To the editor: Kent County, Maryland News

Smart Meters

Source:http://www.myeasternshoremd.com/news/kent_county/article_d0c7f6a5-7de1-5ffc-9cee-c34e220075b5.html

Your Opinions

Your Opinions


 

Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 3:00 am

READERS WRITE Kent County News

To the editor: The Public Service Commission, a taxpayer-funded state body charged with ensuring fairness for Maryland consumers, has yet again proved itself to be a cravenly supine organization in the pockets of big business with its recent decision to introduce fees against Delmarva Power customers who do not want so-called Smart Meters installed on their properties.

These charges will greatly impact families and, particularly, retired people who are on a fixed and limited income. The charges also bare no relationship to the actual costs that may be incurred by the power companies, and is just a figure pulled out of a hat, which ensures they continue to price gouge consumers for what is already a hugely expensive, second-rate service.

If readers are concerned at their high electricity bills this winter then just wait until they start getting their Smart Meter Bills.

Objections against these devices are well known.

There is insufficient independent scientific research into the negative health effects of the continuous microwave radiation put out by these devices.

There is no proof that this technology will personally save consumers energy or money. Only use of the off switch or a thermostat can do this. Any cost savings are all in the power companies favor

They will eventually result in time-in-use charges being introduced in the future, which will cause higher, not lower, power costs for consumers.

They are a serious invasion of privacy and are easily subject to hackers who may find out the most intimate details of people’s lifestyle and reveal when they are away from home to potential burglars.

Compulsory application of this technology is a dictatorial policy unsuitable in a democratic nation such as the U.S. and defies our Constitution.

For the first time in human history, individual householders will no longer have direct control over their own energy supply, which can, with the use of Smart Meters, be switched off at will from a distance. This is a little understood game changer with huge implications in an era when no electricity means no life as we know it.

And finally, opt-out fees turn capitalism on its head. If the technology is so advantageous to consumers then why are we asked to pay extra if we decline this great opportunity? When you eat at McDonalds and order a Big Mac and the server says “Do you want fries with that?” you don’t get charged extra for saying no thank you!

A civilized and advanced state such as Vermont has already allowed consumers to opt out of Smart Meters without incurring any extra charges. I would hope Maryland could be equally enlightened.

I urge all Kent County News readers to contact their state representatives to support all and any bills that allow consumers to opt out of the installation of Delmarva Power’s Smart Meters without incurring extra fees and charges.

Ted Newcomen

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