Pepco To Activate Nearly 85,000 Smart Meters in Maryland

Tens of thousands of Prince George's and Montgomery county customers are scheduled for smart meter activation in October.


Pepco is scheduled to begin activating some 85,000 smart meters on Oct. 26 in Sector 27, which includes Greenbelt, College Park, University Park, Riverdale, Takoma Park, and Berwyn Heights, with some spillover in Hyattsville and Silver Spring, according to Pepco spokesman Marcus Beal.

Though the activation date is a little over a week away, the meters already are active—they attempt to communicate the day they are installed, according to Beal. What Pepco means by activation is activating the benefits, and that will occur once the meters have been tested and certified, Beal said.

Those benefits include usage information that customers can access daily, even hourly, Beal said. And they can overlay that data with graphs and charts. So if a bill seems higher than it was in a previous year, customers can bring up a bar chart that shows the temperature by day to help them understand the differences.

Smart meters will also send out "last gasp" messages that let Pepco know power has gone out, according to Beal.

Pepco has installed 347,965 meters in Prince George's and Montgomery counties and plans to install all 550,000 of them by year's end, with plans for all meters to be active by the end of the first quarter of 2013, Beal said Tuesday.

Smart meters have alarmed some opponents who worry that the electromagnetic radiation or radio frequency they emit will bring about adverse health effects. Some 830 Pepco customers had opted out of the meters as of a week ago, according to Beal, but that's out of 550,000, he added.

Those who opt out use the power company's traditional analog meters to read their household or business energy use. Smart meters, on the other hand, send information directly to Pepco, removing the need for a company representative to read meters on site visits.

Customers concerns over radiation stem in part from the amount of transmissions the meters send out. But Beal said the meters only communicate about 60 seconds a day, adding that some of those communications are only milliseconds.

In terms of milliseconds, 60-seconds can be broken down into 60,000 one thousands of a second or milliseconds. But Beal said there was no way to say how many transmissions occur in a day. It would be the equivalent of asking how many times a day a cell phone accesses its network, even when it's not in use, he said.

Though the exact number is unclear, smart meters typically relay thousands of brief communications during scheduled and unscheduled transmittals, according to a letter Pepco sent the D.C. Office of People's Counsel (OPC) in April.

As for fears over the emissions, Pepco's website states there is no health risk from the meters. The radio frequency fields used by smart meters are in the same frequency ranges used by cell phones, according to Pepco.

It usually takes a couple of days to finish activating all the meters in a sector, according to Beal. But once Pepco is satisfied that they are communicating properly, customers can begin accessing detailed reports of their power usage.

Malaprop November 02, 2012 at 08:45 PM
1) I am not worried about my children using cell phones next to their ear. Texting and driving is forbidden. 2) I do not trust the telecoms -- I am quite familiar with their billing schemes. 3) You know nothing and you do everything you can to avoid responding.
Malaprop November 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I cannot refute all the studies and I am certainly not qualified to review biological effects. However, since not of the anti-wireless sites speak out against the scientific misconduct by Sage, Carpenter, Johansson, Hirsch and others, I know that they cannot be trusted. I have seen several severely flawed studies which I can digest that are trumpeted because they say what the anti-wireless want to hear. Sage, Hirsch and the Yale study are among them. Serious scientists concerned about EMF would dissociate themselves from the sleaze who are merely trying to scare for profit.
Malaprop November 02, 2012 at 08:56 PM
You have now descended from science into rhetoric. I love my children. I know what is dangerous. Alcohol, drugs, reckless driving etc. I want them safe. I suggest that you veer away from questioning my ethics -- I'm really not interested in yours. I'd like to answer my question about Hirsch, Yale and the Kheifets study on pre and post natal exposure -- all experiments you introduced and from which you now want to run away.
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 12:35 AM
The last thing I am doing is running away. Do you think there is no association with EMF's and childhood leukemia?
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Yes, I am questioning your ethics. It is unethical to disregard serious health concerns. It was unethical for this country to disregard the EMF issue in relation to powerlines and it is unethical for this country to continue putting out technology before it is tested. That is unethical. You are the one running away here. Malaprop. You are running away from all that i have sent. You name-call folks who say there are health risks and then say you wont read their reports. You seem to like commenting all over the nation on Smartmeters. What of that Malaprop? Maybe you forgot to sign in with your other name?
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 12:50 AM
It is unethical to see study after study come out with results showing health concerns but not take precautionary action because "no causal mechanism" is understood Especially in this science where docs admittedly do not know the causal mechanisms for most cancers? Really Malaprop.
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Ethics are about acting morally and with integrity. The Yale study states "Whole cell patch clamp recordings of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) revealed that these behavioral changes were due to altered neuronal developmental programming. Exposed mice had dose- responsive impaired glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto layer V pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. We present the first experimental evidence of neuropathology due to in-utero cellular telephone radiation." Whats your problem with it?
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:01 AM
http://www.who.int/peh-emf/research/children/en/index4.html Above is the link to the WHO agenda for studying EMF fields. Now Malaprop, seems there is a lot of info the WHO needs.. hmm why so interested in this issue? There sure are a lot of experts saying more research needs to be done. Would you give your child an experimental drug with all this talk? no I dont think so! and you can be sure that it would be considered unethical by the boards because there is enough evidence to show that there are potential risks.
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:02 AM
So yes, this is all about Ethics
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:04 AM
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consultations/public_consultations/scenihr_consultation_15_en.htm "Since September 2008, the cut-off date for the previous review by the SCENIHR, a sufficient number of new scientific publications have appeared to warrant a new analysis of the scientific evidence on possible effects on human health of exposure to EMF. "
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Dearest Malaprop, I suggest you explain your ethical understanding of this issue. I am very interested.
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:23 AM
http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2010/11/11/jech.2010.115402.abstract?sid=2a52e43d-0fe8-407d-ac2a-22288a2d0a27 oh yes this one of which you speak where the findings were replicated. I await your analysis. So far i see none?
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:27 AM
You still have not commented on this http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23113292?dopt=Abstract Single exposure of white outbred rats to electromagnetic radiation with a frequency 905 MHz (GSM frequency) for 2 h increased anxiety, reduced locomotor, orientation, and exploration activities in females and orientation and exploration activities in males. Glucocorticoid levels and antioxidant system activity increased in both males and females. In addition to acute effects, delayed effects of radiation were observed in both males and females 1 day after the exposure. These results demonstrated significant effect of GSM-range radiation on the behavior and activity of stress-realizing and stress-limiting systems of the body.
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Do you have any thoughts on sperm injury? There are too many studies to post on this.
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Oh Dear, I doubt you can respond to all of this... too much info for you. Lets go back to ethics.. a good place to start. How do you see your ethics at play in this lovely debate? How might you see Ethical issues playing a role in the issue of Smartmeters? and cell phones for that matter?
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:36 AM
So many we would have to start a new article!
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Ethics? Malaprop?
MaryJane November 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Malaprop, The above is the link where the WHO "experts" discuss all the info that is needed, the research that needs to be done. The European C omission has another document outlining all the areas where research is needed too.. hmm i think i sent this.. Do you think they are just saying this because they are researchers? They are spending their countries money trying to give educated opinions in order for the countries to make public health policy that serves the people. I do not think they would say this if they did not have good reason . Do you?
Malaprop November 04, 2012 at 05:57 AM
I asked for a link to the full article on the Kheifts behavioral study yet all I get is a smattering of more studies. The abstract does not tell if RF exposure is the agent responsible.
Ed James November 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM
@MaryJane - it's Buddy "Attick" Park.
MaryJane November 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Malaprop, It is very simple to research things online. All you do is search for the heading. It concerns me that you do not know how to do this. What is your background and education that you are asking me such a question? Please try and look all the other studies as well. And of course you still have not answered my question on Ethics. I await your thoughtful response. http://www.avaate.org/IMG/pdf/NINOS_Cell_phone_use_and_behavioural_problems_inIech.2010.115402.full.pdf
MaryJane November 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM
You might want to email the author with your questions too.
MaryJane November 04, 2012 at 03:34 PM
and of course.... about the emissions that Smartmeters emit as do cell phones....On 31st May 2011, IARC classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.
MaryJane November 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Malaprop, Shall we discuss this data? this is not a smattering as you say... but a bit of a tidal wave.. one that increases with time....
MaryJane November 05, 2012 at 02:11 PM
"Neurosurgeons like Keith Black in Los Angeles said: "What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain" and Charlie Teo in Australia said, "There is an increasing body of evidence that there is an association between brain tumors and mobile phones." http://microwavenews.com/news-center/iarc-cell-phone-radiation-possible-human-carcinogen
MaryJane November 05, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Much experimental evidence of non-thermal influences of microwave radiation on living systems has been published in the scientific literature during the last 30 years – relating both to in vitro and in vivo studies – and were reviewed just recently by the STOA commission of the European Parliament (STOA 2001). From the use of microwave wireless technologies e.g. the following non-thermal biological effects have been reported: !" Changes in the electrical activity in the human brain, !" Increase in DNA single and double strand breaks from HF exposure to 2.45 GHz, !" Increased lymphoma rates (2 fold) in transgenic mice exposed twice a day exposed to 30 minutes of cell phone (GSM) signals over 18 month, !" Increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier in rats, !" Observation of an increase in resting blood pressure during exposure, !" Increased permeability of the erythrocyte membrane, !" Effects on brain electrochemistry (calcium efflux), !" Increase of chromosome aberrations and micronuclei in human blood lymphocytes, !" Synergistic effects with cancer promoting and certain psychoactive drugs, !" Depression of chicken immune systems, !" Increase in chicken embryo mortality, !" Effects on brain dopamine/opiate electrochemistry, !" Increases in DNA single and double strand breaks in rat brain, !" Stressful effects in healthy and tumor bearing mice, !" Neurogenetic effects and micronuclei formation in peritoneal macrophage.
Malaprop November 07, 2012 at 08:26 AM
"Whats your problem with it?" It might be the fact that there was no " dose- responsive impaired glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto layer V pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex" It's pretty hard to have a dose response when you do not know what you are measuring and if the agent is present. This is further proof that you are clueless. Extracting a paragraph that sounds sophisticated is typical behavior from someone who knows nothing but wishes to sound impressive.
CP Resident January 09, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Try science: http://www.skepdic.com/electrosensitives.html
CP Resident January 09, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Steven, the problem is that you *are* standing up for what you believe - regardless of its basis in fact. Please stop spreading disinformation and actually educate yourself from reputable sources.
jenifer cros March 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM
You can't read the studies the anti-smart meter sites feed you. You cannot even catch Kirsch's quack arguments.<a href="http://www.brevillesmartoven.com"> Breville Smart Oven</a>


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