Jonathan Libber, president of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA) today filed a motion for reconsideration with the Maryland Public Service Commission’s (PSC) regarding its opt out Order of February 26th. Although the Order provided Maryland ratepayers the right to officially opt out from having a smart meter installed on their homes, MSMA submits that BGE, Pepco, Delmarva Power & Light and SMECO never justified their claim for substantial opt out fees. MSMA was the only involved party that raised very strenuous objections to the cost analyses presented to the PSC by the utilities. Following the hearing where MSMA showed how defective the cost proposals were, the four utilities all sent confidential cost breakdowns to the Commission and excluded MSMA from that filing. The parties failed to even provide MSMA notice that this was being done. That breakdown of costs became the basis of the PSC’s Order in regard to the substantial opt out fees it approved for each utility. While the information in question was business confidential, MSMA had a confidentiality agreement in place with SMECO since last year, and could have easily completed ones for BGE, Pepco and Delmarva.
MSMA is essentially asking the PSC for a chance to review this material and comment on it. In the alternative, the motion asks the PSC to consider these costs as part of the base rate proceeding for the smart meter program. This would potentially suspend the final decision on opt out fees for 18 months and allow MSMA to more effectively argue for more realistic fees.