuse for that much. But that is unlikely to happen, seeing as it would have to be approved by the PSC.
Nick Z. September 18, 2012 at 08:24 PM
RF impacts of SMs: http://www.ccst.us/publications/2011/2011smartA.pdf
M. Sullivan September 18, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Nick Z. I assume you must work for BGE. As long as we are referencing websites, here are a few: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/ http://stopsmartmeters.org/ http://stopsmartmeters.net/smartMeterFire.htm There are tons of others. Regarding the report you referenced; one of the conclusions is :"Not enough is currently known about potential non­‐thermal impacts of radio frequency emissions to identify or recommend additional standards for such impacts". There are plenty of reports of these things catching fire due to poor construction, installation, or storm damage. Damage to wiring and appliances due to these meters is difficult and expensive to prove and I guarantee BGE will fight every claim. BGE already has "rate adjustments" during times of peak demand. Right now they can only measure that demand monthly per customer. When they can measure it hourly, they can fine tune their "rate adjustments" even better. The only "choice" the customer will get is what inconvenient time will be cheapest for him to run appliances. Finally, $10 a month is a lot for some people. This is not an electrical upgrade to the house, such as increasing from 100 to 200 amp service. This is a device that is potentially unsafe for many reasons, that will cost many people more money. I am an Electrical Engineer with experience in RF and power electronics and I have no desire to have one of these in my house.
Nick Z. September 18, 2012 at 09:46 PM
The report also concludes that, in regards to non-thermal effects: there are "No established cause-and-effect pointing to negative health impacts", and "- Inconclusive research to date" At most there needs to be more research. Also: "There is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters." Apparently some of those smart meter fires linked on the first website have been attributed to over loading due to hydroponics for pot growing. As far as, fires and claims, thats why we all pay for homeowners insurance. Your insurance would pay for the lawyers if needed, as long as you weren't growing pot, or tried to disconnect the meter yourself. Just wondering - do you use wifi in your house? What about dim-able lights? As far as rate-adjustments, they sometimes charge people less when demand is low, and more when demand is high, plus there is oversight from the PSC. I'm sorry, but running your dishwasher or clothes dryer when you go to bed, or using you lights at night doesn't sound too bad.
M. Sullivan September 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Please, out of all the hundreds of fires linked to smart meters how many are from growing pot? Talk about misdirection! Just because I have insurance, I should feel fine about allowing a hazard to be installed in my house? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! Insurance sure won't bring back the dead. Just imagine how rates will rise when all these claims start coming in. Yes, I have wi-fi. But, that is my choice and it doesn't run all the time. Oversight from the PSC? Ha! They have a great record, don't they? I'm sure BGE will be charging less, right! People should do some simple Google searching and they will find plenty of reasons to reject these meters.
Kenny L. September 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Wake up! When was the last time Constellation has done anything to benefit the consumer. They bought and paid for deregulation and now they're going to reap the benefits of being a virtual monopoly. Let's try some critical thinking, here. What makes a Smartmeter smart? It's ability to report your energy usage in real time. Who might this benefit? Those who wish to get away from fixed pricing and tie residential rates to the spot market. In other words, on 98 degree July afternoons, Constellation wants the ability to charge you the going rate such that your now essentially competing with everybody else on the grid. Then they'll Enron us by reducing capacity creating 125% demand and laughing all the way to the bank. There is no benefit to you in Smartmeters and BGE shouldn't be able to install them until they address the very unreliable nature of their grid.
Eric Silberman September 20, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Nick Z -- put your money where your mouth is. NickZ, you are ready to guarantee the health and safety of every smartmeter customer. BGE customers, listen up: NickZ is offering to pay for ALL of your medical bills and ALL of your home problems (fires, appliances destroyed by power surge, etc). NickZ guarantees that there will NEVER be ANY bad effects from smart meters... and NickZ promises that he will pay you 100% of any cost of any health problems caused by the smart meter in the next 10 years. Thanks, NickZ! I'm glad that you are so 100% confident of all smart meters in all cases. Also, NickZ will pay for any damages from your private information that is breached or leaked. Also, NickZ will personally pay for any and all problems to the cybersecurity of the East Coast electrical grid from vulnerabilities introduced by wireless smartmeters. NickZ, I hope you have a good insurance company: the liability you are now facing for health, property, privacy, and national security runs into the trillions of dollars. But NickZ isn't worried because he guarantees 100% safety at all times from all smart meters. According to NickZ, nothing bad will ever happen, so he stands ready to write you a check from his personal account. Thank you NickZ for undertaking this bold promise to pay back all BGE customers who are harmed by smartmeters.
George Karadimas September 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Well I am not sure about about the "United Nations plot " to take over the world! But to SET THE WORLD on FIRE? There is no question! ...It is happening now as we speak! http://marylandsmartmeterawareness.org/?s=smart+meter+fires&submit.x=3&submit.y=5 AND here http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=1280
George Karadimas September 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
So , Let me think! Forward thinking people, that want to prevent their homes, from going up in smoke, by not wanting to get fitted with a SMART METER that has PROVEN to BE a FIRE STARTER the world over...are ANTI UN TEA PARTY CONSPIRATORS! OK! Do you know a WEB address or a phone number I can call?? I want to sign up!
George Karadimas September 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Your Parents are lucky, and fortunate not to have been caught up in this smart meter hoopla. "technological evolution" is not synonymous with "progress". You got a long road to haul, before you arrive to your awakening!
George Karadimas September 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
If you call this progress, there is no point arguing with you! You can have the smart meter intended to be fitted on my house! Double the smart meters ..double the fun and savings for you! http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=1280 And when your house goes up in smoke, you try to deal with BGE to collects, and Good luck!
George Karadimas September 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Update your reference links with this as well! Brian Thiesen: Technical Facts and Political Adgenda of Smar tMeters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1AxKCI24PA
George Karadimas September 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Go read this BOOK! Get an education! Smart Meters and Cell phones operate on the same band. http://www.electrosensitivesociety.com/2010/05/11/cellular-telephone-russian-roulette/ and regarding your statement "I'm sorry, but running your dishwasher or clothes dryer when you go to bed, or using you lights at night doesn't sound too bad." http://www.consumersdigest.com/special-reports/why-smart-meters-might-be-a-dumb-idea Do your math BUD..before you shoot your trap!
Traci M. Radice September 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM
M. Sullivan, You get it! In answer to #4, *we* will be paying the difference. BGE has a rate increase case pending before the Commission right now and has already filed documents in the smart meter case stating it would ask for increases later to pay for the rest of the deployment.
Traci M. Radice September 25, 2012 at 02:40 PM
You do know, Steve, that the majority of fires has been a result of putting the "technological evolution" on older homes because of the ill fit with the existing meter sockets? And your parents' homeowners insurance may not pay for any damage as a result of the fire because smart meters are not UL certified and the insurance companies are having a hard time paying for damage for equipment that has not been tested.
Zacary October 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Idiots, wakem up ! Smart meters save money by eliminating meter readers. This in turn allows BGE offset cost increases and keep rates low. Maryland has some of the lowest energy costs in the whole U.S. Do your homework before spouting off
George Karadimas October 18, 2012 at 01:36 PM
"IDIOTS", Is the operative word, and describes the BGE Ratepayers! I have done my homework, and you are asleep at the switch!
M. Sullivan October 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Apparently, Zachary is either another BGE employee or is just willing to swallow whatever BGE tells him. In addition to the dangers I've outlined in previous posts, most people have found their bills rising after smart meter installation. Anyone who honestly believes BGE is doing this just to benefit the customers needs his head examined.
George Karadimas October 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
M. Sullivan WELL SAID! read the comments and the links at the bottom of this...https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3ABCMXdUxMAQlAyTFRER0NxLW8/edit It is the bottom line.
Steve October 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Here, I will help you Nutters out... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyYFoXV6iAs
George Karadimas October 18, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Steve, The one that needs help sadly is you! http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=1280
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Al Cantoria August 08, 2013 at 09:32 PM
The new Smart meter installed last July by BGE is NOT net metering. My solar panels are sending electricity back to the grid but the meter is not going backwards. It's a shame that they replaced a perfectly working digital meter installed last October that was correctly recording the power that I was sending back to the grid. I do hope they either replace this meter or replace it with the prior model that functioned correctly. PS for others with Solar panels installed on their rooftop, check your meters if bUSY appears from time to time. That was what led me to watch the meter and find out about this problem.


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