The BGE rate hike is a bad deal for Maryland.

BGE’s proposed $602.4 million multi-year rate hike will increase our utility bills and make big investments in polluting fossil fuels.

Emily Scarr | Used by permission

The latest proposal from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) could be a terrible deal for their 1.3 million electric customers and 700,000 gas customers, and for Maryland’s plans to transition to a cleaner, healthier way to heat and power our homes.

BGE has proposed a $602.4 million rate hike over the next three years.

This increase would translate directly into increased utility bills for the people of  central Maryland. 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.

What’s the rate hike for?

BGE hiked rates in 2022 and 2023. Now they claim they need to increase revenue again to replace old infrastructure and improve reliability and safety. But they are already spending more than $1.2 million per day on new gas infrastructure including pipes, regulators and meters. Now they want another $1.8 billion. [1]

When does it stop? Try the next century. According to the People’s Counsel, if spending continues as planned, BGE gas customers may be saddled with infrastructure costs that won’t be fully paid off until 2100.

We should be transitioning to clean energy

Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022  directs the state to reduce global-warming emissions by beginning to shift away from the use of fossil fuels to power our homes and towards cleaner, more efficient electric heating and appliances 

While this shift won’t happen overnight, it calls into question massive investments in new gas infrastructure and equipment.

Alexander Grey | Unsplash.com

Tell the Commission to reject BGE’s proposed rate hike

The mission of the Maryland Public Service Commission is to ensure safe, reliable, and economic public utility and transportation service to the citizens of Maryland. If they want to live up to this mission, they need to reject BGE’s proposed multi-year rate hike.

Since the last BGE rate hike was approved BGE has not demonstrated that they are using rate payers money to provide more reliable, safe or cost effective service. And their multi-year plan will make Maryland’s  transition to cleaner more efficient ways of powering our lives slower and more expensive.

BGE and all utility companies should have an opportunity to earn reasonable profits, but profits should be based on the successful provision of safe, affordable and reliable utility service.

The new commission should reject BGE’s proposal, approve a reasonable rate for 2024, and tell BGE that the next time they ask for a rate increase they need a plan that protects ratepayers, and makes smarter investments in our energy future.

The Commission is accepting public comment on the BGE rate case until September 29th and will decide by the end of the year. Add your voice today.

[1] Total gas capital investment from BGE official filing to PSC on February 17th, 2023, page 6.

Watchdogging utilities for 50 years

Over the past 50 years, Maryland PIRG and our national network have been on the front-lines of energy issues and leaders in watchdogging utilities.

We focus on what’s best for Marylanders’ health and climate future while calling for consumer protections to protect ratepayers from utility schemes and ripoffs.

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Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG Foundation

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Recently, Emily helped win small donor public financing in Montgomery and Howard counties, and the Maryland Keep Antibiotics Effective Act to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working, and the Steering Committees for the Maryland Pesticide Action Network and Marylanders for Open Government. Emily lives in Baltimore with her husband and dog.