BALTIMORE (WJZ) — BGE is getting ready to put its smart grid program into action.

Monique Griego  has more on how the utility hopes modernizing its meters will end up saving customers money.

Conserving energy costs is a big concern for most homeowners.

“It’s important to save money. With the economy we have today, we gotta do everything,” said Linda Thompson, homeowner.

BGE hopes to help customers like Linda Thompson save money by installing new “smart meters” as part of its smart grid program.

“This is going to help us do what our customers have been asking us to do for a long time: help them become more energy efficient and help them save money,” said Rob Gould, BGE.

Starting in May, crews will go house-to-house switching out 1.3 million electrical meters for new digital ones.They’ll also be upgrading around 700,000 gas meters.

“This is the first time it gives us a two-way connectivity to the meter,” said Gould.

BGE says the process of switching these old meters for new ones only takes a few minutes so there really won’t be any lengthy interruptions in service.

Unlike the old meters, “smart meters” will allow customers to track their usage in “real time” so they have more control over their bill.

Gould says it will also increase the utility’s response to outages.

“This will allow us to pinpoint with great accuracy which customers are in service and which are out,” said Gould.

The smart grid transformation is expected to take three years and cost $482 million, $200 million of which was paid for through a federal grant.

Thompson says she’s just hoping for a smooth transition.

“I don’t like changes myself at all. I like the way it is right now and it’s fine. But you gotta keep up with the times,” said Thompson.

BGE crews will begin putting in smart meters in May in Anne Arundel County. Baltimore City installations won’t start until next year.

A letter is being sent out Monday to all customers.

Comments (18)
  1. Sheeple says:

    The new meters are intended to allow cust. to track and control usage. Who else intends to track and control your usage? Are you allowed to refuse this “Smart Grid” upgrade? Will there be an added tax if you use more than someone feels you should? Hmmmmm… I’m sure its for your benefit and not tied to any government mandate. Have you ever looked up Agenda 21?

  2. Truth Telling says:

    Smart meters my rear end. These benefit BGE only. I have read all that’s out there on this matter and see NO benefit to the ratepayers. Try this, BGE. Most of us out here are doing everything possible to reduce usage YET we continue to pay more. After you turn out all the lights not in immediate use, lower your thermostat (and put on a sweater) and then rush through a shower and hardly get wet, what else is there to do. Nothing.

  3. Cindy Walsh says:

    Please tell everyone that the maryland public service commission will decide on an opt-out option in a few weeks. You need to go to their website and let them know you want that option.

    In california, there is a huge movement to stop this monitoring. People know their electric use and prime time, just like they know rush hour traffic. People are concerned about the fact that the monitor can reveal when someone is gone and how long. It also has a low-level radiation level that concerns some people. We shoul have an opt-in option.

    1. Larry26 says:

      I agree with you 100%. This is only going to benefit BGE. When a large corporation like that says they are helping you, watch out!

  4. Richard P. says:

    does this mean they can turn my power off at will during peak hours

    1. paul k says:

      if it is a smart meter and they have control, what do you think?

      1. Vicky says:

        DO NOT REPLACE METER. We refuse the smart meter due to thelah and privacy issues. Also inside are several sheets explaining what makes smart meters so dangerous, and numbers and websites that will help people either avoid getting a smart meter, or what to do if they already have one. We handed out around 40, and probably already have that many more people around here refusing a meter (I think and hope I’m seriously underestimating that number, since we’ve had a letter to the editor and an article based on a previous visit to another local city).Keep up the good work, everyone. We are, slowly but surely, going to save as many people as possible from the smart meter debacle. They’re so bad that I think, eventually, every single one of them is going to have to be removed. And we’re going to speed up that process considerably!

  5. dave says:

    This is a B.S ploy run by the capitalist Republican Mf’rs like the Koch Bros.

    1. chubrock says:

      Like our state democrates are any better. They tax and fee us to death. Give me a break!

  6. Agenda 21 says:

    Two delegates from Maryland (not sure of their names, cecil or charles county maybe) are trying to get amendments regarding the meters to the floor. They are currently being held up in committee. Imagine that.

  7. RustysChaos says:

    It is from BGE, It must be good for us.

  8. Inside9 says:

    I hope the letter sent by BG&E to its customers tells them about the nightmares PG&E customers have been experiencing since that nasty little meter started pulsing in Northern California. Somehow, the fact that the meter emits pulsed microwave radiation in short blasts over 20,000 times a day was not revealed to we here in Northern California. People with backgrounds in physics and biology have been explaining how this kind of exposure leads to health problems after people started to show physical symptoms. Heart irregularities, headaches, tinnitus, sleeplessness are some of the fun effects of these deadly little wireless devices. The only people they help are the CEOs of utility companies and their shareholders.

    The save electricity ploy is BS. We know what we have to do to reduce our consumption right now.

    Think about this: The consumer still has to take the same steps he has always known about to cut down his power usage. No matter how many times he steps on the scale each day, a fat man still has to decide to stop eating to lose weight.

  9. camo says:

    Yea, That other $ 282 million dollar cost for the program , who do you think pays for that? Yea the 1.5 million BGE customers @ $188 dollars a piece. And they’re gonna give us what , $100 dollars credit on one of our bills for His Lordship O’Malley’s blessing of the Excelon B.G.E ,Constellation energy merger.Looks like the old bait and switch with a little ‘Throw ’em a bone” tossed in. Yea … we’re gonna save money….Bull … sh-t. Mayo makes millions and O’Marty has some place to hang his hat if Bab’s doesn’t retire or he fails to Bullsh-t the rest of America into electing him president in 2016……Keep your frickin’ “smart meter”

  10. Larry26 says:

    I have read also that they give out doses of radiation. This is from information that I have read about them. With all of the cancer around, you don’t need doses of radiation! Time to let the PUC know that you do not support this. It is only going to benefit BGE not the customer. They will lay off more people as the computer will do it and chaos will ensue. I am partially disabled. I have COPD and allergies. I do not need them cutting my service back because they think that they need to. I live in a trailer and when the metal heats up it can be like a furnace. I am on programmed pay and I am making out alright with this and I have switched to Constellation. As I said, this will benefit BGE and not the customer and you can’t convince me that it will benefit the customer.

  11. Dave says:

    BGE will start charging you more for ” Peak” time usage. Thats the whole purpose of it. During the day you will pay much much more for energy you use. You know, when its hottest outside and you need your Air Conditioner. This will allow BGE to not have to build any extra power stations and save them a fortune. They will whine and moan to get the maximum charges they can from the phoney public service commision and we get to foot the bill. And if they have to buy extra energy because we just cant stand our 100 degree houses, well rest assured they will pass on any additional costs as energy yada yada fees right to us.

  12. NotInMyCountry says:

    The opt out bill, that Del. Glass tried to put forth, was already voted down by committee members as of today, so it will not move to the next step.
    I attended the committee hearing where BGE reps were questioned as to the safety of these meters. When BGE rep (Mr. Butz) was asked if there was a single federal safety study that might allay Maryland citizens’ health concerns?, his reply was: “None that we’re aware of”. Also, when another utility rep tried to soften that blow by noting a federal study had been done on the RF emissions, when he was then asked if the study simulated the 24/7 constant RF emissions frequency?, he weakly admitted “No, that study was done using only two-minute bursts”. Since the bill will not go anywhere, it will be up to all Marylanders to prevent BGE/Pepco from FORCING this down our throats. Everyone needs to go to, and send the suggested/certified letters to BGE and PSC notifying that they will not accept the meters, and anyone trying to install them will be considered as trespassers. Everyone needs to also plan on storming the PSC hearing May 22 to tell them Maryland consumers will not be BULLIED AND FORCED to accept devices which BGE reps ADMIT HAVE NOT BEEN ADEQUATELY TESTED !!!!!
    I attended the committee

  13. Mr. Widemouth says:

    Smart Meters – something to be afraid of?

  14. Veron says:

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