PSC order will protect consumers and the planet

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Environmental and consumer groups applaud order to strike portion of BGE rate case

BALTIMORE – On Wednesday, the Maryland Public Service Commission granted a motion from the Office of the People’s Counsel to strike the Proposed Customer Electrification Plan of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (“BGE”) from its pending multi-year rate case.

State policy under the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 directs the state to start the transition off fossil fuels and towards efficient electric power to reduce pollution and climate emissions. However, consumer and environmental groups criticized BGE’s so-called “electrification” proposal because it would have mandated that gas customers who want to receive rebates to move to electric heat pumps maintain their gas lines instead of enabling rebates for all-electric heat pumps that work in cold weather.

“BGE’s proposal would have locked customers into new fossil fuel technology with a long lifespan, keeping them paying both gas and electric bills and slowing the transition to clean energy homes,” explained Maryland PIRG Foundation director Emily Scarr.  “We’re grateful for state regulators for keeping this wrongheaded proposal out of consideration.”

In addition to keeping customers paying both gas and electric bills, BGE would have made an excessive $121 million profit off of $279 million in spending on their so-called electrification program, as cited by testimony from the Maryland Energy Administration.

“The science is clear. We need to stop burning fossil fuels to power our homes,” said Josh Tulkin, Director of the Maryland Sierra Club. While the transition won’t happen overnight, we should be removing barriers to a clean energy future, not finding ways to create more hurdles.” 

The proposal was part of BGE’s pending multi-year $602 million rate hike affecting its 1.3 million electric customers and 700,000 gas customers. According to the Office of the People’s Counsel, BGE’s proposal would result in customers’ average annual gas and electric bills increasing by $810 more for 2026 than in 2023.

The Public Service Commission is accepting public comment on the rest of the rate case through the end of September and holding public hearings before making a decision at the end of the year.

### , 350  Montgomery County,  CCAN Action Fund, Elders Climate Action Maryland, Climate Reality Project Greater Maryland, HoCo Climate Action, Indivisible HoCo MD, Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA),  Maryland Legislative Coalition, Maryland PIRG Foundation,  Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Sierra Club – Maryland Chapter, Unitarian Universalist Environmental Justice Ministry