8:00 AM EDT, April 15, 2012
Have you heard of a smart meter? I hadn't until I received a notice from Baltimore Gas and Electric advising that it will be installing them in Anne Arundel County soon, so I searched for it on the Internet. Wow, there are a bunch of "Stop Smart Meter" groups all over the U.S. Why?
A "smart meter" is a wireless electric meter designed to transmit two-way radio communications between your house and BGE so that BGE can track your energy use. What's wrong with that, you ask? The meter emits radiofrequency (RF) radiation into your home 24/7 at levels one hundred times more than cell phones and other wireless "toys." The American Academy of Environmental Medicine opposes the installation in homes and schools (yes, they will be installed in your children's schools, too) as chronic exposure to RF radiation can cause serious health problems. Children and seniors are especially vulnerable. This is a scientific experiment, and we are the guinea pigs.
Because the smart meter is a two-way communication device, your daily routines (when we make coffee, use our dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) will be sent to BGE and they (and hackers) will know when you are home and when you are not. Various security experts are advising that the system is not secure and hack-free.
BGE promises lower rates because we will be able to track our own energy usage. BGE admits it has not done a complete cost of service study to support its estimates. In fact, citizens in other states that already have the such meters are complaining of increases.
Other states have issued moratoriums or opt-out programs. Hopefully, Maryland will be next, but it is up to the Public Service Commission.
Traci M. Radice, Baltimore
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun