August 14, 2014
In the switch to "smart meters," BGE is inconveniencing its customers for something they probably don't even want and is somewhat suspect, anyway: Just imagine the information BGE will be able to glean from real-time utility usage data available with smart meters. It will likely be possible for the company to not only deduce the number of people living in your house, but also when they go to work, return home, eat, watch TV, go to bed and so on, because all of these activities involve turning on and off appliances of various kinds and using more or less electricity.
August 11, 2014
The smart meter conspiracy theorists are no doubt buoyed by the news that BGE has been unable to secure appointments to replace the old, analog meters in the homes of some 350,000 customers. But there is no reason to think this reflects some groundswell of opposition to the new technology; on the contrary, it is a clear outlier when it comes to other smart meter installation projects across the nation and even within Maryland. The smart meter conversions for Pepco and Delmarva, for example, are 99 percent complete with opt-out rates of well less than 1 percent.
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.
August 2, 2014
Big Brother is watching you — through your smart meter? One complaint about the technology, as electric and gas utilities roll it out here and across the country, is that it offers another way for government agencies — or hackers — to snoop on us. The American Civil Liberties Union notes that at least some utilities have turned over customer data after legal demands. San Diego Gas & Electric, required by California regulators to report annually on privacy issues, said it disclosed 3,056 customers' records last year, some of which could have included "energy usage data of varying granularities.
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?
May 22, 2014
Jonathan Libber has hit the nail squarely upon its head ( "BGE's 'protection money,'" May 19)! I am one of those who chose to opt out of this "gift" from the Maryland Public Service Commission. Allegedly, these "smart meters" will be a boon to the consumer as they will allow us to more judicially use our energy resources. That alone caused me to pause, I don't quite understand how that will work; how will that meter "inform" me any better than the one that I have now as to my use of energy?