BGE Customers May Have To Help Foot The Bill For Irene

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the dark for days. Hundreds of thousands felt forgotten after Hurricane Irene as BGE worked to get the lights back on. We’ve learned that effort cost $81 million.

Kai Jackson explains who could be paying for it.

It’s too early to tell whether BGE customers will shell out more money for their bills, yet it’s clear that even the idea has some people fuming.

It was a nailbiting time. Marylanders were on edge as Hurricane Irene rolled through the state in August. The storm left 750,000 Marylanders without power and had utility crews working around the clock.

“For seven days, we was in the dark. We made the best we could,” said Darryl Edwards.

BGE says the storm was expensive.

The company estimates it cost $81 million to restore power to homes and businesses and that begs the question: who pays for it?

“Right now, those costs are borne by the shareholders, not the BGE customers,” BGE spokesman Rob Gould said.

Yet that might not remain the case, according to BGE.

“We will request a recovery of costs related to the storm,” Gould said.

“I feel as though it’s unfair for BGE to raise the rates, especially for an elder,” said Felicia Graham Bush.

Felicia’s dad, Bert Graham—who’s retired—uses a ventilator at night. No power meant no ventilator during Irene. He says a rate hike would eat into his fixed income.

“It would be pretty hard on me with a fixed income,” Graham said.

There won’t be rate hikes without Public Service Commission approval.

Staffers for Governor Martin O’Malley say it is unfair that BGE customers who were in the dark after the storm could be asked to pay for not having power.

BGE says they had 6,500 employees out in the field in the days after Hurricane Irene.

  • I told you idiots

    I knew this b.s would happen,and who can honestly say they’re surprised? The whole idea of BGE estimating our bills then correctly charging everyone on the next month’s bill was b.s.They are a bunch of crooks

  • dave glenn

    If the president wants us to pay a fair share in taxes then what’s wrong with paying our fair share of repair costs for the electricity we all use. If we balk at this idea, then don’t blame BGE the next time disaster strikes if they say “the hell with it, we’ll take our time and fix things slowly with the staff we already have”. But it won’t cost any extra.

    • charles

      Look Dave, the rich have been getting away with billions of dollars of tax money not paid for years, BGE is a Multi Billion Dollar Company, we pay for this service every single month these people are getting richer and richer, we pay this company for this service, its should be their bill not ours.

    • Joanne Hohman

      I had power and my son’s school and all of friends houses didn’t have any. They didn’t have any for a week. I guess you have tons of money and it just don’t matter. As for us we don’t.

    • jim

      Suck it up dave THAT IS THE PRICE FOR DOING BUSINESS !!! The last time we had a major outage alot of the out of state crews said that they could belive that the lines were so poorley maitaned. And if they were in better shape it would not have been as bad as it was!!!!!! IFyou keep the lines in better shape you would not have the problems that you have. Put the money back into the line and not the ceo and share holders pockets!!!!! OH AND I DO HOLD CEG STOCK !!!
      I don;t pay for stock dives more then cover what I use.!!!!

    • BGE customer

      Marvin Shattuck makes $25 million per year as chairman, and the stockholders make millions on top of that. People NOT receiving a product are expected to subsidize excessive profits?? Pretzel logic, the same moral code used by a junkie who sticks a gun in your face, demanding money. They’ve doubled their rates in the last few years, remember?

  • keith

    hey dave, they already did that! i watched 5 crews in my nieghborhood alone, literally sit and watch down powerlines for 4 days before any action was taken to repair those lines. should we pay for that?

    also, remember part of this 81M loss includes all of us who were w/o power for 7+ days, that didn’t actually use any chargable power for that same time.

    i guess we should also pay for that as well.

    hey here’s an idea…..let the investors actually feel what it means to invest.. not only do you get the dividends when everything is rosey…but you also get to eat the losses when things turn downward….that is of course you can get a govt bailout.


    • John

      keith, You stole my thunder. I agree that when one invests in a company the risk is a two way street. Make money when business is booming, but be ready to suck it up when a downturn strikes in whatever form.

  • Bill

    Hey how about the secretaries and clerk that sat and ate doughnuts for 17 straight days. How about the amount of sit back time between jobs? The park and rides and Farm stores/& Elevens all had plenty of trucks in their parking lots.The employees are stockholders as well. They are paid at 1.5 to 2xs their regular hourly wage. During these times of difficulty they should be paid straight time because they are stockholders and no one on a line truck is worth 75 dollars an hour? They do not even climb. Been there done that.

    • Joanne Hohman

      Wow yea! we should get our bills hiked up for that

  • agnrodis

    Hey, you stockholders! This is a capitalism. What you deliver is paid, what you don’t deliver is not. Buy an insurance if you wish. Now, you would like to be treated with empathy by the customers (it is called a socialism and you have such a disdain for it) and want people to help you pay the cost? I hope you know our answer! We will dump you and move to your competitor. Tough life!

    • Robert Shackelford

      I am an energy consultant from Cleveland, Ohio. The consulting firm I work for is called Integrity Energy and we consult for 15 different suppliers. If you have a commercial account and would like a fixed rate quote, let me know.

  • WhatNow

    I did not lose any power. I was blessed. Does thie mean I DONT HAVE to pay extra. I agree the stockholders need to take the good with the bad. When stock is up you do not see any of them saying…..I think this is too much I would like to give some back.

  • John Reisler Sr.

    makes no sense to pay for something you are unable to use-just like any other product or service- for some it cost a lot more to deal with – extra supplies to get through the power outages -our bills and the cost of everything else is going up -don’t want to be socked with this either

  • adraine


    • Kafalean

      LMAO it is so funny because it is true. They are too big to fail especially when it is on their end of things. I.E. power lines being down and not having enough man crew to get the lines up and running and changing old parts that have been long over due. Using old parts and not actually stopping by to read the meters and charging when the power is not working, is indeed robbery of the pockets.

  • Debbie

    Gee I don’t see them saying here is a refund to all of us when things run smoothly. No they just pocket ridiculous profits. And now they expect us to pay.
    It is time O’Malley stood up for the citizens of this state or he may see the wrath of the voters in the future. Yes businesses have ups and downs but that is for the business to handle not the customers especially in light of the salaries the executives are paid.

  • Iva Bolden

    This seems to me that “we” are to pay them for doing thier job. Why don’t they have money set aside to recover from disasters? As I recall, their shareholders make out very well monetarily, while “we” suffer with the rate increases. Seems to me they should write the cost off as a tax credit and not have “us” pay them twice.

  • Eileen Ayers

    If the customers end up paying for this, I will definately change gas & electric companies. I have been with BGE for over 40 years but I have no problm moving on if this is the way I am goong to be treated. Just like everyone is saying here, let the shareholders feel the crunch, not us. Any other company that has problems or the stock market crashes, those people have to deal with it.

  • Carol Zimmerman

    The rich get richer the poor get poorer. There is no middle class anymore.

  • Sharon Chaney

    Can I deduct for all the gas I put into my generator or are they compensating for all the food lost people had. I doubt it. They need to suck it up and pay the price for doing business.

  • pigeon

    Sorry BGE – that’s the price of doing business. If the Commission approves a rate increase to cover the cost then they need to be immediately removed from their positions and kicked in the a$$!

  • susan

    Do we not already pay for their repair people to fix the wires ? So why should we double pay ? I figured they would try something like this. How is it the customers fault that the linemen need to repair the lines? Like I said they already get paid.

  • Marie

    This is complete baloney from BGE and their super rich CEO shattuck(sp?). We have lived in our neighborhood a little bit over four years and we found out just one month after moving in that the power goes off during rain, snow, wind and, worse yet sometimes, blue skies. Not always but enough times to make us feel we are living in a third world country!
    Don’t tell me that BGE has not had time and money $$$$$ in the last 30+ years (yes, at least three decades if not more) to fix the problem. Their solution is to move houses that lose power to the grid of those house that don’t then the houses than don’t lose power now lose it. This is also just about 70 homes in a neighborhood of almost 400+ houses so we are always last to have power back because it’s not a LOT of homes!!!
    We were without power for four days but some of our neighbors didn’t have power for five or six. We personally had to spend over $1,500 in finally buying a generator then you have the extension cords and the fax and all the food that spoiled! They want more money? They should reimburse us for what we had to pay for their incompetence!!!

  • Marie

    Sorry, I was so mad while writing. I meant GAS NOT FAX!

  • Aimee Bildstein

    ok So the goverment is gonna Raise Gas Prices AGAIN! And Now the Monopoly of BGE is gonna charge for power WE the consumers NEVER USED during the Power Outage. Anyone else see the INJUSTICE in that! We the real AMERICANS are not living High on the HOG as the FATCATS that are in Power and OWN AMERICA! This is rediculous to do and CAN NOT HAPPEN! Your Stockholders need to Put in some of that Money they have MADE off of those that have payed thier BILLS each month! FFS

  • S. Montgomery

    I think we are all looking at this wrong,6,500.00 BGE employees working out their making all that OT money thats why they want us to pay the bill and then still getting paid for a 40 hour week I thought this is why BGE is in service to help all MD customers when their is an emergency! Part of the job, I’am and Electrician living in Columbia and had no power for 9 1/2 days, WOW would I love to have a full time job working for BGE would’nt here me complain about working anytime for that kind of money I would be happy with 40 hours of work!

  • Sharon Smith

    Wow, I saw this coming! Hey BGE how about all the loss we who were without power for 5 days have to eat who were hit with all the lost food, damage to their basements with? I know insurances will cover our losses, but how about the elderly and people who can’t afford insurances pay for this, plus having to pay estimated bills, mind you you know will be marked up, and turn around having to pay for their repair operations? Who wins here? Well duh, BGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! How about our almightly Governor stepping for once and stand up for us for a change?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s called greed people! Just wished we would have the politicians who had the ba… to stand up for the people of this state for once!!! End of conversation!!!!!

  • BGE Prisoners

    I can hear it now…

    Walmart loses sales during a snowstorm that occurs this coming winter…

    Then, they petition the Public Retail Commission to double their prices on merchandise to recoupe their losses.

    Does anybody see how this rediculous scenerio, illustrates the folly of BGE?

    It is the purpose of the Public Service Commission, to protect the People, since we are Captive Consumers. We can’t just go to Target, or Kmart, to seek lower prices. Our electrical power is delivered via BGE powerlines. Even if we choose a different service provider for our power, BGE charges us for the use of its powerlines. Period.

    Unfortunately, the only way to escape the control of BGE and their exorberant utility fees, is to produce your own power.

    What? Is this inconvenient? Well, my friends, we must choose the lesser of two evils.

  • Sharon

    One more thing BGE! You know it took them 5 days to finally get to our neigborhood to fix the tripped thermal fuse and took about 20 minutes to fix. This has happened for years, and I have told them over and over again this would stop happening if they would only cut the small branch which always causes this. So BGE who’s fault is this, and why do we have to pay for your repairs which if you had any intelligence should have fixed the problem years ago!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tom

      This is similar to what happened to us. Every storm a breaker trips. BGE has known about this for years. Even the linemen that come out have said it’s a maintenance item that BGE needs to replace.

      Took 3 days this time for them to “spare” someone to reset it, amazingly only about an hour after I called the governors office.

      I know have a generator due to all the outages. I’ve lived all over the world, and BGE is about the worst for reliability I’ve seen except 30 years ago in small towns in France. Welcome to the 21st century.

  • Elizabeth Barnhart

    I am worried about my mom and dad….. they live in a small mobile home barley use any electric dont cook and have oil heat and they just got a $800.00 electric bill when they only make $1,000 a month TOGETHER a month and have rent to :(

    This is fraud and is insane elderly are talking about ending their life’s because they cant afford to live.


    Where is o’mouthy on this one? Another no show from sideshow martin

  • Right

    And quest what the ones that receive money from the fuel fund that you pay into every month won’t pay this increase . Just the working poor

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track Weather On The Go With Our App!

Listen Live