BGE Says Some Smart Meters Have Overheated But None Have Burst into Flames

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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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  1. To answer the last statement …..” So far consumers have been able to opt out of smart meter installation, but it’s unclear how long that will be the case.”….
    Is simple really! It all depends how many people get the word and understand the gravity of the situation. Does AMI infrastructure justify burning people’s homes down in the interest of progress?

    Ask the people and let them decide.
    as for me?? DO NOT SMART METER ME! and we all can still be friends.

  2. I just came back from the PSC Smart Meter Fires hearing. The utilities, BGE, Delmarva, PEPCO, and SMECO are suggesting the fires are the customer’s fault. The socket into which the Smart Meter plugs into was apparently put in when the customer’s house was built. This aging socket is the customer’s responsibility. Never mind that there was never a problem with your old analog meter that was happily plugged in all these years. It is the customer’s problem if the utilities damage the socket and the Smart Meter fails. There will be additional future opportunities for the utilities to damage customer’s sockets as these Smart Meters will need to be replaced as often as very 5 years for wear and tear–much sooner if they become obsolete (in California thousands of Smart Meters had to be replaced because they were obsolete and incompatible with the newer Smart Meters being rolled out). Not to worry —all costs can be offloaded to the customer. So far looks like Smart Meter expense will far outdistance any savings (Smart Meter pilot studies showed an annualized household savings of less than 1%). This is looking more and more like a cash cow for the utilities and we haven’t even begun to talk about the new income generated by the sale of the customer’s energy use data by the utilities to interested third parties!

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