Packed Community Event Expands Coalition Against BGE’s Multi-year Rate Hike

Media Contacts
Emily Scarr | Used by permission
Community members learn about impacts of BGE's proposed multi-year rate hike.

BALTIMORE – Union members, consumer advocates, environmental groups and Central Maryland residents spoke out against the proposed Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) multi-year rate hike Thursday night at a forum hosted by Economic Action Maryland, Maryland PIRG Foundation, and SEIU1199. The proposed $575 million multi-year rate hike will affect BGE’s 1.3 million electric customers and 700,000 gas customers.  

Speakers, –  including AARP MD Utility Advocate Laurel Peltier,’s Taylor Smith-Hams, Cityy Councilman Zeke Cohen, and 1199SEIU members Freda Johnson and Holly Ward –  raised concerns that the rate hikes will unnecessarily raise utility bills, lack consumer protections and accountability, and make massive investments in polluting fossil fuels. They encouraged attendees to issue comments to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) and attend the final public hearing on the rate case on September 20th. 

Wages remain relatively stagnant as the cost of living in Baltimore, and across the country, increases. The BGE rate hike will put undue burden on workers straining to support themselves and their families and make ends meet. Ricarra Jones
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East MD/DC Political Director

Until 2020, the PSC approved new rates for a single year at a time. In 2020, the PSC approved the state’s first multi-year rate plan for BGE under a pilot, which led to rate hikes in 2022 and 2023. Critics of the pilot program, including the Office of the People’s Counsel, an independent state agency charged with protecting the community’s interest, argue that it shifted financial risk from utilities to ratepayers, lacked accountability, and increased costs. The PSC has yet to issue a report on the pilot program and is now holding hearings on the new multi-year proposal. 

BGE's multi-year rate proposal asks us to accept their proposed rates based on projected costs. This makes no sense. It is not transparent, makes oversight and accountability very difficult, and asks consumers to bear the costs of these projects while they reap the benefits. The PSC should reject this proposal. Marceline White
Economic Action Maryland Executive Director

BGE’s proposal includes $1.8 billion in additional spending on gas infrastructure, adding to the $1.2 million the company is already spending every day.  According to new analysis from the Office of the People’s Counsel, BGE’s customer gas equipment program will cost at least $19,000 on average per household. This gas infrastructure spending flouts the 2022 Maryland Climate Solutions Now Act, which calls on the State of Maryland to shift away from fossil fuels for home heating and appliances and towards clean energy infrastructure, and hit emissions goals by 2030. 


Customers are fed up with massive spending on fossil fuel infrastructure, especially when they find out they’ll be stuck paying for it for decades to come. The Maryland Public Service Commission should heed the overwhelming opposition voiced at tonight’s forum, approve a reasonable single year rate, and rein in the out-of-control capital spending driving up gas bills in Maryland. Emily Scarr
Maryland PIRG Director

The PSC is hosting a final public hearing on BGE’s rate case on September 20, at 6 St. Paul S. #1600, Baltimore, MD 21202 and accepting public comments until September 29th. The Commission will make a decision in the rate case by the end of the year.