Marylanders Can Halt Smart Meter Installation...For Now

Effective immediately, Marylanders can stop smart meter installation, and those who already have them can stop their activation, while the opt-out decision hangs in the balance.

In a small score for smart meters opponents, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) decided Thursday that Marylanders may ask utility companies to hold off on installing smart meters in their homes or businesses, pending a final decision by the PSC on whether customers may opt-out of  smart meters.

For now, those who have them already, can stop them from being activated as well.

"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.

Customers who already have smart meters installed, but don't want one, may inform their utility in writing. The utility cannot activate those customers’ smart meter transmitters until the PSC issues its final decision, 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.

Many Marylanders are in their homes. At a PSC hearing on Tuesday, May 22, "no one who spoke as an individual was in support of the smart meters, with some people going so far as to say that 'an opt-out is not sufficient ... we request a moratorium,' " , who attended the 11-hour hearing.

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, .

But Pepco says the meters do not pose a health risk. Pepco and Delmarva Power support the position that radio frequency exposure from smart meters is far below and less frequent than other common electric devices, such as cell phones and baby monitors.

The PSC will likely render a decision within one month on whether to allow Marylanders to opt out of having smart meters installed in their homes, .

Cindy Henneberger contributed to this report.

Jim Smith May 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM
CP Resident June 01, 2012 at 09:49 PM
More fear-mongering from Patch! Pepco and Delmarva Power don't only support the "position" that RF exposure from smart meters is below other devices, it's scientific fact. No reliable scientific study has found any link between RF exposure (of any level) and any disorder or disease. You should also stop referring to RF as "electromagnetic radiation" like it's something scary. We sit very close to one of the most powerful emitters of electromagnetic radiation in the universe - our Sun. And too much exposure to UV light is far more dangerous than these smart meters.
George Karadimas June 26, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Here is why. You MUST BE Concerns as I am! 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/ Also look here. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3ABCMXdUxMAQlAyTFRER0NxLW8/edit and here https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3ABCMXdUxMAX01rYi1nWHZhWTg/edit
Traci M. Radice August 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Doug - did you defer? You can go to www.marylandsmartmeterawareness.org and get instructions to get your analog back!
Traci M. Radice August 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Public Service Commission called an emergency hearing on Tues., Aug. 28th at 2pm to hear from the utilities as to their smart meter devices and their malfunctions, power surges, and fires. Any concerned citizen should plan to attend: William Donald Schaefer Tower 6 St. Paul St., 16th Floor Baltimore, MD 21202 File a dispute (410) 767-8000 MD Toll Free: 1-800-492-0474 TTY Users call via Maryland Relay 1-800-201-7165 Directions to the Commission http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/AboutUs/directions_new.cfm


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