BGE makes case for another rate hike

BGE makes case for another rate hike

Proposed increase would add about $15 a bill

 UPDATED 10:33 AM EDT Mar 18, 2016

Show Transcript Hide Transcript

BALTIMORE —If you’re a BGE customer, your energy bills may be getting more expensive.

Download the WBAL app.

The company is asking regulators for another rate hike. This time it says it needs to pay itself back for its Smart Meters program.

BGE is now one step closer to that rate hike, which would equate to about $15 more per bill. Those upset about the hike and Smart Meters protested the proposal on Thursday.

BGE has more than a million Smart Meters keeping track of customers’ energy use across Maryland.

The utility company said the upfront cost to install and operate the new wireless technology will eventually be worth it as it looks to expand Smart Meter use.

“Smart meters give us a lot more information and customers more information about their usage,” BGE spokesman Aaron Koos said. “We expect this to be a $1.5 billion savings project when it’s all said and done.”

That’s what BGE had to prove before asking the Public Service Commission to recoup that upfront cost by way of a rate hike.

Before the last of five public hearings on the rate hike request, a group protested outside on Thursday.

“Customers cannot pay this,” Kate Kheel of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness said. “There are also surcharges on top of this. There’s the conduit fee that’s going to be added on top of this and customers are going to be gouged.”

Koos tried to put BGE bills into perspective.

“The important thing to keep in my mind about total bill is that total bills are down from what they were even in 2008,” Koos said.

Protesters also wanted to raise awareness about what they say are the unknown health dangers of Smart Meters

“The utilities have never done any health research to see what the impact of that kind of radiation is,” Jonathan Libber of Maryland Smart Meter Awareness said. “We’re talking maybe 10,000 pulses a day.”

Koos said the Smart Meters are not a danger to customers.

“Smart Meters are safe,” Koos said. “They’re secure and customers are benefiting from them. It’s been proven across the country and here in Maryland.”

BGE’s rate hike was last year and equated to about $4 more a bill. The latest hike, if approved, would go into effect in the summer.

Smart Meter Dangers: What They Knew and When They Knew It

Smart Meter Dangers: What They Knew and When They Knew It

ComEd’s smart meter deployment is being propelled by a public relations campaign which minimizes and/or dismisses the health and safety impacts that the wireless meters are creating for their customers. What has been known for decades about the health effects of Radio Frequency/microwave radiation is now being passed off by ComEd as a small amount of Radio Frequency being emitted from a smart meter six times a day.

A call to customer service posing the question, “Are smart meters safe?” will elicit a response, “You don’t have anything to worry about, it is safer than a baby monitor”. And, with that simple explanation, the deployment of four million smart meters is underway in Illinois. Community leaders and residents deserve a real answer and hard facts.

Throughout this article Radio Frequency/microwave radiation will also be referred to as non-ionizing or non-thermal. For clarification: A definition of thermal or ionizing radiation means it can cause heat shock or burn body tissue. Non-ionizing or non-thermal radiation is a lower intensity that can cause other negative effects on living tissue (human, animal, or plant).

Let the truth be known:

What is being hidden from the consumer and decision-maker is what has been known by the military for decades: Radio Frequency/microwave radiation even at low levels is a health threat. U.S. military reports nearly 60 years ago confirmed the biological effects of exposure to low level Electromagnetic Radiation.

Jerry Flynn is a retired Canadian Armed Forces captain with 22 years of experience in Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence. In that capacity, he worked with U.S. and NATO armies. Flynn writes

“In 1956 the U.S. Department of Defense directed the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force to investigate the biological effects of exposure to Radio Frequency/microwave radiation (RF/MW) and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). In 1957 they reported many implications: evidence it can cause cancer, damage major organs, and disrupt important biological processes. It can harm the immune and nervous systems, cause behavioral effects, interfere with the ability to learn, and damage the chemical barrier that prevents blood toxins from entering the brain. It could possibly cause genetic defects, birth defects, and general effects on growth and the aging processes.”

Flynn emphasizes, “The military noted that pulsed radiation appeared to be more harmful than non-pulsed radiation.” (ComEd smart meters emit pulsedradiation.)

Air Force Report, 1994   

A June 1994 U.S. Air Force document, entitled, “Radio Frequency/microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards”,acknowledged non-thermal health effects.  Stated in its abstract, “It is known that Electromagnetic Radiation has a biological effect on human tissue. Researchers have discovered a number of biological dysfunctions that can occur in living organisms. Exposure of the human body to Radio Frequency/microwave [RF/MW] radiation has many biological implications that range from innocuous sensation of warmth to serious physiological damage to the eye”, and added that “there is also evidence that RF/MW radiation can cause cancer.  

Other adverse health issues include: “mutagenic effects, cardiovascular effects, negative effects on chromosomes and notes that Soviet investigators claim thatexposure to low-level radiation can induce serious CNS [central nervous system] dysfunctions”.  

NASA Report, 1981

A NASA report published in April 1981, entitled “Electromagnetic Field Interactions with the Human Body: Observed Effects and Theories”,discussed what EMF and RF/microwave radiation inflicts on humans. Health effects of RF/microwave radiation that were reported are headaches, sleep problems, neurological symptoms, cardiac symptoms, memory problems, increased cholesterol, gastritis, ulcers, increased fasting blood glucose, irritability, inability to concentrate, apprehension, and cataracts (clouding of posterior part of lens in those caused by microwave radiation instead of anterior clouding as seen with regular types)Information for the NASA report was collected from over 1,000 written sources that included journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, books, abstracts, and news items.

Navy Report, 1971

In October 1971, the Naval Medical Research Institute published a research report, “Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation”,  which was a compilation of over 2000 references on the biological responses to RF/microwave radiation.  It lists well over 100 negative biological effects caused by RF/ microwave radiation. Here is a partial list from the report: corneal damage, brain heating, alteration of the diameter of blood vessels, liver enlargement, decreased fertility, sterility, altered fetal development, decreased lactation in nursing mothers, cranial nerve disorders, seizures, convulsions, depression, insomnia, hand tremors, chest pain, thrombosis, alteration in the rate of cellular division, anorexia, altered adrenal cortex activity, chromosome aberrations, tumors, loss of hair, and sparking between dental fillings.

Also mentioned in the Navy Report is, “altered orientation of animals, birds and fish”.

Barrie Trower, a British Secret Service Microwave Weapons Specialist, states:

“The paradox is how Radio Frequency/microwave radiation can be used as a weapon to cause impairment, illness and death; and at the same time be used as a communications instrument [such as in a smart meter]. By 1971 we knew everything that needed to be known. A 1976 document summarizing U.S. Defense Intelligence research is the saddest and most despicable document ever published in history. The document lists all of the health hazards caused by wireless devices and concludes: This should be kept secret to preserve industrial profit.

Since the health threats have been known for decades, where do we stand now?

At this time, the installation of smart meters is mandated by law on every home, school, and building in ComEd’s customer service territory. NO permanent opt-out option is available. Parents, who know the truth about the health risks, have nowhere to turn. There is no avenue available for parents, who are aware of the dangers, to protect their children. Does this sound like Flint, Michigan all over again?

Illinois is in the midst of an avoidable, man-made health crisis. What happens when the state faces Flint’s horrible position concerning water, but with electricity? ComEd’s smart meter deployment is creating just such a tragic situation. It is up to the residents to take action, push legislators and theIllinois Commerce Commission for a permanent opt-out, and protect the children in Illinois as well as all living beings in the state.

Part 2 –Follow this article to find out what other agencies, corporations, and organizations knew about the health effects related to Radio Frequency/microwave radiation and when they knew it. Also covered is who is sounding the alarm in an effort to protect public health and welfare.

[Originally published at Illinois Review]

Smart Meter Dangers: What They Knew and When They Knew It

Letter to Dept of Environment re “THE HUM”

Jan 2016 Letter to Dept of Environment re “THE HUM”


It has come to my notice that you have been asked to deal with the issue of ‘the hum’ by some members of the public who are suffering with the environmental impairment electrohypersensitivity (EHS) – some of these, as yet, are not aware that this is what their symptoms relate to.

Since the vast accumulation of our modern technological gadgets we have all been more intensively subjected to an environment laden with electromagnetic fields (extremely low frequency and radio frequency fields or EMF/ELF/RF).  It is estimated that our electromagnetic fields are now one million billion times greater than the natural electromagnetic background that has taken humans and other living organisms millions of years to adapt to.  Since identifying the fact that my own unexplained ill health was related to EMF/ELF/RF I began to research this field of study along with its effects on health and the environment.

I will not go on about this in a broad sense but will concentrate on ‘the hum’/noise/vibrations that thousands of people are now experiencing.  Studies refer to this as the auditory perception of radiofrequency fields/microwave hearing, particularly pulsed or modulated microwaves, which travel through everything, including concrete, our homes and our bodies.  Many consequential sufferers have no option but to move around, live in sheds or create noise that will mask ‘the hum’ 24/7, 365 days a year.

The Government/Department of the Environment are aware of this auditory effect as it is mentioned in the ICNIRP guidelines that they base their standards of EMF/RF upon.  ‘Microwave hearing’ is described in these guidelines as ‘stressful and potentially harmful’. 

I am not an expert in the mechanics of ‘the hum’ but my research advises that it stems from the emissions/resonances of mobile phone base stations and also from the way the powergrid is being used to enable our ‘smart’ society.  The low frequency pulsing and modulations of signals from mobile phone base stations leads to acoustic resonances in the air and these can travel for miles.  Also, the digital/smart grid, which is a two-way communication system (transmits/receives), has now been installed onto our electrical infrastructure/powerlines, which are traditionally a one-way system.   As a result of this, our infrastructure has been turned into a huge antenna.  Many problems related to ‘dirty electricity’ have emerged.   Health problems issuing from both of these sources of EMF/RF i.e. mobile phone base stations and two-way wireless communication devices such as water and electricity meters placed on a one-way infrastructure, are now pervasive.  The very serious levels of radiation, which are in the very atmosphere/environment we live in are irradiating all living things 24/7 and are bioactive and carcinogenic.  Microwave hearers can sense these waves and pulses acoustically and physically.

As a means of sharing knowledge I enclose references to some research papers that clearly demonstrate various levels of power density and their corresponding physical effects on humans.  On the information produced by Arthur Firstenberg I have highlighted microwave hearing for your attention.  For more in-depth study I would refer you to Allan Frey’s work Human Auditory System Response to Modulated Electromagnetic Energy (1962)It was Frey who originally discovered this phenomenon.  An excellent broad paper is The Auditory Perception of Radio-frequency electromagnetic Fields by Chung-Kwang Chou and Arthur W. Guy.  How the Hum works physically is well documented in the work of Ronald Seaman’s paper The Transmission of Intracranial Sound to the Inner Ear is Most Likely Through Cranial Aqueducts.  Finally, I enclose information, simply called ‘the hum’ sourced from  Tables/diagrams omitted on this paper are available on the site.  These research papers will provide you with broad knowledge regarding ‘the hum’.

It will be extremely difficult to deal with this issue efficiently or even effectively as the truth about EMF (non-thermal, pulsed and continuous) health effects is being suppressed.  Governments seem now to be managed by industry and the impending signing of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), can be seen as a threat to the preservation of legislation regarding public health and our environment.  If signed, the country can be taken to court for ‘harming the investments’ of large corporations.

You may respond to this information or not but please remember that children are being born today who will never know what silence is.

Hope this was helpful, Ethna Monks

Access to Tables:

Table of Effects by SAR or POWER DENSITY – note under Power Density that Microwave Hearing occurs at 20mW/m2 and a number of scientific research papers are alluded to. 

and the table of some biological effects of radio wave from: Arthur Firstenberg in his Radio Wave Packet, 2001, accessed from the Cellular Phone Task Force at:

Jan 2016 Letter to Dept of Environment re “THE HUM”

%d bloggers like this: