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Several express concerns in Boonsboro about 'smart' electric meters

August 05, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO — Several people showed up at a Boonsboro Town Council meeting Monday night to express concerns about the use of “smart meters” to measure electric use in buildings.

One of the people who spoke, Mary Schanno, said smart meters emit microwave radiation and is worried that their use is associated with health complications like insomnia and migraine headaches.

Although Schanno said she fears the meters are being used throughout the county, a Potomac Edison official said last week that the local provider is not installing smart meters in its Western Maryland service area.

Potomac Edison spokesman Todd Meyers said there is no state law currently in place in Maryland that allows the company to install smart meters.

Unlike traditional utility meters, smart meters use a two-way electrical unit that records consumption of energy usage and communicates that information to the utility for remote monitoring and billing purposes.

Meyers said other utilities in Maryland, and perhaps some in neighboring areas of Pennsylvania, do have the go-ahead to install such meters, which might have caused some confusion in the Western Maryland area.

Boonsboro Town Council member Barbara Wetzel said she believes smart meters are being used in some parts of Maryland, possibly in the Baltimore area.

There was some discussion at the council meeting about whether there is a smart meter being used at town hall.

But Town Manager Debra Smith said she was told that the building does not use a smart meter.

Although three speakers expressed concern about the meters, Smith said it is not an issue the town in which the town would become involved.

Mayor Charles F. “Skip” Kauffman Jr. said he had never heard of the meters. But he acknowledged that people have concerns about the meters that should be addressed.

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