Will BGE Hike its Rate?
Baltimore electricity customers may be looking at a BGE rate increase coming over the next few years. This means high energy bills from the new year through 2026. While no one likes paying bigger electricity rates, the rate hike might be for the best. Let’s talk about whether the BGE rate hike is worth it.
What Is The BGE Rate Hike About?
BGE asked the MD PSC for a combined gas and electric increase of $602.4 million to distribution rates for 2024-2026. BGE estimated that the average residential customer’s bills will rise by about 5% per year.
This matters for two reasons.
To begin, distribution charges covers BGE’s cost for delivering energy to your home as well as the cost to maintain and improve its gas pipes and electric grid. The MD PSC must approve the BGE request before it starts adding these charges to your bill. However, WBAL-TV reported that a storm earlier this month caused around 120,000 outages. BGE crews mobilized and restored power to nearly 100,000 customers in a relatively short time. But, the severity of the storm demonstrates how much work BGE still has to do to improve its grid and get it storm-ready.
Response To BGE Rate Hike
As you can imagine, feedback to the rate hike hasn’t been entirely positive.
CBS reports that BGE customers question how fixed and low-income earners are supposed to manage the price hike. In addition, Baltimore City council members have pushed back by passing a resolution to reject the multi-year plan. They argue that while BGE should make improvements to its grid, they should not pass the costs to customers. Critics also expressed concerns over whether the utility could make smaller improvements like replacing only some of Baltimore’s natural gas pipes rather than all of them at once.
However, BGE responded by citing the 2013 STRIDE law that encourages pipeline replacement. The law allows utilities to add surcharges to recover costs.
Share Your Opinions About BGE Rates
There will be a public virtual hearing on August 23. Customers can take part and make their voices heard by signing up to comment publicly. All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on August 21. They will also accept written comments up until September 29. So be sure to write in with your thoughts.
We will, of course, keep an eye on this story as it develops. And you can always keep up to date on the news affecting your energy bills at https://www.mdenergyratings.com. You can also shop here for the best electricity rates in town.