Founded in 1816, BGE is the nation's first gas utility and one of the earliest electric utilities, with a tradition of superior service and reliability. Today you can continue to rely on BGE as your premier energy delivery company, providing quality service to customers throughout Central Maryland.
1816 - 1841: A Company Comes To Light
- On June 11, 1816, Rembrandt Peale illuminated a room in his Holliday Street museum in Baltimore with burning gas, dazzling the patrons gathered there with a 'ring beset with gems of light.'
- On June 17, 1816, the City Council speedily approved Peale's plan to light the city's streets. So was born the first gas company in the New World, BGE's direct predecessor: the Gas Light Company of Baltimore.
1842 - 1866: Metering the First Success
- The Company paid its first dividend.
- A full two miles of gas main are completed.
- The Company shows its first profit.
- Metering replaced flat-rate billing. As a result, people of moderate means could now afford to light their home with gas.
- In 1855, Spring Gardens plant was constructed where gas was distilled from coal, an improvement over the former use of tar or wood.
1867 - 1891: Competition & Consolidation
- Four rival gas companies appeared on the scene: Consumer Mutual Gas Light, Peoples Gas, Equitable Gas Light, and Chesapeake Gas. But the competition wreaked havoc, with company after company tearing up the streets and laying parallel lines. Often the heart of the city was impassable.
- The public soon clamored for control of competition, paving the way for two consolidations - the last in 1888 - that merged the rival companies into the Consolidated Gas Company of Baltimore.
- Meanwhile, Thomas Edison developed the first successful incandescent lamp at this laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1892 - 1916: The Merging of Two Great Powers
- Following the introduction of Edison's invention, electric company competition was fierce, yet service was inconsistent. Power plants were small and inefficient, rates varied widely, and distribution amounted to a tangle of duplicated and overloaded overhead lines.
- United Electric Light and Power Company emerged as a pillar in its field, and in 1906, it joined with Consolidated Gas to become Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore - the city's first fully integrated gas and electric service company.
1917 - 1941: Growing Up and Out
- In 1916, Consolidated's customers were introduced to central heating with gas - Baltimore's first taste of laborless heat with automatic temperature control.
- That same year, electric heating was introduced.
- For the first time in Company history, electric sales surpassed those of gas.
- After the war, Baltimore city extended its limits by nearly 60-square miles, requiring that the Company race to keep ahead of customer demand. New generating plants and substations were built, and capacity at Spring Gardens and existing power plants was increased.
- In 1925, the Company completed the first part of a high-voltage ring around the city to improve electric distribution.
- The Company expanded into the merchandise and entertainment arenas with lighting and appliance stores, and radio broadcasting.
1942 - 1966: War, Peace and Prosperity
- After the war, population and production increases brought about record-breaking sales and expenditures for the Company.
- The Company converted its gas system from manufactured to natural gas and added numerous miles to its gas main.
- The Company changed over from the obsolete direct-current (DC) electric distribution system to alternating-current (AC).
- The Company changed its name to the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company.
- The Company helped form the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) Interconnection, one of the world's largest, fully integrated electric grids.
- Headquarters were enlarged in a new Charles Center.
- The Company converted to electronic data processing.
1967 - 1991: Balancing the Demands
- BGE celebrated its 150th Anniversary.
- The energy crisis, rising interest rates and other instabilities brought strategic planning to the forefront.
- In 1975, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant opened to supply customers with inexpensive, clean, and reliable energy, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
- Constellation Energy Group began operation as the holding company for BGE and its affiliates.
- Following passing of energy deregulation in Maryland, BGE changed from an energy producer and delivery company to one focused on energy produced by other generation companies.
- Energy supply competition opens in Maryland.
- BGE receives approval for implementation of a smart grid in Central Maryland with a communications platform of more than 2 million smart meters.
- Exelon Corporation and Constellation Energy Group complete their merger, effective March 12th 2012.