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For Immediate Release


BGE Media Hotline


As Temperatures Drop, Take Steps Now to Inspect the Safety and Efficiency of Natural Gas Equipment and Manage Energy Usage to Minimize Price Increases

BALTIMORE (Nov. 4, 2021) – With colder temperatures arriving, many customers are beginning to increase their use of natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water.  This is a perfect time to have licensed appliance technicians and plumbers inspect natural gas appliances—furnaces, ovens, dryers, fireplaces, hot water heaters—and home piping to ensure they are operating safely and efficiently.  It is also time to think about taking steps to reduce the impact of expected rising fuel costs on your monthly utility bill.  

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), heating fuel costs are rising, primarily due to growth in energy demand as economies begin to return to pre-pandemic levels and a forecasted slightly colder winter this season than last. All heating sources —natural gas, electricity, oil and propane—are expected to increase in price. These increases are expected to affect the supply portion of the bill—the amount of natural gas and electricity you use.  Importantly, BGE's costs—the delivery portion of the bill—are unaffected by the rise in the commodity price.

In order to reduce the impact of nationwide fuel cost increases, BGE purchased more than 50 percent of its natural gas in the summer when prices were lower. However, natural gas prices this winter will be affected by the rise in the wholesale price of natural gas that began earlier this year.  

Important natural gas safety reminders:

  • Natural gas has no natural odor, so a safety odorant, mercaptan, is added to give the gas a rotten egg odor to help detect when a leak occurs. 
  • If you smell natural gas, get to a safe place (outdoors and at least 100 feet from the suspected source of the odor) and call BGE at 1-877-778-7798 or 911, 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.
  • Don't turn anything on or off.
  • Don't open a window.
  • Don't try to find the leak. 
  • You can report natural gas leaks anonymously.
  • Never assume that someone else reported the natural gas leak or that BGE or the fire department have been notified.
  • Even homes that don't use gas can experience gas leaks from outdoors.

BGE continuously inspects, maintains, replaces and upgrades gas equipment in the region.  Customers should also ensure their own gas equipment is regularly inspected, maintained and repaired by licensed plumbers and technicians.  All piping and appliances after the gas meter are a customer responsibility.   Check your connectors- older brass flexible gas connectors that are attached to home appliances could be a possible safety hazard.

For more information on natural gas safety, visit


Important energy efficiency and bill management tips: 

Customers can take advantage of energy efficiency programs to save energy and money, including energy assessments that identify ways to save even more. To learn more about BGE's residential programs visit

By following a few simple tips and making straightforward energy efficiency improvements during the fall, customers could save 20 percent or more on their winter heating bills.

  • Keep it sealed. A poorly sealed house is costlier to keep warm. Caulk around doors, windows, and any openings for utility services. Using the locks on your windows helps make a tighter seal that is more resistant to drafts. If you have a fireplace, keep your damper closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Upgrade your insulation. Insulating your home can significantly reduce your heating costs, while also increasing the comfort of your home. Reducing air leaks – around floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, doors, windows, vents, and plumbing – could cut your home's average monthly energy bill by 10 percent.
  • Check ducts for air leaks. Look for joints that are no longer connected. Leaky ductwork can increase your energy bill significantly.
  • Warm up your system. Service your heating system before winter begins. A well-maintained system will last longer, operate more efficiently, and save you money. The potential for carbon monoxide exposure is possible if home heating equipment is not properly tested, serviced, and maintained.
  • Manage your thermostat. Keep thermostats set at a comfortable level. You can save about two percent on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. When you are asleep or out of the house, try turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours to save approximately 10 percent on your heating bill. Consider investing in a smart thermostat that can connect to your mobile devices, helping you stay on top of your energy usage.
  • Be prepared for cooler weather. Remove screens and air conditioners from windows and install storm windows.
  • Do not heat unused areas. Close vents in unused rooms and shut doors to unused rooms, closets, and basements.
  • Take advantage of the sun's heat. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • Shorter days and longer lights. Adjust outdoor lighting timers as the nights grow longer. Replace older incandescent bulbs with new energy efficient LED bulbs.

Monitor Usage

Through BGE's MyAccount at, customers can track their energy use, set up high usage alerts, get tips on how to reduce energy costs, and learn which appliances use the most energy.

Bill Relief and Assistance Programs

BGE offers a variety of bill relief options and assistance programs to help customers make ends meet. The company has made new payment plans available, which can spread outstanding balance payments up to 24 months, with no money down and no interest charged. In addition, budget billing makes short-term fluctuations in monthly bills easier to handle by dividing annual energy costs evenly throughout the year.

Additional customer assistance programs include:

  • Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP): EUSP provides grants to help qualifying limited-income customers pay the electric portion of their bills.
  • Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP): MEAP provides grants to help qualifying customers pay their gas and electric bills.
  • Utility Service Protection Program (USPP): USPP prevents customers enrolled in EUSP and MEAP from having their energy service turned off during the winter. 
  • The Fuel Fund of Maryland: The Fuel Fund aims to be a lifeline for customers struggling with their utility bills. They help customers navigate an array of financial and community resources that provide assistance in times of crisis. 
  • 2-1-1 Maryland: 2-1-1 Maryland provides a link to community health and human service resources statewide, 24/7, in over 150 languages. Residents can dial 2-1-1 for assistance in finding services such as childcare, employment, health care and insurance, emergency services and more.
  • EmPOWER Maryland Limited Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP): LIEEP helps qualified customers with the installation of energy conservation materials. It's offered through the MD Department of Housing and Community Development. 

Residential customers should act now and can find out more about options online at



BGE is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility, providing safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company was founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and remains headquartered in Baltimore City to this day. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Engage with the latest BGE stories on and connect with BGE on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.



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