Baltimoreans and Central Maryland residents came together Thursday night to speak out against BGE’s proposed $574.6 million multi-year rate hike. The event was organized by Economic Action Maryland, Maryland PIRG Foundation, and SEIU1199.
If approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission, BGE’s proposal would increase our utility bills and make big investments in polluting fossil fuels. BGE already hiked rates in 2022 and 2023. According to the Office of the People’s Counsel, BGE’s proposal would result in customers’ annual gas and electric bills being, on average, $810 more for 2026 than in 2023.
Freda Johnson, an environmental services worker and a member of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East spoke about how the hike would impact her future.
Right now, I’m getting ready to retire, but this rate hike might mean that I’ll have to hold up my retirement. I’ll be on a fixed income, so if my bills are higher than they are now, I’m not going to be able to pay. I’m at an age where I should be able to retire without worrying about how I’ll pay for my gas and electric bills.
You can listen to Freda in this story from WYPR.
It’s time to reign in BGE’s out of control spending on infrastructure that is driving up gas bills. BGE’s proposed rate plan includes $1.8 billion in new gas infrastructure spending. The company is already spending more than $1.2 million per day on new gas infrastructure including pipes, regulators and meters. This spending goes well beyond promoting the reliability and safety of the system and will lead to more pollution that harms our health and the planet.
We know the shift to clean, efficient, electric homes won’t happen overnight, but it calls to question the approval of massive new gas infrastructure spending that ratepayers will be paying off long past when we expect to have transitioned off fossil fuels.
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.
The Commission will make a decision in the rate case by the end of the year.