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Forest Hill Residents Unhappy With BGE Service During Heat Wave

FOREST HILL, Md. (WJZ) — Tempers flared along with the temperatures in a fast-growing area of Harford County this weekend.

Mike Schuh reports homeowners are skeptical that BGE has fixed a well-known power problem.

This weekend in Forest Hill, there were 500 sweltering homeowners.

“It has been unbearable, absolutely unbearable,” said Carolyn Ramos.

A fast-growing area, there’s enough power getting to these homes—but when something goes wrong, there aren’t enough backup wires to keep the power on.

“The most frustrating part is we can’t get an answer from BGE about what they’re doing,” said Lynn Mullahey.

BGE tried to bring power in from another line.

“Customers on that line were already using a lot of power so those transfers were not holding,” said Linda Foy, BGE.

They were not only hot, but also out of water.  These people are on wells and their pumps need electricity.  BGE says it’s been working for years to fix that particular problem.

“BGE understands our customers’ frustration, particularly when the weather is so hot,” said Foy.

So, five days after the heat wave, the switch is thrown on the long-planned-for solution.  The new cables in a box will help.

“And what they’re going to do is give us more options for re-routing power if there is a problem on a particular line,” Foy said.

For 44 out of 48 hours, Bruce Horka’s power was out.  His home was in the mid-90s.  He’s skeptical.

“Well, really have no idea if it will work properly or not.  Looks good on paper, but history has shown it probably will not,” Horka said.

BGE says this is just the first step.  About $5 million more in improvements is yet to come.

BGE says it will hold a public meeting in early August to detail further improvements.

More from Mike Schuh

    Nobody had a BACK-UP generator??

  • Iced Tea Anyone?

    Might as well get used to this type of service. When the weather is hot, power demand is greatest. BGE cannot keep up with the demand during those times. Their Peak Rewards Program was designed to ease power generation requirements at times when the demand was greatest, but customers did not understand that their AC System would be inactivated for extended periods of time when temperatures were sweltering. BGE has known about the inabilities of its power network to keep pace with residential expansion in many areas. They have not invested in upgrades to existing power networks due to cost restraints. The next issue that will appear on the horizon, will be an increase in rates (to compensate for the cost of upgrades). We can all expect a heated issue to ensue, as power rates have just increased recently for many customers. Keeping up with expansion and the resulting increases in power consumption are a continuous challenge for any power generation facility, and BGE has dropped the ball. The bottom line: Get yourself a good quality generator that can pick up where BGE leaves off. If this is not an option for you, get used to sweating because the solution is not likely to come about any time soon.

  • Another Frustrated BGE customer with UNRELIABLE service

    Why don’t you tell every BGE customer to get a back up generator?! The residents of Forest Hill should NOT have to buy back up generators! BGE should be able tp supply RELIABLE electricity. If rerouting the electricity fails because there is too much demand on the other line, BGE needs to get back to the drawing board and fix this problem!! I agree that BGE has dropped the ball on this one!

  • Matt

    not to defend BGE by any means, but people in Hardord and northern Baltimore Co, have wells that run on electricity. Power does go out from time to time during thunderstorms or blizzards. It seems silly for people in these areas to not have a generator just based on sure principle.

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