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BGE Requests Regulatory Rate Review of Investments in Natural Gas and Electric Distribution Systems

Filing ensures major investments in safety and reliability receive thorough public review

BALTIMORE (May 24, 2019)BGE today filed a request with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to review natural gas and electric delivery rates to ensure they reflect the cost of the major safety and reliability improvements being made across its central Maryland service area.  Under the proposal, BGE is seeking $133 million, which reflects the necessary investments to its energy delivery systems. As proposed, the average residential electric-only customer's bill would increase by $3.74. The average residential gas-only customer's bill would increase by $5.27.  A combined gas and electric residential customer's bill would increase by $8.53. For residential customers who receive electric and gas service from BGE, the average total bill would still be ten percent lower than it was more than a decade ago if the request is approved as proposed. This is the first request for an adjustment to electric rates since 2015, while natural gas rates were last reviewed in 2018.   

"While we know that any proposed increase may be a challenge for some of our customers, we also know that our customers value the high level of service that they have come to expect and deserve, which only comes from continuing the significant investments that we are making in our energy delivery systems," said Calvin G. Butler Jr., chief executive officer of BGE. "The proposed increase balances our efforts to deliver world class service, innovative energy efficiency programs, and maintain our costs at or below the mid-Atlantic regional average."

Several factors have enabled bills to remain lower for more than a decade, including significant decreases in commodity prices, as well as BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program which has provided $5.7 billion in value to BGE customer including $570 million in rebates and $308 million in bill credits. In 2018 alone, BGE customers received incentives and bill credits of more than $101 million.

In 2018, BGE spent $1.8 billion to improve services for customers, including:

  • Completing 37,000 pole inspections
  • Upgrading 15 overhead circuit routes
  • Replacing 80 miles of underground circuits
  • Trimming 2,440 miles of vegetation located along distribution lines
  • Replacing more than 60 miles of gas main
  • Replacing more than 10,000 gas services
  • Inspecting and maintaining approximately 4,000 miles of gas main
  • Increasing circuit rerouting options at five substations which helps minimize the number of customers affected by outages and lessens the duration of outages
  • Installing 280 reclosers, which automatically restore service once the source of the outage is eliminated, reducing the duration of the outage
  • Responding to reports of gas odors in less than one-hour 99.97 percent of the time – a near perfect record

In addition to safety and reliability, natural gas projects have an added benefit of reducing greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions. In 2018 alone, BGE's gas projects resulted in a reduction of approximately 9,280 metric tons of carbon dioxide (C02), the GHG equivalent of removing nearly 2,000 vehicles off the road for one year.

BGE is also investing in innovative technologies to better serve customers including:

  • Building infrastructure to support the electric vehicle market
  • Using battery storage to supply existing substations which lessens or eliminates the need to build new substations
  • Piloting the use of camera-mounted drones to inspect overhead power lines and utility poles which is safer and more efficient than traditional inspection methods

Regulatory rate reviews are a public process led by the PSC, an independent state commission, that ensures transparency, public input and fair rates for all customers. A decision on the current proposed rates is expected from the PSC in December 2019.

BGE's investments in the electric and natural gas systems power a vital economic engine in central Maryland, with an estimated economic impact of $5.4 billion and 11,208 jobs according to a recently completed study by the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.

Additionally, BGE takes great pride in its support of the community. In 2018 alone, BGE contributed approximately $5 million to local nonprofits and Company employees volunteered 26,000 hours across central Maryland.

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BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland.  In the J.D. Power 2017 and 2018 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM  BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Electric Service in the East among Large Utilities. In addition, in the J.D. Power 2018 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM   BGE received Best in Customer Satisfaction with Business Natural Gas Service in the East. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, InstagramYouTube  and Flickr.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (or "BGE") received the highest score in the East Large segment of the 2018 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study and the East Region of the 2018 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study of electric and gas utility customer satisfaction among business customers. Visit jdpower.com/awards.

 


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