Kristin King, Community Stewardship Analyst
Yesterday, BGE employees honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's legacy of service by spending the morning at the Cherry Hill Achievement Center with Higher Achievement scholars.
BGE vice president and general counsel Dan Gahagan, who also serves as a board member of the Higher Achievement Program, joined more than a dozen BGE employees in completing various service projects at the center. Projects included creating posters with peace and anti-bullying messages, pinwheels and a 'peace bench.'
Volunteers ended the service project with a bus trip to participate in Baltimore City's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade.
Calvin G. Butler Jr., BGE CEO
I am proud to announce great news! In the J.D. Power 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study released this week, BGE was ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Electric Service in the East among Large Utilities." Our company scored 790 on a 1,000-point scale, earning the top rank among the 11 electric utilities in the region. So, what does this mean?
Essentially, our score of 790 shows a strong performance in six measures of customer satisfaction:
In 2017, we experienced a record year in electric reliability, which we know is important to you. While we appreciate that our efforts on delivering distinctive customer service are being recognized, we know that we must continue to innovate and engage with you, our customer, so that we can continue to serve you better than before.
To best serve you and our community, we've been holding more stakeholder meetings, creating more initiatives like BGE's Smart Energy Savers and Smart Energy Economic Development (SEED) which support businesses of all sizes convert energy savings into business expansion, and volunteering more in our community. Through this and our efforts to continuously improve our customer service, we strive to better serve you.
In 2017 our customers experienced the fewest outages on record. And if an outage did occur, we restored power faster than at most times in our company's history. Now, it is time to get back to work by upgrading our infrastructure, enhancing our maintenance, and continuing to focus on customer service – all to improve your satisfaction.
Wishing you a Happy New Year ahead with many bright moments in 2018.
Justin Mulcahy, BGE Communications Manager
As temperatures continue to drop with no break in sight, we encourage our customers to prepare for these bitter cold days and nights ahead.
"Heating units, especially heat pumps, work harder to maintain the set temperature during the winter months and we encourage all customers to think about simple steps they can take in their homes and businesses to save energy and use natural gas wisely," said Rodney Oddoye, vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer for BGE.
Families typically spend more time inside during extremely cold weather, but customers should still think about how to conserve energy. This can help make bills more manageable and limit demand increases which, over the long term, can impact market prices.
“We recognize there are some customers who may still be challenged to pay their heating bills. We want you to reach out to us before you’re in a difficult situation so you can take advantage of resources, like the budget billing program,” said Oddoye. Budget billing evens out payments over a 12-month period, making bills more predictable.
While BGE is prepared and expects that the gas supply will meet demand, increased usage during extreme cold can stress our distribution system.BGE will have crews available to respond in the event of increased gas odor calls.
Customers are reminded of the following tips:
Justin Mulcahy, BGE Communications Manager
Former Baltimore Orioles greats Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken, Jr. joined Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, City Council President Jack Young, BGE CEO Calvin Butler and members of James Mosher Baseball to cut the ribbon on Eddie Murray Field at BGE Park.
The youth development park is one of BGE’s 200th anniversary legacy gifts to its home city of Baltimore and will host after-school programs and serve as the home field for James Mosher baseball- the oldest continuously operating African-American youth baseball league in the country.
"James Mosher Baseball is special to anyone who ever played or coached here and we’re excited to call this new field our home," said Rod Easter of Easter LSF, LLC., Consulting and former player and current team sponsor for James Mosher Baseball.
"Like the James Mosher Baseball League, BGE has deep roots in Baltimore, and we are extremely proud to provide this legacy gift to the city we have called home for more than 200 years," said Calvin G. Butler Jr., chief executive officer for BGE. "This youth development park will have a lasting impact on young people by providing them with a healthy environment where they can build skills and experiences necessary for success as adults."
Eddie Murray Field at BGE Park features a synthetic turf baseball diamond equipped with dugouts, a backstop, and a digital scoreboard. The field will be gifted to and maintained by the Baltimore City Public School system.
"Every child deserves a positive environment where they can play and grow while surrounded by caring adults who can teach them important life lessons like teamwork, respect and personal responsibility," said Cal Ripken Jr.
"Our vision is for every young person who steps onto this field to dream big and realize there are countless opportunities out there for them," said Butler.
Taylor Jones, Communications Intern
In early July, BGE held its 2nd annual Smart Energy Internship orientation. This summer they added a new activity to the program – a day-long excursion hosted by Outward Bound, an organization that, "delivers learning expeditions that inspire character development, leadership, and service. Through challenge and adventure in unfamiliar settings, students overcome mental and physical challenges, discovering that they can achieve more than they thought possible."
Who better to take than 25 new interns who have never truly interacted with each other outside of school or interacted at all? I had the privilege to take part and let's start by saying that it was an experience like no other!
Upon arriving, seven other interns and I were put in a group and assigned a counselor named Jeff. We worked with Jeff on team building exercises and games that required everyone to participate because without all eight people the activity would fail. It reminded me a lot of the principles that we use here at BGE. If we are missing one individual our work would be incomplete because everyone is a vital entity in the work we do here, not only in the field but in the office as well.
I found myself many times throughout our visit smiling, laughing, joking, becoming more comfortable with my co–workers and looking at not only myself but others in a different light. I am typically a bit shy when interacting with youth my age, so imagine my fear when I was told I would have to frequently communicate and play numerous games with other youth for four hours.
However, with the help of Outward Bound and the constant encouragement from Jeff and my co-workers, I was out of my shell in no time at all. I found myself vulnerable and truly opening up about my emotional and physical fears in front of not only my co–workers and Jeff, but myself as well.
The entire experience forced me out of comfort zone and allowed me to truly see the beauty of the woods and how peaceful change can be. I left Outward Bound that evening with the desire to be supportive to my co-workers and constantly be prepared to step in and assist them in any way possible. I finally understand the saying "There is no I in team".
Linda Foy, Sr. Manager - Communications
As a first-time attendee of Exelon's Innovation Expo, I was most impressed by the number of people (close to 2,500) who attended. It felt like a professional association conference that would typically be attended by people from many different companies. And while, in a lot of ways, Exelon's many operating companies function as separate entities, the Expo showed we are all part of the same family.
It also showed that we are united in our efforts to innovate in the best interest of our customers – seeing it in person was extremely motivational and inspiring.
I am not an engineer or IT professional so I could not fully appreciate some of the highly technical presentations. But importantly, most of them included customer benefits that were clearly articulated and made the overall presentations easier for laypeople to understand.
I also sat in on the Microsoft HoloLens Digital Worker Experience breakout session and was amazed at how virtual reality could improve employee training, equipment maintenance and business efficiencies. After the presentation, a member of the audience commented that he had an immediate use for the technology in his business. He also shared how labor and time intensive a particular job was because the technology he had just witnessed was not (yet) available to him. This was great immediate feedback!
In addition to the amazing ideas and demonstrations, I had the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the business as well as reconnect with colleagues who I've worked with in the past. Hearing what others are up to in the innovation space helped broaden my own view of innovation and how my team can become more involved in moving the innovation needle forward.
Randy Baynes, Sr. Account Executive, Large Customer Services
Maryland's economy was in the spotlight last week during BGE's third Energizing Business Growth Breakfast. Innovation and collaboration highlighted the meeting as nearly 200 members of the business community networked and were treated to a wealth of information.
To emphasize our 2017 theme Energy to Innovate, BGE invited Johns Hopkins University Sr. Advisor, Christy Wyskiel to share a very engaging keynote on the need for sparking innovation and entrepreneurship in Maryland. The discussion focused on the advances of Johns Hopkins research and their effort to enable students and startups to begin, grow and keep their ventures in Baltimore. This will enhance business development, job creation and ultimately, the economy.
BGE also recognized a long-standing partner in the economic development arena. To celebrate 20 years of dedication to strengthening the Baltimore Metro area, BGE presented an award to the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. EAGB's President and CEO, Shannon Landwehr was on hand to accept the award and speak to the two decade-long association between the utility, other public and private supporters and her organization.
Guests were also engaged by a panel discussion highlighting innovation and partnerships among several key roles in local economic development. Panelists shared their thoughts from the utility, developer and state government perspectives. Additionally, BGE's Smart Energy Savers program, Smart Energy Economic Development (SEEDSM) incentive and some exciting new Energy Management tools scheduled to launch in 2018 were shared.
Events like this breakfast helps BGE continue its 200+ year commitment to the central Maryland economy by maintaining and establishing meaningful relationships with Baltimore businesses large and small. Plans are already in the works for next year's event!
Wanda Dodson, Sr. Account Executive, Large Customer Services
BGE has a long history of spreading news about energy efficiency to our customers. Each month, we highlight ways to save energy in our Smart Energy Newsletter. We provide helpful tips almost daily throughout social media and we can often be found at different tradeshows and expos providing literature and reminders to help customers save energy and money.
Recently, BGE and T.Rowe Price joined efforts to further spread the news at the company’s Earth Week event – an event designed to raise awareness on the importance and value of being better stewards of the environment. During the week of planned activities, BGE representatives presented on our energy efficiency programs through lunch and learn presentations; offered T.Rowe Price employees the opportunity to purchase reduced-cost LED lights, and helped them enroll in our programs. Several hundred employees were engaged and many signed up to have our Quick Home Energy Check Up performed on their home. Already we’re thinking about additional ways we can partner to help continue to spread the word.
As BGE works with our customers to help reduce energy usage and costs, we recognize that many businesses and organizations are also important influencers in this space. Just as we welcome opportunities to work with our customers to find ways to reduce usage, we also are just as excited to team up with businesses to increase awareness on ways to conserve energy. We appreciate the partnership with T.Rowe Price and look forward to the next time we can speak with their employees on Smart Energy.
Justin Mulcahy, BGE Communications Manager
Utility scammers may call you or they may come to your door. The angle of the scam may change, but the tactics remain the same — pressuring customers to turn over personal information and money.
We are committed to educating our customers and putting a stop to scamming. Periodically we see increases in reports of individuals calling our customers and falsely claiming that utility service will be disconnected unless an immediate payment is made.
Impersonators then direct customers to buy a prepaid credit card and call back with the card number or other personal banking or utility account information.
Scammers also use a tactic called "caller ID spoofing" to manipulate the displayed phone number so that it appears on your phone's caller ID as a BGE number.
BGE has also investigated reports of supplier switching. In this scam, individuals obtain utility account information and change a customer's energy supplier without their knowledge.
These are the lengths scammers go to now. So, please stay alert.
Don't get scammed! Take these extra precautions:
The safety of our customers and employees is a top priority.
For more information on scams and utility imposters, click here.
Alex Nunez, Sr. Vice President Regulatory & External Affairs
For the second straight year, Light City Baltimore is brilliantly showcasing amazing light art installations and musical performances from local, national and international artists.
While the lights and music take center stage at night, during the day it's the innovative ideas and engaging people that shine the brightest at Labs@LightCity.
Six different conferences bring together national and local community thought leaders in an exchange of ideas on topics ranging from design to food, to social, education and health matters.
This year, I had the honor of serving as emcee for the BGE-sponsored GreenLab@Light City, which delved into energy, ecology and economics in a visionary and thought provoking dialogue on April 4.
Three powerful themes emerged again and again throughout the day in different forms:
Reclamation: Whether it was MacArthur 'Genius' grant recipient Majora Carter talking about reclaiming part of the Bronx River and revitalizing boarded up neighborhood blocks and rundown parks, or the USDA Forest Service and Humanim partnering to keep urban trees and lumber from vacant houses out of the waste stream through the Baltimore Wood Project, the theme of the power of reclamation was evident. We are surrounded by incredible resources to which we simply have to apply innovative thought from the right mix of engaged and committed partners. Right in front of us are the overlooked and underutilized elements of our society that hold the power to uplift entire communities and generations.
Partnerships: Each of us can make a difference and be a force for positive social change. However, when you seek to collaborate and ideate with diverse partners, the potential for positive effect is exponential. We learned how some of the strongest initiatives are fueled by networks of nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, government agencies, academic institutions, and local community members from all generations and socio-economic backgrounds. During GreenLab, the most amazing examples of sustainability and change discussed were often the vision of multiple persons, companies, agencies, or nonprofit organizations. There is real power is in broad, diverse and inclusive networks.
Innovation: Every great idea we discussed at GreenLab was fueled by the spirit of innovation—looking at a need, a process, or a problem in a new or different way. We heard from Calvin Butler, CEO of BGE and Exelon Vice President of Generation Innovation and Strategy Development Mike Smith about how critical it is for established companies like BGE and Exelon to think like startups, view detours as opportunities to explore, and always keep pressing forward to better serve customers and communities. We also heard from Dr. Leyla Acaroglu about the imperative of re-inventing the shape of our experience and impact on the Earth by acknowledging the need to challenge the status quo and then use deliberate design and systems thinking to elicit long-term sustainability.
Watching these themes interweave throughout GreenLab reinforced how powerful Light City Baltimore can be in spurring collaborative ideation and social innovation. It's exactly why BGE has been proud to serve as the lead founding partner of Light City Baltimore in its first two years. Thank you to everyone who attended Labs@Light City and I encourage those interested in social innovation to consider attending next year. Enjoy the final weekend of the festival!
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