Maryland Bill Tries to End Smart Meter Opt-out Fees

Maryland Bill would eliminate charges for electricity customers who reject ‘smart meters’

Baltimore Post Examiner, February 18, 2015

Extra fees for electricity customers who refuse to accept “smart meters” because they are wary of the new technology would be eliminated by a bill heard by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, and any extra costs would be spread across all customers.

Utility companies argue these fees are necessary because of the extra cost of continuing to read the old meters.

Customers of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), the Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) and Delmarva Power and Light (DPL) have been facing “opt-out” fees that came with their option to choose analog meters over smart meters, a new technology utility companies are pushing to implement fully across the state. Smart meters transmit electricity usage by customer to the companies through two-way radio communication.

The Public Service Commission last year approved fees for the customers “opt-out” choice. There is an initial upfront cost of $75, followed by a monthly charge ranging from $11 to $17.

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