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BGE Seeks Higher Electric, Gas Rates

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Your power bill may be going up–again. BGE is asking for another rate increase. It’s the fourth increase in just four years. The company says it’s necessary to keep up improvements.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how much it could cost you.

The proposed increase could raise your bill by about $15 a month.

As temperatures skyrocket, there is news that your BGE bill could be going up too.

“Ain’t we suffering enough already?” said one BGE customer.

“They’ve had so many increases in the past. I’m not sure why they need another increase,” said Daniel Reed.

The utility company is asking the Maryland Public Service Commission to approve a distribution rate increase of $6.57 for electric bills and $8.53 more for gas.

BGE officials say they need the extra funding for infrastructure projects.

“Across the board, there’s really a major effort underway to replace the aging infrastructure and modernize the whole system,” said Mark Case, V.P. strategy and regulatory affairs, BGE.

BGE says with energy prices falling, customers may not notice the raised fees.

“Customers would still be paying significantly less than they were paying in 2009,” said Case.

But the Fuel Fund of Maryland says a growing number of people can’t afford the bills, with BGE sending more than 15,000 turn-off notices this May alone.

“We have had families call us from their car. They’re living their car at the point that they’re calling because their service has been turned off,” said Mary Ellen Vanni, Fuel Fund of Maryland.

The thought of higher bills has sparked fear in those living on the edge.

“They’re going to send me turn-off notices. What’s going to happen to me if they cut my gas and electric off?” said Kim Amy-Anderson.

The state commission will issue a decision on the increase in January. If it is approved, you could see the rate increase in your bill starting in February.

BGE says infrastructure upgrades have significantly improved service, with the number of outages down 30 percent this year.

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