For Immediate Release
BGE customers can now opt out online, by mail or by phone
BALTIMORE (Feb. 28, 2014) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is prepared to accommodate customers who wish to decline having a smart meter installed based on the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) order issued on Feb. 26. This PSC order follows an order from Jan. 2013 that stated that Maryland customers should have an alternative to smart meters, or the ability to “opt out,” and that they should pay the related cost of not having a smart meter. The recent order outlines the opt-out specifics, including fees. The fees do not apply to customers who wish to keep their smart meter or who choose to have one installed. BGE will begin informing customers of the recent PSC order within the next few weeks, including sending a letter to customers who have previously contacted the utility to decline the smart meter installation. Opt-out information is also now available on the company’s website, bge.com.
“While we believe the smart metering system can offer benefits to customers, including the opportunity to participate in programs that can lead to savings on their energy bills, this PSC order will help us better plan our continuing smart meter rollout,” said Christopher Burton, vice president of smart grid and technology for BGE. “It is important for customers who have written us before the Feb. 26 PSC order, asking to defer their smart meter installation, to let us know if they have reconsidered. If these customers do not contact us, the PSC order provides that utilities assume those customers will continue as opt-out customers and incur the related costs.”
The Feb. 26 order allows customers who do not want a smart meter to have a standard meter at an initial cost of $75, billed in three installments, and an additional monthly fee of $11. BGE will begin billing opt-out customers in July 2014.
Customers who wish to opt out may contact BGE online at bge.com/smartmeteroptout, by phone, or by letter. Letters should be sent to Smart Meter Opt Out BGE, P.O. Box 1475, Baltimore, MD 21203 and include the following information:
3. Account Number
4. Phone Number
5. Email Address
BGE began installing advanced or smart meters in spring 2011, a system modernization effort to enable two-way communication between BGE and the meters, lower operational costs and provide customers with tools to manage and reduce energy usage. There are currently close to one million smart meters installed in BGE’s service territory to date.
In 2012, BGE began rolling out energy management and savings tools to customers, beginning with the online BGE Smart Energy Manager® that provides customers with detailed information about their energy use and tips on how to conserve energy and save money. In 2013, eligible customers with smart meters were able to participate in the BGE Smart Energy Rewards® program, earning bill credits for voluntarily reducing their energy use on specific days during the summer.
For more information on smart meters, including details on savings programs and common customer questions, visit bge.com/smartenergy.
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BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of 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 2012 revenues of approximately $23.5 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.