As of Monday morning, 70 Pepco customers have submitted written requests to opt out of their smart meters, according to Myra Oppel, Pepco spokesperson.
"If they already had their meters installed, we will go and switch out that meter," Oppel said, explaining that Pepco will put back in a traditional manual-read meter.
Pepco will defer the installation of a smart meter once a written request is made to the company to keep the existing meter, according to Oppel.
In addition to the 70 requests, Pepco has received phone calls about the smart meters, according to Oppel, who did not have the number of calls at press time.
Pepco's actions are temporary, pending a final decision on opt-outs by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC).
On May 24, the Maryland PSC issued an order telling Pepco, Baltimore Gas & Electric, and Delmarva Power, “the utilities shall refrain from installing a smart meter in the home or business of any customer who notifies the utility in writing that they do not wish to have a smart meter installed.”
The order also prohibited the utility companies from activating smart meters already installed, should they receive a written request from a customer.
Smart meters are devices that send information about household energy use to a power company via electromagnetic radiation. A smart meter replaces a traditional electricity meter, which a power company representative must visit every month to get a electricity usage reading.
Smart meters can make it easier for power companies to know about power outages, and they can help customers track their energy use at different times of the day. But, some object to the electromagnetic radiation they emit, and would prefer that such devices stay away from their homes and families, .
But Pepco says the meters do not pose a health risk. Pepco and Delmarva Power support the position that radio frequency exposure from smart meters is far below and less frequent than other common electric devices, such as cell phones and baby monitors.
Customers still wishing to opt out, can send in a written request or fill out an online form.
How to Opt Out
Customers wishing to opt out, can do so by submitting an online form.
Or, they may send a written request to:
701 9th St. NW
Mail Stop EP7642
Washington, DC 20068