Who We Are
Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA) is an alliance of concerned people that have come together in response to the mass rollout of digital, wireless smart meters. We feel that Smart Meters violate our rights to health, national security, privacy, and safety.
What We Want
We are asking the Public Service Commission (PSC) to impose a moratorium on Smart Meters until they are conclusively proven reliable and safe. The least we are asking is for an “opt out” for those who would prefer to retain their analogue meter at no additional penalty or cost to the consumer.
Specifically, we aim to protect the rights of all residents to:
- Wireless safety in our homes and neighborhoods;
- Maintain our right to privacy within our homes;
- Protect our health.
As Delmarva and Smeco gather momentum and BGE and Pepco continue their smart meter roll-out, health and other concerns are beginning to surface. We therefore urge these utilities and the Maryland Public Service Commission to enforce the precautionary principle and to learn from the mistakes made by other utilities that rushed into a highly questionable, technological fiasco. MSMA urges the PSC to call for a moratorium to the program and mandate that further research be done on the health effects and other issues relating to these untested devices. Although MSMA feels that retaining our analog meter is the safest option, we also would support the use of fiber optic if the utilities feel the necessity to switch over to a smart grid. At a minimum, MSMA asks that the PSC require utilities to offer an opt-out for people who do not want the smart meters installed on their homes and businesses.
List of Smart Meter and Smart Grid Concerns
Radio frequency radiation is a category 2B possible carcinogen according to the World Health Organization. The Karolinska Institute, one of the world’s leading medical and research institutions and home of the Nobel Prize, states that the combined effect of all current forms of wireless radiation already poses a serious threat to billions of people world wide for cancer, neurological disease, and reproductive and developmental impairments. In their words, “ We are already seeing an increase in health problems…if the Smart Grid is implemented, it will greatly increase the intensity of new wireless emissions in homes, schools and every other building….” The Karolinska Scientific Panel is urging a halt to the rollout. Children are far more susceptible to the effects of microwave radiation than adults due to their thinner skulls and developing DNA. Smart Meters would undeniably be an even greater threat to our children than to us. The science is at best inconclusive. If scientists worldwide cannot agree about the safety of these meters, surely that is reason to give pause before their mass deployment by BGE and Pepco.
There have been thousands of reports of the short term health effects of Smart Meters where they are already in place. These complaints range from dizziness to heart palpitations, migraines to sleep disturbances, exhaustion to forgetfulness and confusion, nausea and vomiting to constant thirst, increased blood pressure to anxiety and an overall decrease in functionality. In other jurisdictions around the country where these meters are already installed, utilities are refusing to remove them even under medical advisement.
A wireless Smart Meter will make it quite simple for people to hack into our banking and personal correspondence. Smart Meters also have a shut-off switch which further facilitates hacking. This switch is an essential part of the Smart Grid as it is used to manage our usage or to shut off service when deemed necessary. Eventually, BGE and Pepco will be able to fully control our usage if they so choose. At peak hours we can be charged more (time of use pricing) thereby increasing their overall revenues. Or, the reverse, as BGE is currently marketing the meters, there will be “incentives” to use appliances at off hours, leaving the rest of us paying more if we do not wish to make the adjustment.
There have been a number of fires attributed to the meters as well as reported problems in their installation due to inadequately trained installers. Recently, it has come to light that some utilities are installing meters that are not UL certified. As of now, we do not know if BGE or Pepco’s Smart Meter are UL certified.