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About MSMA

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:

  1. Wireless safety in our homes and neighborhoods;
  2. Maintain our right to privacy within our homes;
  3. 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

Health Concerns

Smart Meters have never been independently tested for safety. The FCC’s current guidelines for maximum permissible exposure to radio frequency radiation (on which Smart Meters run) are thermally based.  As such, even if the Smart Meters were to not exceed the FCC guidelines (which is not the case according to data thus far collected http://sagereports.com/smart-meter-rf/) they would still not be considered within safe limits for 24/7 exposure.  Smart Meters are more than just one meter affixed to our homes, they rely on a new infrastructure that creates a mesh network with many points at which data is transmitted and received. The cumulative effect of radiation exposure, known as electrosmog,  from other wireless technologies already in place, coupled with this new wave of radiation from the Smart Grid poses a serious health risk to us all.

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.

Privacy Concerns

Our personal energy usage will be tracked by means of a wireless signal into our homes, and the data will then be forwarded wirelessly, 24/7, to a third party for “energy management.”  In addition, neighboring meters will be in constant communication with one another (this is known as chattering).  The technology is already in place to track our energy use with still greater precision by means of sensors attached to each of our appliances which will communicate our energy usage to the Smart Meter. Utilities boast that with Smart Meters, they will be better able to make recommendations as to our energy usage.  But incidentally, they will also be able to track data about our personal lives. For example, they will know when we are out of town and when we return; when we are using our washing machine or watching a DVD.  With this detailed system in place, much of the rhythm of our lives and our choices will become available for sharing and possible marketing purposes.  In addition, with a  Smart Meter, one will be able to ascertain what medical equipment each family operates.  While this is probably not a violation of HIPAA, per se, since BGE and Pepco are not health care providers, it does stand all the HIPAA protections on their head. For if the law does not permit personal medical information to be disclosed by our health care providers, why would we entrust this sensitive information to our utility company?  Some utilities state they have no intention of marketing this data at the present time, and they will ensure its safety.  But the point is that the data should never have been collected in the first place.  It’s like a thief that breaks into your home and steals your jewels and then says he will keep them safe for you.

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.

National Security Concerns

Government Intelligence Officials have said that America’s power-grid system “represents the battleground for the future”.  According to Leon Panetta, former CIA director, terrorists are determined to find a way to hack into the power grid system in the United States.  In his own words, hacking into the Smart Grid “…brings down the financial system, brings down our government systems.  You could paralyze this country.  And I think it’s a real potential.”  To make matters worse, Smart Meters will consist  of components made outside of the United States.  One utility official admitted that it was a golden opportunity for our enemies to put malware on these components which could undermine the entire Smart Grid.

Safety Concerns

Smart Meters potentially interfere with baby monitors, home security systems, critical care equipment, and possibly pace makers and other medical implants.

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.

Rate Increase Concerns

Although BGE claims this new technology will improve rates, this has not proven to be the case elsewhere. Commenting on a pilot study of 10,000 Smart Meters conducted between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2009, Attorney General, George Jepsen of Connecticut remarked, “The pilot results showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage, and the savings that were seen in the pilot were limited to certain types of customers and would be far outweighed by the cost of installing the new meter systems.” In addition, where Smart Meters are already in place, there have been many complaints about billing inaccuracies which show up as inexplicably high monthly charges.

Effects on our Planets Ecosystem

The effects on the entire ecosystem are very real.  In the below cited article, Barrie Trowers cites thousands of studies showing how chronic, low levels of RF radiation can compromise the immune system of bees, ants, farm animals etc. making them far more susceptible to disease. http://www.safelandforbees.org.uk/bees-and-microwave-radiation.html

10 Responses to About MSMA

  1. David horner August 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    After a year of threats we broke down & let BGE (Md.) install a SmartMeter. For the last 3 months our bills have almost doubled. Called today and they will be here on Fri. To remove it. However, the rep. Said we would have to pay the $75 charge to opt out & $11 a month. My question is, what happens if I just pay my bill every month & not the $11. Has anyone done this, if so what happened. Thanks!

  2. Edward Groh November 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    It seems that BGE does everything possible to con you into getting a smart meter. I opted out and now get a letter regarding the inaccessibility of my time of use meter. I called and told them that my meters are always accessible to the meter reader. I was told that they cannot remotely read the time of use meter and that a replacement was necessary but the it would bnot be a smart meter. I feel that any meter they put in will create all the problems that I’m hearing about. I’m being told I have no choice because they will not have meter readers coming to the house. Am I wroing or should I resist having my electric meter replaced? I’m being threatened with a shutoff.

    • John Anayannis November 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      I see implementation of the “Smart Meter” technology as a way for Utilitiy Co.’s to implement a pay as you go rate structure. Historical analog meters record total kilowatt hour (KWH) usage over an extended period e.g. 30 days. The Utility Co. then charges a “Fixed Residential”, KWH for the total usage. With a Fixed Rate, a homeowner using 800 KWH in a 30 day month x 8 cents per KWH pays ~$64.00

      Without a Smart Meter tracking your homes hourly usage, the Utility Co. only knows that 800 total KWH were used that month and dividing by 720 hrs in a month works out to 1.1 KW used per hour. So, 1.1 KW used per hour x 8 cents x 720 hrs = $63.36.

      If the Utility Co. can vary by time of day the amount charged, then homeowners with more means to pay would be charged a premium for running their A/C units during peak usage times such as on a 98 deg. July days were everyone wants their A/C’s on between 11:00am – 7:00pm (like driving in Hot-Lanes during Rush-Hour).

      With the increase in housing construction (e.g. increased electricity demand) driving increased construction of more power lines and infrastructure, the Utility Co.’s need to find a way to increase revenue for these improvements (and stockholders too). This can be achieved by that favorite concept, a “Progressive” rate structure. But a way of tracking hourly usage is needed.

      So for example: between 7:01pm – 10:59am you might be charged 8 cents per KWH and between 11:00am – 7:00pm (peak times) you might be charged 12 cents per KWH.
      With this new strategy, instead of paying ~$63.36 per month you would pay $67.20.
      (480 KWH at 8 cents = $38.40 and 240 KWH at 12 cents = $28.80 = $67.20).

      Of course a homeowner can reduce the 12 cents per hour peak charge by allowing the Utility Co. to put a Smart Meter on the house where the Utility Co. can cycle your A/C off as needed or shut is down completely as needed. (Not having to pay for a Meter Reader is another spin-off benefit.)

      So by not having a Smart Meter put on your home you are holding back the greater Utility Co. agenda of increasing revenues at the persuasive “i.e punitive opt-out fees” cost of independent use of electricity as “you” deem fit…and yes, Hackers will be able to exploit the radio wave signals between the Smart Meter and Utility data collection stations in the environment to gain knowledge they may need to cause calamity.
      Best – – John Anayannis

  3. Ted Newcomen September 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    You may be interested in this article from the UK about Smart Meters overseas which cut bills by only 2% etc
    see :
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/11085830/215-energy-smart-meters-to-cut-bills-by-just-2pc-PAC-warns.html

    Also I had a reply from my MD Senator S.Hershey who says that additional legislation will have to be submitted in Jan 2015 & continue if we wish to see opt-out fees removed. He indicated he supported the previous failed attempt in the 2012 House Bill 878 to prohibit fees but did NOT say he would support anything in the future (ie fence sitter) – contact me if you want a copy
    Ted Newcomen

  4. Barbara May 29, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    I sent in a letter telling Delmarva I did not want a smart meter. Well they put one in anyway. I called them back and told them I want it removed. They said it wasn’t activated yet? How do I know that is true? I am sick and need it removed. Please help.

  5. Angela Harless April 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    I received a letter from Delmarva regarding the fees that will be imposed upon me starting July 1, 2014 as a result of my opting out of the smart meter mandate. I now will be fined $75 for enrolling in the “opt out program” along with being fined an additional $17 per month for monthly meter reading and maintenance. This is nearly $300 in additional costs to me as a result of opting out of being monitored 24/7.

    I have written Delmarva asking them if I can submit to them each month my meter reading to eliminate any fee that they might incur…however, has it been suggested by anyone or any group with influence that these meter readings be performed by the customer each month around the time the electric bill is due? I also have asked Delmarva if those who were unfortunate enough to get a smart meter were subjected to a monthly maintenance fee too.

    Any guidance on how these penalties can be stopped would be appreciated.

  6. Anthony Jones March 12, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    I agree. Since they installed a smartmeter on my house, my utility bills have been the HIGHEST that I’ve received ever during the entire 12 years of living in this home.

    The utility company told me this morning that, unlike the old meters, the new meters are able to capture everything and thus the bills will be higher.

    I suspect there is a problem in the smartmeter (hardware/software) or the utility company is intentionally inflating my bill. Something is wrong.

  7. Pam March 6, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Hello, my family and I are totally against smart meter installation, we support your efforts in introducing the bills today HB 331 and 332. We don’t want to be controlled by the government or the electric company. Thank you.

  8. karen biddle October 26, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    With the old meter that I have, I can go outside to see if it is spinning, which happens sometimes when we have a heat malfunction, and then I know I have a heat malfunction that is running up the electric bill. And I go back in and adjust the HVAC system.(I have noticed on the new meters on the neighbors, they cannot tell of increase usage by just looking at the new one.)

    • George Karadimas October 28, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      You are absolutely correct.

      The Smart meters are installed for the financial benefit of the power company that is implementing their version of the smart grid.

      The analog Merry GO-ROUND dial meter, tells it how it is!
      The more power you use the faster the dial spins!
      When you do not use any power…guess what?? — there is no spin on the dial.

      With The Smart meter , being programmed remotely by your not so FRIENDLY Power company, they can PROGRAM it to charge you anything they want. And display on the Digital display anything they please or NOTHING!

      OH! YEAH! And if you want more detailed information as to how your smart meter is robbing you blind…You have to log on to the web at a specific portal assigned only to you, so your not so friendly power company have the opportunity to brainwash you even further! It is the NEW AGE ELECTRONICS you know, where getting the ratepayer in the sate of being bemused, befuddled and bewildered is the ONLY CORPORATE OBJECTIVE. (Besides stealing your money, as that comes first.)

      And if you do not like it?? You Can always file a complaint with your Public Service commission who have been shown hard at work only able to whistle Dixie, when it comes to providing service to the PUBLIC (That means YOU.)

      Welcome to the Corporate RUN AMERICA, where the money elite make fortunes, and the general public gets the SHAFT.

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