Some consumers oppose smart meters in Md.

Monday, 17 July 2017, 04:59:04 AM. While utilities tout smart meters as a major step in modernizing the electricity grid, helping consumers to control energy use and save money, opponents worry about their health, privacy and security risks.
Jonathan Libber likes his analog utility meter just fine. And no amount of debate will convince him that new wireless, digital "smart meters" being installed by Baltimore Gas & Electric and other utilities around the country would help conserve energy, reduce his bill and make service more reliable. "They are a bad idea," said Libber, 59, president of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness, a citizens group opposed to smart meters. "There has been no demonstrated savings for the regulated ratepayer. That's the first problem. The second problem is that they're potentially very dangerous." Libber is one of a growing chorus of consumers in Maryland and elsewhere who want nothing to do with the new devices. While utilities tout smart meters as a major step in modernizing the electricity grid, helping consumers to control energy use and save money, opponents worry about potential health effects and privacy and security risks. States have responded to such concerns in varying ways. In some cases, regulators have ordered utilities to allow customers to say no, provided that they pay extra. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation last week that would prohibit utilities from imposing an opt-out fee. Officials in Santa Cruz County, Calif., extended this year a moratorium on smart meter deployment, a move that is more symbolic than enforceable. And ratepayers in states such as Texas, which do not allow consumers to reject smart meters, are petitioning regulators to reconsider. In...Read more
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