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January 13, 2012

Smart meter foes file brief in appeal

Opponents of Central Maine Power Co.'s smart meters have filed arguments in an appeal with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The group, led by Ed Friedman of Bowdoinham, is challenging the Maine Public Utilities Commission's dismissal of its complaint that argued the PUC did not adequately address privacy and safety concerns.

The 19-person group first filed its notice to appeal on Oct. 31, and on Tuesday filed a brief with the court presenting its arguments, according to a press release. The appeal seeks to overturn the PUC's decision not to look into claims that the wireless meters pose health problems and are an invasion of privacy. The PUC last January launched an investigation into whether CMP should allow customers to opt out of the smart-meter installation, and in May 2011 approved an opt-out program allowing users to keep their old meters. The PUC repeatedly said it would not address health or privacy concerns related to the meters. The appeal also challenges the constitutionality of making customers pay to keep their old meters.

The PUC and CMP have 30 days to file a response.

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