BGE plans sign-up for rate phase-in

April 30, 2006|By GREG GARLAND

BGE is working out details on how its customers can sign up to phase in the 72 percent electric rate increase approved by the Public Service Commission of Maryland, a spokesman for the utility company said yesterday.

The new rate is to take effect July 1, but customers have the option of phasing it in over the next two years, starting with a 19.4 percent rate increase.

Robert L. Gould, a spokesman for BGE's parent company, Constellation Energy Group, said the utility company plans a direct-mail and media campaign to advise customers of their options.

"There will be plenty of notice on when to call and where to call, and how to sign up for the deferred payment," he said.

Gould said efforts will be made to reach out to low-income residents during the sign-up period, which will be from May 15 to June 23.

Those who don't sign up for the phased-in rate plan will see their rates go up by about 72 percent starting July 1. The bill for a typical BGE residential customer will increase by about $743 annually, according to the Public Service Commission.

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