: News

Consumer Privacy A Concern With New "Smart Meters" In Md.

Play associated audio
Owings Mills resident Mike Fold reads a statement from BGE which shows his electricity rebate for cutting consumption on peak days. Rebates are part of BGE’s new Smart Grid program.
Cathy Duchamp
Owings Mills resident Mike Fold reads a statement from BGE which shows his electricity rebate for cutting consumption on peak days. Rebates are part of BGE’s new Smart Grid program.

By Cathy Duchamp

This time next year Baltimore Gas and Electric will begin to swap out conventional electric meters with digital ones that the utility says will save customers money. But BGE’s so-called “smart grid” plan goes beyond new meters.

So-called ‘smart meters’ will allow you to see how much electricity you use on a daily, even hourly basis. That could inspire you to change your energy habits, and cut consumption across the region.

"It means a lot of new power plants that don’t have to get built and a lot of new transmission lines to deliver that power don’t have to get built," says BGE's Mark Case.

Consumer privacy is a concern, given that BGE can also see how much and when you’re using electricity. But Case says the utility will not sell your information without your consent.

"We view a customer’s energy usage information as information that belongs to a customer," he says.

Even so, manufactures will be lining up to sell you smart appliances that can talk to your smart meter, and tell you the best time of day to run that dishwasher.

NPR

'We're Mostly Republicans': New Hampshire Voters Explained By 'Our Town'

After NPR's Bob Mondello used The Music Man to help explain the Iowa caucuses, he wished there was a musical of Our Town so he could do the same for New Hampshire. It turns out there is one.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.