Customers Angry At BGE’s Response To Irene

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds of thousands of customers were in the dark for days. Now BGE customers are firing back at the energy giant for its response to Hurricane Irene.

Meghan McCorkell has more.

It was a full house at a public meeting Tuesday night as the state assesses BGE’s response to the storm.

As Hurricane Irene raged, trees toppled and more than 750,000 customers lost power for days.

Tuesday night, some frustrated customers sounded off to the Maryland Public Service Commission about Irene’s aftermath.

“We lose power all the time!” said Margaret DiNardo.

DiNardo went a week without power in her Timonium neighborhood.

“Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Flashlights, couldn’t eat, had to go buy all our food. All the food in the freezer was completely lost,” DiNardo said.

Susan O’Brien says lost power could be dangerous for the nursing homes she represents.

“Just as a hospital is prioritized for power restoration, we believe nursing homes—especially large nursing homes—should be prioritized, as well,” O’Brien said.

And it wasn’t just homes and businesses in the dark. Students at Timonium Elementary missed a week of class due to the power outages. Bob Slowey’s kids were home from school; electricity was out for eight days.

“I would like to have at least someone drive by and say, `Hey, we’re working on it.’ Anything,” Slowey said.

BGE spokesman Rob Gould says Irene was an epic storm, costing an estimated $81 million.

“We were hearing from our guys in the field that this was a storm that brought unprecedented damage,” Gould said.

The company is working on better communication with customers in the future.

BGE has submitted a 67-page report to the commission. BGE officials will appear in front of the commission next month.

The Maryland Public Service Commission would need to approve any proposed rate increase by BGE to cover the cost of Hurricane Irene.

More from Meghan McCorkell

    With the prices they charge and over the YEARS neglected the infrastructure (not replacing OLD EXISTING lines) this is the result. . .PATCH-UP jobs that will only last until the NEXT crisis. STOP CEO and CORPORATE “BONUS’S” .

  • Lex L

    its good to be the king! not only was i without power, had basement water damage from no sump pump power, but had to replace all the food in my house also, and the cheery on top is BGE crys poor-mouth and woe-is-me heres the bill for our terrible service.

    if im in a resturant and they dont bring my food they dont send me a bill for the food i didnt get. “im sorry our stove broke, heres the bill from Best Buy for a new one,”
    and you thought Monopoly was just a game from hasbro.

  • sheriff

    BGE is a stock driven company. Even with the PUC monitoring them, they have carte Blanche to do anything & they do. Get over it folks or get the pitchforks out & stick it to them. They are a stand alone company with a monopoly & don’t give a hairy rats’s A$$ about the people.

  • Mike

    Wait until the temperature drops to the level where BGE is not allowed to cut power to people’s homes, and have everyone refuse to pay their bills.
    Let’s see how they handle no cash flow for 3-4 months

  • Leighanne Gibble

    Boo Hoo! I’m so sick and tired of listening to BGE customers complain about the fact that they didn’t have power for a day to a week. People died during this storm. Thousands of people lost EVERYTHING they owned including their homes! My husband worked over 130 hours in ONE WEEK to restore your power so when I hear over and over again that BGE and other power companies didn’t work hard enough to restore your power sooner, it makes me SICK! Go to the store, get some coolers and buy some ice to keep your food since Im sure its cheaper to do that then to have to replace everything you lost. You may have been sitting in the dark for a while but Im sure you had your loved ones sitting beside you. Myself and many other like me where all alone for over a week while ourl loved ones were out in horrible weather conditions and dangerous locations trying to restore your power, all while running on little to no sleep so your hot dogs and frozen pizzas wouldn’t defrost!!! Get over yourselves people. Instead of hounding the men and women who are infront of your house climbing a pole by asking how much longer, why not offer them a snack or something to drink or maybe just say THANK YOU!!!! It’s really easy to judge somone while your laying on your coach napping under your snuggie!

    • Camaline

      It is called service, BGE’s business is to be attentive to those who are paying on time to receive what they pay for, in this case electricity. Outdated lines that should have been changed instead of re-patched each time a storm hits. It is a heavy demanded business for a reason, because customers rely on it as on going with little disruption as possible. What makes it a slap in the face is that customers HAVE to pay for no electricity for that time frame. Should the company get free money because they didn’t have enough crew workers to be on hand, the day after the storm to get things up and running?

      The company itself should prioritize how they use money they get. To name two:

      more workers so your husband doesn’t have to be over worked, and 2, replace what should have been replaced for some time ago. BGE only creates repetitive actions during and after problems with power lines leaving people like your husband to work long stretches at a time.

      Don’t get on your soap box yapping foolishness while not understanding the frustration at the company.

    • sheriff

      Up your giggy too….Who the f…..k are you Mayo Shatuck & his old lady living large.BGE has a monopoly you stupid pig.

      • sheriff

        Oh, I almost forgot. While your loved ones were out restoring our power making triple time overtime, staying in nice watm hotels & a generous per diem for food, we were without all of the above mentioned. Go take a flying f…..k at a rolling jelly donut & crawl back inside your double wide trailer with your fifteen cats.

    • cms827

      I agree totally with you, as I was also without power for days, the devastation was large and people really just dont get it, yes BG&E is a Monopoly along with everything else out there, so many trees fell on top of power lines and other companies had to get the trees off the power lines not BG&E employees, be thankful that we have employees willing to work 100+ hours a week because when the next generation comes up that won’t happen. People did lose everything, my whole basement flooded out and lost furniture, carpet everything which the insurance company will not cover because I am not in a flood zone, (another monopoly) but my neighbor is a BG&E employee and worked non stop during this and he also had no power for days, people basically saw what was in their neighborhood and did not look at the big picture!

    • Stupidity Rules

      Guess you did not lose power. The overtime your husband made more then makes up for the time away. I agree that not all emergencies can be planned for but when you hear about the payouts Mayo is recieving and then hearing that BGE is going to try and have the customers foot the bill for Irene is ridiculous. The share holders need to foot the bill. That is the price of doing business.

    • Math - pure and simple

      Leighanne – be careful what you wish for when you post something like this. At the end of the day, and I dare anyone to tell me any different – BG&E provides a SERVICE to its customers. The storm comes through and power gets disrupted, so naturally you expect BGE to fix and restore the power. Most companies pay their employees to do the work they are EXPECTED TO DO. If it involves more manhours, so be it – this is what each employee signed up for when he or she took the job. But don’t come to your CUSTOMERS who pay you each month to say “Mr and Mrs Customer please help us pay our $81 million which is what it cost to restore your power. You are SUPPOSED to restore our power! This is your JOB! Try to answer this question – why would any company ask its customers to help pay its bills? How does that make any sense? So, Leighanne Gibble, don’t cry to the public that you were without your loved ones – and really, 130 hours in one week? Simple math tells me there are only 168 hours in any given week, which then through simple calculation, tells me your husband worked approximately 18.6 hours of each day to restore power? BGE really needs to take a look at that, which is another story! So, get over YOURSELF and stop blathering all over this site. it makes you look like more of an idiot than you really are.

  • Mike

    IF you and your husband don’t like the requirements of the job he has with BGE, tell him to quit!
    Otherwise, people have every right to voice their feelings about the service provided by BGE.
    I guess when you are at a restaurant and don’t like the service you have received, you chalk it up to the fact that they are overworked they want to be home with their loved ones.
    Not everyone gets a warm and fuzzy feeling when the only access to electricity is with BGE and when it isn’t provided due to poor upper level managment, than you must expect the reaction you are seeing.

  • Phillip

    BGE = Big Goofy Elephants!!! “High Voltage!!!” – AC/DC!!!

  • Blogger

    Leighanne: BGE Workers are lazy I live across a substation and I see them sitting out side in their trucks all the time; maybe they will get out and do a little work once in a while but other then that forget it hey maybe one of those men is your husband first of all your husband probably worked those hours to pay for your high life style who cares if he worked over 130 hours know why he worked those hours cause they are to cheap to hire, but they will hire outsiders, they want customers bail them out, don’t BGE have insurance for stuff like this, why don’t they ask the government for a bail out I mean we give Pakistani 800 million or billion a year, oh Leighanne Gibble did you mean (couch) while your laying on your coach napping under your snuggie! as you said seems to me the A and U are very far apart from one another on the keyboard so I see no why that was a typo maybe you should of been learning how to spell why your husband was swinging on a pole.

    • Blogger

      I’m wondering on our bill will it say extra charge for Irene damage, can we dispute this charge.

  • Amazed!

    So – explain to me, somehow and someway, how or why BG&E would expect their own customers to help pay their expenses as it relates to the storm? A total of $81 million was spent to fix everything; I can believe that because I’m sure a huge part of that was double night and triple Saturday and Sunday pay for those employed by BG&E and the companies hired from outside. Listen – for companies to make money and provide a service, they have to SPEND money in the form of overtime. I work for a financial lending institution – it’s what we do! If my company has to pay over time to provide more loans and more service, it’s what the company DOES to make money. BG&E – you provide a service – we pay you for that service and the electricity and gas you bring to our homes. If that service gets disrupted, yes, you have to fix it at YOUR cost, not mine! How do you even justify asking YOUR customers to help pay YOUR bills?

    • JMD

      Sorry, BGE, I think you should take better care of trimming the trees knowing how our area can be affected by hurricanes. Our rates were just raised. We know people who work for your company, and they worked very hard, mind you, but they are doing very well, financially. Others, in this country are not. Simply cut back on raises like other business have done to recoup losses. Thousands of people were without power for days or even a week or more and lost everything. It just doesn’t make sense to charge more for service that wasn’t the best.

  • Dee

    Wow, BG&E at its best, as usual.

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