Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A rate hike request may give BGE customers a new appreciation for what they’re paying now for gas and electricity.
Pat Warren explains why BGE is asking for more money.
It may be pure coincidence but the timing couldn’t be better, or worse, depending on your point of view.
This time last Friday, thousands of Marylanders were headed into a weekend without power, as tornado-force winds toppled trees that tore down power lines. BGE crews mobilized to get everybody plugged back in.
Upgrading power lines, making repairs, cutting back trees, keeping people in service–all of that comes with a price.
BGE has been spending the money over a period of time, and now they’re coming to collect.
“Look at all those costs we’ve incurred on behalf of the customers and then we approach the commission with this request for an adjustment in rates,” said Rob Gould, BGE spokesman.
Some customers must be thinking, “Just what we need, somebody else wanting more money.”
“With the economy the way that it is, it’s just too much,” one customer said.
“I, of course, am not for it,” said another.
“It’s just too much, too often,” one man said.
Just how much an increase isn’t known yet, but what is known is this: when you flip that switch, you want the lights to come on.
“All of the things that we do along the way to try and ensure both safe and reliable delivery of electricity and we have to continue to invest in that system. A large part of that system was built in the 30s, 40s and 50s that is near its end of useful life,” Gould said.
The request is BGE’s request to cover money it has already spent, not for future spending.
BGE will submit its request for a rate increase with the Public Service Commission between now and the end of the year. It’s likely to be several months before the commission makes a decision.