Utility Customers Could Soon Opt Out of Smart Meters

ANNAPOLISMD - A Maryland delegate wants you to be able to opt out of a having smart meter and not have to pay a fee.

"It's a freedom bill, and it gives the citizens of Maryland the right to say no to a smart meter. Smart meters are catching on fire in Pennsylvania," says Del. Glen Glass, (R) - District 34A.

A smart meter calculates how much energy a customer is using and then uses a signal to send it back to the utility company.

"People are concerned that the utility companies will get their data and sell it to other companies," Glass says. "It's just a big issue, and this bill would allow people to refuse a smart meter."

Glass says the meters can cause health problems and pose a privacy issue.

"Many people think that there's health risks involved," Glass says. "If you have a pacemaker, it could affect that. If you have even an invisible fence in your yard, it could affect how that works. Your dog could run through the fence, attack somebody, and you would be liable for it."

He sponsored a similar bill last year, which failed. This year, his bill has bi-partisan support, and he's more confident it will pass.

The House Economic Matters Committee heard the bill Thursday. It will go to the full house floor for debate if it makes it out of committee. You can read it by clicking here.

Delegate Patrick Hogan (R) of Frederick County, Delegate Neil Parrott, (R) of Washington County, and Del. Donald Elliott (R) of Frederick County are co-sponsoring the bill.

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