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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Smart Meters in Maryland

Beginning in the spring of 2012, (recently pushed back from the expected October, 2011 start) Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) will be installing Smart Meters in all homes, schools, hospitals and businesses within its service area. The new Smart Meters will replace the conventional analog meters currently in use. Although around the country there is mounting opposition to Smart Meters, it appears that in Maryland the residents remain uninformed about the expected deployment. Smart Meters are wireless devices that transmit customer usage data to collection points strategically located in various neighborhoods. This information is then uploaded to BGE's computer centers for processing.

Some history:

The Maryland Public Service Commission rejected Constellation Energy's (Balt Gas & Elec) proposal to install smart meters throughout Maryland in June 2010. BG&E's current $835 million plan to install 1.36 million new "smart" electric meters and 730,000 advanced gas meters.  Constellation said it anticipated $2.6 billion in benefits over 15 years, from conservation, lower prices, reduced capital expenditures for new power sources and other sources.

In August 2010, the Maryland Public Service Commission gave approval to Baltimore Gas & Electric to install smart meters.  This reversal came after the company filed an amended proposal intended to address the state's top energy regulator's concerns that ratepayers would shoulder most of the financial risk to install the technology.

In August 2010, the Maryland Public Service Commission authorized Pepco to proceed with the installation of smart meters, which is consistent with federal initiatives to improve energy efficiency, while reducing carbon emissions. Pepco has received $68.85 million in federal stimulus grants to help fund Pepco’s smart meter program in Maryland. (Maryland Residents Against Smart Meters, NY Times, 6/23/2011, Business Wire, 7/7/2011)

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