MARYLAND-BGE smart meter opt-out fees under fire

BGE smart meter opt-out fees under fire

Some residents are fighting for control over their health, but they say it’s costing them.

Opponents of BGE’s Smart Meter program say the devices are harmful, whether it’s due to magnetic radiation, privacy or cyber security.  So they opt out, but it costs them $75 upfront over 3 months, then $11 a month from there on out.

They argued for lower opt-out fees at a Maryland Public Service Commission Meeting Thursday morning.

Advocates say with a higher opt-out rate, fees are supposed to drop, but that’s not happening.

Bonnie Buikema chose to opt of the smart meter last summer.  She says with the upfront fee, and high energy bills from the winter before, she ended up having to pay BGE 59 percent of her gross income.

“I’m very low income, I’m unemployed now, like I need to do home repairs and I have a lot of health concerns so this fee hit me very hard,” Buikema said.
BGE says it’s not opposed to lowering fees, but wants to wait until opt-fee rates stabilize.  It also says smart meters are safe and reliable.
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