September 1, 2011
It's easy for me to give BGE the benefit of the doubt as they work to restore electricity to 230,000 Baltimore area residents still without power - unlike most of my neighbors, I never lost electricity during the storm ("Feeling powerless," Aug. 30). However, based on our experience attempting to discuss tree pruning with BGE over the past several years, I think BGE avoids doing preventive work that could reduce the number of people who lose power in storms. Our neighborhood has overhead power lines running down the back property line, and there are many old oak trees with large limbs lying on or just above the BGE wires.
August 1, 2012
Here we go again: BGE, which has a miserable reputation for maintaining its distribution grid, is seeking yet another rate increase ("BGE requests rate increase for electric, gas distribution," July 27). Subscribers are ever more susceptible to power outages because BGE has cut its operating costs at consumers' expense. BGE reduced its operating costs (and its ability to provide consistently available power) by reducing its maintenance and service capabilities. Now it wants the under-serviced subscribers to once again underwrite its managerial failures.
July 3, 2012
The severe storm Friday caused downed trees and numerous power outages but it paled in comparison to previous storms in other parts of the country, where utility companies were prepared to deal with the aftermath of such storms by improving infrastructure and actually learning from their mistakes. They also restored power to their customers in a reasonable amount of time and, unlike BGE, have staff available to handle emergency calls instead of leaving customers on hold for hours.
November 11, 2009
A proposal to modernize the electricity grid by coupling "smart" meters with a new pricing system for the hottest summer afternoons will lower operational costs, create incentives to reduce demand and benefit the environment, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. executive told state regulators Tuesday. "This is an exciting juncture for BGE customers," said Mark D. Case, BGE's senior vice president for regulatory affairs, as he described the company's "smart grid" proposal before the Maryland Public Service Commission.
July 26, 2012
Regarding your editorial about BGE's response to the storm damage, the area where I live off Falls Road in Baltimore County has fought the company for years over its tree-trimming policies ("Power outage backlash," July 23). Twice I tried to get them to trim one big tree on my property that had several large branches overhanging their lines. And twice we lost our power at the exact same place from this tree. But both times BGE failed to cut it back. Finally after a minor storm several days after the derecho, when 13 houses lost their power for eight hours, BGE called in Lewis Tree service with a big cherry picker and took down the offending branches.
February 11, 2011
In your recently-published letter, ("The obvious solution to power outages: bury the lines," Feb. 10), Donald T. Torres of Ellicott City asks why more power lines are not buried underground. The fact is that since the early 1970s, all power lines related to new residential development in Maryland must be underground. Today, more than 60 percent of BGE's power lines are, in fact, underground. That said, while relocating power lines underground might seem like a logical solution to the problem of storm-related power outages, there are other cost and reliability considerations that must be taken into account.
July 31, 2012
In editorial "Cost vs. reliability" (July 30) you speculate that granting BG&E a rate increase "might be worth it" if it results in infrastructure improvements that lead to more reliable service. That implies several uncertainties. First, can we be certain that substantially all of the funds from a rate increase will actually be used for infrastructure? Second, if that is how they are used, will the investment actually lead to improved service? Finally, if they do improve service, is it "worth it"?
September 2, 2010
I read with great interest the problems that Southeast Baltimore residents are experiencing with power outages. ("As residents raise concerns, BGE promises to fix outages," Aug. 28). My neighbors and I faced a similar problem on Bernoudy Rd., White Hall, Baltimore County, and we were disappointed when the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. couldn't solve it. Many times, everybody around us on York, Big Falls and Wiseburg roads were "on" and we were out of electricity. Our road consists of 103 homes and our on-going complaints became BGE's "Bernoudy Rd. Corridor" problem.
October 3, 2011
Jay Hancock 's Sept. 25 business column ("Regulators must protect BGE from potential Exelon trouble") emphasized the importance of protecting BGE's financial strength and independence as a condition of the proposed merger between the utility's parent, Constellation Energy andExelon Corp. It's an important point and, fortunately, one Maryland's Public Service Commission has already tackled. In fact, Maryland can claim a strong leadership position nationwide when it comes to establishing protections for utility customers.
June 23, 2010
So, BGE thinks it can manage my life better than I can? I need a special meter to know that if I turn on all my lights, my air conditioner and my washer and dryer, my electric bill goes up and that when I turn everything off, it goes down? I guess I'm not smart enough to see also that this same meter will allow BGE to know exactly when I turn on all of my things so that it's marketing and money people can figure out how to tailor and target its rate hikes (with a very broad paintbrush, I'm sure)