After several “smart” electrical meters, which send electricity usage information to utility companies wirelessly, overheated in Southeastern Pennsylvania — including one that caught fire — the Maryland Public Service Commission called a hearing to determine the safety of similar meters installed by Baltimore Gas & Electric.
BGE testified that so far five of the 65,000 smart meters the utility has installed have overheated, but in all cases — which BGE blames on old electrical sockets in consumers’ homes and not on the meters themselves — sensors detected the overheating and alerted BGE.
It would be hard to judge whether those statements are accurate — the PSC did not allow opponents of the smart meters to testify yet, which, by the way, are legion. Several organizations oppose the use of smart meters for the radiation they emit, the (lack of) security of the network by which their usage information is transmitted, and the flammable plastic parts, which one anti-smart meter activist likens to “having a firecracker on the side of your house.”
So far consumers have been able to opt out of smart meter installation, but it’s unclear how long that will be the case.
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