For Immediate Release
BALTIMORE (March 13, 2017) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) has been closely monitoring and making preparations for the possibility of a significant winter storm forecasted to affect the mid-Atlantic region tonight and tomorrow. BGE has been mobilizing field and support personnel to be ready to respond to any potential service interruptions that may be caused by the possibility of heavy, wet snow and high wind gusts that can bring tree limbs down onto power lines and electric delivery equipment. More than 3,600 employees and contractors, including additional construction and tree crews coming from outside Maryland, including from BGE's sister utility ComEd in Chicago, are mobilized to respond to outages.
"Safety is a priority at BGE and we want our customers to remain safe by preparing for this winter storm in the event there are power outages," said Robert Biagiotti, BGE vice president and chief customer officer. "We also want to remind all customers, including those with smart meters, to report their outages to BGE by calling 1.877.778.2222 or reporting online through mobile devices."
Outages and downed wires may be reported at BGE.com and through mobile devices. Customers can find information on preparing for winter weather and other emergency events at the storm center on BGE.com, as well as storm preparation information and restoration progress via BGE's social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Customers with special needs, such as those who may be elderly, disabled or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.
BGE's restoration priorities are public safety and critical care facilities, such as 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations. Then restoration is generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. However, in cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have been without service for the longest. Clearing fallen tree debris, snow-blocked roads, and safety limitations on use of bucket trucks during periods of high sustained winds, can be factors in restoration progress.
Prior to the arrival of the winter storm, BGE requests that customers identify the location of outside utility equipment such as natural gas or electric meters that could be covered in snow and may be susceptible to damage from snow shovels and mechanized snow removal equipment. Keep exhaust vents for natural gas appliances like water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces, clear of snow and ice, an important safety precaution in preventing buildup of carbon monoxide. Please keep outside meters clear of ice and snow. Use a broom or brush to gently clear the area around the meter of anything blocking it, including debris, ice and snow. Do not melt ice or snow on meters with a heat source, and do not chip or scrape ice. These methods can damage or break the meter. It is also important to remove icicles that hang over the meter and can drip freezing water that may damage equipment.
BGE encourages its customers and employees to proactively prepare for severe weather and the possibility of power outages by:
Customers should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged.
Customers using a generator or space heater should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators outside, in well-ventilated areas.
# # #
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE delivers 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. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. 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, YouTube and Flickr.