Opposition to utility “smart” meters (electric, gas, and water) is worldwide.
Utilities encourage or sometimes force consumers to accept these dangerous devices (see 1, 2) in order to remotely control and/or ration energy use (see 1, 2) as well as collect consumer usage data 24/7 to sell and/or share with 3rd parties including police departments! Documented issues associated with “smart” meters include billing errors/higher bills, cybersecurity risks, installation mishaps, mechanical issues, harmful radiation emissions, short life spans as well as fires and explosions (see 1, 2, 3, 4). Of course, utility companies tend to not take responsibility when smart meters catch fire and/or explode which has led to lawsuits filed by insurance companies in California. Perhaps that needs to happen everywhere else too.
Smart meter catches fire, utility company denies homeowners’ damage claim
BGE: “Equipment failure due to normal wear and tear”
BALTIMORE — A Baltimore County couple said their smart meter “exploded” causing nearly $1,500 in damage to their home. They filed a claim with BGE to pay for the repairs, but it was denied.
Susan Kahl was watching TV at around 10:15 p.m. on October 5 when she heard a loud noise.
“I heard a softer sound and then I heard what I thought was a motorcycle or dirt bike backfiring and then the lights went out and the generator kicked on,” Kahl said.
Kahl and her husband, Richard, had no idea what happened until the electrician came in the morning.
“He said, you better call BGE. He said that meter exploded and there was melted metal on the glass plate of the meter, and it had melted the siding and you can see a little bit where the soot is on the telephone box,” said Kahl.
The electrician added that he hadn’t seen this before, so the Kahls called BGE.
“And the technician didn’t come until 5:15 in the evening and he said he’d never seen anything like that happen. And then the next day, they sent somebody to follow up and look at it, and he said he’d never seen something like that happen,” Susan Kahl recalled.
The Kahls filed a claim with BGE thinking they’d be reimbursed, but several days later, they received a denial letter.
“They were denying our claim because that was normal wear and tear on the meter,” said Susan Kahl.
BGE investigated the event and could not find any willful default or neglect on their part that led to the power outage/surge. “Our investigation concluded that the cause of the power outage/surge was equipment failure due to normal wear and tear,” according to the letter sent to the Kahls.