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For Immediate Release


Aaron Koos

BGE Awards $35,000 to Schools in Captain MercaptanSM Natural Gas Safety Contest

BALTIMORE (May 21, 2015) — BGE today awarded grants to four schools in central Maryland for the student-designed comic book covers they submitted featuring BGE’s fictional gas safety hero, Captain Mercaptan and his two sidekicks, Sunny and Piper. The winning entry was from St. Stephen School in Kingsville, Md., which received the $10,000 top prize to use for a school enrichment project. Overall, $35,000 is being awarded by BGE to area schools as part of the contest. Captain Mercaptan takes his name from “mercaptan,” the safety scent that BGE and other gas utilities add to normally odorless natural gas to give it a distinctive, easy-to-detect smell.

“Helping customers, especially the children in our service area, understand how to be safe around gas and electricity is our top priority. We’re really pleased that Captain Mercaptan continues to be a great way to spread gas safety messages to school kids,” said Christie McMullen, vice president of Gas Distribution, BGE. “We thank the teachers, administrators and parents and the many students across central Maryland who demonstrated their creativity and understanding of natural gas safety in their Captain Mercaptan comic book designs.”

Area schools submitted 18 drawings and descriptions of Captain Mercaptan in April before public voting and an expert panel of judges selected the winners. Nearly 23,000 votes were cast online at In addition to the first place winning prize, a top entry was chosen for each grade level, kindergarten through fifth grade. The winning schools were: 

  • $10,000 Captain’s Choice Award and BGE Hero Award, Fifth Grade: St. Stephen School, Kingsville, Md. 
  • $5,000 BGE Hero Award, Kindergarten: Perry Hall Christian School, Perry Hall, Md. 
  • $5,000 BGE Hero Award, First Grade: Perry Hall Christian School, Perry Hall, Md. 
  • $5,000 BGE Hero Award, Second Grade: Perry Hall Christian School, Perry Hall, Md. 
  • $5,000 BGE Hero Award, Third Grade: Summit Park Elementary School, Baltimore, Md. 
  • $5,000 BGE Hero Award, Fourth Grade: North Bend Elementary School, Baltimore, Md.

Winning schools will use the awards for school enrichment projects. St. Stephen School, which took the top prize and the top fifth grade class entry will use the funding to purchase new technology, including tablet computers.

BGE traces its roots back to 1816 and the first gas utility in North America. Today the company provides safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 650,000 gas customers in central Maryland. Customers are reminded to immediately contact BGE at 1.800.685.0123 from a safe location if they have any questions or concerns about natural gas. For more information on the Captain Mercaptan contest, including future adventures, visit Gas safety tips are available at BGE also has a companion contest for electric safety, the BGE Wires Down Video Challenge, which will launch this fall. This electric safety contest encourages elementary schools to create their own adaptation of BGE’s “Wires Down” electric safety commercial for a chance to win up to $10,000. Visit for the contest timeline and more information.


BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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