Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, though it is an investor-owned utility, is still a significant supplier of electricity and gas to customers in the greater Baltimore region. It serves more than half a million customers with its electric and natural gas operations. BGE offers a broad range of energy services to its customers, in addition to the traditional power and gas services. These services include home energy checks as well as discounts on appliances with energy star ratings and a mobile app that allows customers to manage their accounts.
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC), approved BGE’s first multiyear rate program in December 2020. The plan will provide for a 4.4 percent rate increase on electric and natural gas delivery rates. Beginning January 1, 2021, the rates will take effect. Rates are based on the energy market in the world and are determined by the supply component of the bill. The supply component is the cost of gas and electric commodities.
BGE’s gas division suffered modest impact from the Coronavirus in 2020. The load of the company is expected to drop by 2.0 percent due to the pandemic effects in 2021. The company’s natural gas consumption are also affected by the closing of Calvert Cliffs’ nuclear power plant. BGE lost $300,000 each day because of the shutdown. The shutdown was caused by managerial and equipment issues that led to a worker’s death. The shutdown cost the company more than the electricity it cost.
The average residential customer’s electricity bill is expected to rise by $7.22 per monthly, while their gas bill will increase by $4.62. The rate increase is anticipated to be the biggest increase in the last 14 years. The increase is a result of rate adjustments relating to the gas and electric delivery volumes , as well as purchased power recovery, among other factors.
BGE has several rate-adjustment tools in place to ensure that its cash flow is stable. These include revenue decoupling mechanism to regulate electric distribution and natural gas delivery volumes as well as bought power recovery and decoupling of residential sales. BGE also has a rider mechanism for rate recovery that allows annual surcharges to be applied for rate recovery of approved spending. This rider mechanism was designed to pay for BGE’s expenses to implement approved spending.
The utility has also been credited with $308 million in bill credit from its Smart Energy Savers Program. This program was developed to help consumers cut back on their energy consumption. BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program offers discounts on appliances that use energy and home energy checks-ups.
BGE has invested $405 million in capital expenditures in the last two years. BGE has invested in real estate, investments and environmental projects in addition traditional utility services. BGE also has an app for mobile devices that makes it simple to manage multiple accounts and keep up to date on outage restoration status and reports of outages. Customers can sign up for budget billing or pick the best energy plan for them.