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By William Yeatman | July 5, 2010
Last month, the Public Service Commission rejected Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.'s "smart grid" proposal. From start to finish, the whole affair demonstrated everything that is wrong with Maryland's socialized electricity industry. To begin with, BGE's plan was a dud. The whole idea of "smart grid" is to inform customers how much electricity costs in real time so that they have an incentive to use less electricity during times of peak demand (usually hot summer afternoons), when electricity is expensive to generate and transmit.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2014
As bills go out with the first fees for customers who don't want smart meters, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is pressing to apply the charges to a much larger group - people the utility says have ignored repeated requests to switch out old meters located indoors or behind locked gates. About 350,000 customers with inaccessible meters - more than a quarter of BGE's territory - haven't scheduled appointments with contractors despite multiple attempts, the company said. That's preventing installation, but they aren't on the hook for the extra charge now levied on people who ask to opt out of a smart meter.
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BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay and Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | June 21, 2010
A high-tech proposal promoted as a way to save utility customers billions of dollars and help them better control energy use was thrown into doubt Monday, after state regulators denied BGE's request that ratepayers shoulder most of the upfront costs. The Maryland Public Service Commission, the state's top energy regulator, issued an order after months of deliberation saying that Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. should contribute some of the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to deploy the "smart meter" technology.
NEWS
June 16, 2014
More and more smart people are opting out of so-called smart meters. They know the opt out fees, dreamed up out of thin air by BGE and PEPCO, are a punitive device to try and force us into submission. Smart people know that the time-of-use rates we will be charged through smart meters will cost us more than any fees imposed ( "Indoor meters present challenges in smart-meter rollout," April 28). So how are we going to reach the greenhouse gas reduction goals set forth by the 2008 Empower Maryland legislation?
BUSINESS
By a Baltimore Sun reporter | June 29, 2010
Constellation Energy Group has invested in Raleigh, N.C.-based Consert Inc., a "smart grid" technology provider. Consert on Tuesday announced the $17.7 million investment by Constellation, GE Energy Financial Services, Qualcomm Inc., Verizon Ventures and others. The investment by Constellation, the corporate parent of Baltimore Gas and Electric, comes as Maryland regulators have denied the utility's smart grid proposal because of up-front costs to consumers. The technology allows consumers to track their electricity use in real time and enables two-way communication between customers and the utility.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | September 7, 2010
A security consultant named Mike Davis, working for IOActive, got a lot of attention last year for buying a "smart" computerized electricity meter on eBay and hacking into its software. At the Black Hat hacker convention in Las Vegas, Davis ran a simulation showing how a "worm" (similar to a virus) could take over a smart grid by replicating itself and passing from meter to meter. "Malicious code could quickly propagate throughout a neighborhood, ultimately causing power disconnections and calibration modifications, rendering the meters inoperable," IOActive, a Seattle-based computer consultancy, wrote on its website.
NEWS
July 1, 2010
The dust-up in Maryland over the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. smart grid proposal highlights the importance of utilities, regulators and other stakeholders having a clear understanding about the range of potential benefits of smart grid technologies and the need to design smart grid plan expressly to achieve those goals. The California Public Utilities Commission took a big step in the right direction recently when it approved a comprehensive plan to maximize the environment and consumer benefits of smart grid technologies.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | August 16, 2010
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. will deploy its "smart meter" technology intended to save customers money by helping them control energy use, agreeing Monday to terms set by state regulators on how the utility can pass on infrastructure costs to ratepayers. Under those terms, BGE would shoulder the early costs to install smart meters in homes and businesses and wouldn't be able to seek reimbursement through rate increases until 2014 at the earliest. If the rate hikes are approved starting the following year, BGE estimates that its 1.2 million customers could pay $1.10 a month on average over a 10-year period.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2010
The U.S. Department of Energy has given Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. a little more time to get approval of its amended "smart grid" proposal from state regulators so that the utility can keep a $200 million grant tied to the program. In a letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission -- which had rejected BGE's earlier proposal in June -- the energy department said it will not make a decision on whether to divert the federal stimulus grant to another program until Aug. 16, instead of the initial July 30 deadline.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | June 22, 2010
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. executives are exploring whether to resurrect a proposal rebuffed by state regulators that would have deployed "smart meters" intended to save customers money and help them better control electricity usage. BGE executives said that they planned to meet soon with federal energy officials who earmarked $200 million for the project and that it appeared members of the Maryland Public Service Commission didn't understand parts of the meter proposal. One executive, James L. Connaughton, also blamed what he called "fear of innovation" at the PSC. The PSC, the state's independent energy regulator, issued its order rejecting the smart-meter plan late Monday.
NEWS
May 21, 2014
Regarding Jonathan D. Libber's critique of smart meters ( "BGE Smart Meter fees amount to 'protection money,'" May 19), I think building a "smart grid" is probably a good thing, but I certainly can't applaud the utility's means of going about it. Attempts to sell customers on their supposedly newfound ability to lower utility bills are laughable. We know how to do that now: use less heat and AC, cook during off-hours, do the laundry at 3 a.m. But imposing a penalty for "opting out" is not funny; it's absolutely galling and has no place in the Free State.
NEWS
November 26, 2012
Approximately 200,000 people in Maryland were left without power in wake of hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30 2012. Three days later only 700 houses were still left without power. Jeannette M. Mills at Baltimore Gas and Electricity observed that the quick restoration was partially made possible by smart meters and smart grid, made of two-way communications systems, smart meters and sensors, similar to shift from analog to digital system in cable services. Smart meters pinpoint precise locations of meters to electricity service sources through digital communication, thus saving time, dollars and wasteful service rounds to locations where power has been already restored.
NEWS
March 30, 2012
Printing Kate Kheel's letter "Smart meters are dangerous" (March 24) piece shows it's not the meters but the people who fear them that are dangerous. Her fear of communication signals is simply unfounded, and her fear of higher utility bills is simply justice for those that continue to waste energy while refusing to manage their demand to match the true cost of electricity throughout the day. Those who are conscious of the hourly fluctuating price of electricity based on demand are tired of paying fixed rates to carry these free-loaders along with their wasteful disregard of the law of supply and demand.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | September 7, 2010
A security consultant named Mike Davis, working for IOActive, got a lot of attention last year for buying a "smart" computerized electricity meter on eBay and hacking into its software. At the Black Hat hacker convention in Las Vegas, Davis ran a simulation showing how a "worm" (similar to a virus) could take over a smart grid by replicating itself and passing from meter to meter. "Malicious code could quickly propagate throughout a neighborhood, ultimately causing power disconnections and calibration modifications, rendering the meters inoperable," IOActive, a Seattle-based computer consultancy, wrote on its website.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | August 16, 2010
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. will deploy its "smart meter" technology intended to save customers money by helping them control energy use, agreeing Monday to terms set by state regulators on how the utility can pass on infrastructure costs to ratepayers. Under those terms, BGE would shoulder the early costs to install smart meters in homes and businesses and wouldn't be able to seek reimbursement through rate increases until 2014 at the earliest. If the rate hikes are approved starting the following year, BGE estimates that its 1.2 million customers could pay $1.10 a month on average over a 10-year period.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2010
The U.S. Department of Energy has given Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. a little more time to get approval of its amended "smart grid" proposal from state regulators so that the utility can keep a $200 million grant tied to the program. In a letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission -- which had rejected BGE's earlier proposal in June -- the energy department said it will not make a decision on whether to divert the federal stimulus grant to another program until Aug. 16, instead of the initial July 30 deadline.
NEWS
By Rebecca Cole and Rebecca Cole,Tribune Washington Bureau | April 26, 2009
WASHINGTON -One warm August afternoon in 2003, a power failure originating in Ohio coursed through the northeastern section of the electrical grid, sparking the nation's largest blackout ever and leaving millions in eight states without air conditioning, traffic lights or cell phone service. A "smart grid" might have averted a shutdown that cost an estimated $6 billion. That new grid - a digital network allowing utilities, consumers and alternative sources of renewable energy to "talk" to one another - could steer electricity to where it is needed most, avert cascading energy bottlenecks and promote power from alternative sources.
NEWS
By Kenneth W. DeFontes | July 20, 2009
Last summer, Shirley Norlem of Annapolis joined 1,000 other Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers in testing new "smart grid" technology that promises to transform the way Marylanders consume - and conserve - energy in our increasingly carbon-constrained world. In exchange for significant rebates on her bill, Ms. Norlem shut down her plasma television, computer and other household electronics on the hottest summer afternoons. The efforts of Ms. Norlem and other participants in the pilot program helped reduce strain on the electric grid, lessening the need for BGE to draw additional power during times of peak demand, when electricity in the wholesale market is most expensive.
NEWS
By William Yeatman | July 5, 2010
Last month, the Public Service Commission rejected Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.'s "smart grid" proposal. From start to finish, the whole affair demonstrated everything that is wrong with Maryland's socialized electricity industry. To begin with, BGE's plan was a dud. The whole idea of "smart grid" is to inform customers how much electricity costs in real time so that they have an incentive to use less electricity during times of peak demand (usually hot summer afternoons), when electricity is expensive to generate and transmit.
NEWS
July 1, 2010
The dust-up in Maryland over the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. smart grid proposal highlights the importance of utilities, regulators and other stakeholders having a clear understanding about the range of potential benefits of smart grid technologies and the need to design smart grid plan expressly to achieve those goals. The California Public Utilities Commission took a big step in the right direction recently when it approved a comprehensive plan to maximize the environment and consumer benefits of smart grid technologies.
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