By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — BGE says a million customers have indoor meters that need to be changed to smart meters.

But as Pat Warren reports, busy lives are making it hard to get to tens of thousands of them.

The lights are on but nobody’s home. BGE wants to install smart meters but can’t get a foot in the door.

“We make several contacts. We contact them by phone, we leave a door hanger, we send letters–but unfortunately we still have a fair number of customers that it’s been difficult to get a hold of,” said Michael Butts, BGE.

BGE says there are 200,000 indoor meters that can’t be installed because the customers–for various reasons–aren’t letting them in. To opt out of the service will cost you a one-time fee of $75 and an additional $11 a month.

BGE could end up charging the same amounts against customers whose meters they can’t get to.

“Currently, if we can’t get into a house and the customer hasn’t said, `I want to opt out,’ there is nothing that happens at the moment. However, we expect that at some point that possibly fees could apply,” Butts said.

If that happens, you can always opt in.

“You have 30 days from the time that you get your first bill that you can call and say, `I would like to have a smart meter’ and we would give you a refund for any charges,” Butts said.

BGE is holding smart meter open houses around the area to help customers understand exactly how the meters work.

BGE expects opt-out fees to start appearing on your bills in July.

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