Baltimore Gas and Electric

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Industry Electric power and Natural gas
Founded June 17, 1816 (1816-06-17) in Baltimore, MD
Founder Rembrandt Peale
Headquarters Baltimore, Maryland[1], United States
Area served
Baltimore metropolitan area[2]
Key people
Calvin G. Butler, Jr.[3]
Services Electric power transmission
Parent Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC)
Website www.bge.com

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation and Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility. BGE created the holding company Constellation Energy in 1999.[4] Constellation Energy was acquired by Exelon in 2012.[5]

Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE provides service to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland.[6] BGE employs 3,100 people in the state of Maryland, making the company one of the 15 largest private employers in the region.[7]

History[edit]

Rembrandt Peale incorporated the Gas Light Company of Baltimore on June 17, 1816 after having exhibited gas lighting at his Holliday Street museum; this was the first gas company in the Americas.[8] The first streetlamp installed by the Gas Light Company of Baltimore stood at the corner of North Holliday and East Baltimore streets and was lit on February 7th, 1817.[9] By February of 1818, only 28 gas-lit lamps existed. The Belvidere Theatre became the first public building to be lit using gas and by 1870, the company had 15,301customers in Baltimore.[10] In 1955, the company rebranded to become Baltimore Gas and Electric, and began to recognize the acronym BGE sometime during the 1990s.[11]


Operations[edit]

BGE’s electric service territory includes Baltimore City and all or part of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties.

BGE is a member of two shared-crew networks in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, and frequently sends crews to help restore power to customers across those regions after severe weather events.[12] The utility has dealt with major outages following meteorological events in the mid-Atlantic region, including the derecho of June 2012 and Hurricane Sandy in October of the same year. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, BGE restored power to more than 300,000 customers.[13] The utility has proposed the construction and operation of microgrids, capable of generating and distributing electricity during larger outages to the centralized electrical grid.[14] But in July of 2016, the Maryland Public Service Commission rejected BGE’s request to construct microgrids.

In 2012, the company began replacing analog electric meters with smart meters to create a more cost effective smart grid system. In June of 2016, the Maryland Public Service Commission turned down BGE’s request for a rate increase to recover the $48 million cost of installing smart meters, granting them instead an increase that was only 50% of what the utility requested.[15] The $2.80 rate increase went into effect in June of 2016 and raised BGE customers’ average electric bill to $134.33 per month.

In October of 2015, BGE filed a lawsuit against the city of Baltimore over the city’s attempt to increase the fee it charges the utility for the use of its underground conduit system.[16] In November of 2016, BGE and the city settled the suit, with the utility accepting an increase that would have paid $24 million a year to use the city’s 741-mile long conduit system.[17]

Community[edit]

BGE employees volunteered 25,000 hours of labor in 2013.[18] And through its Green Grants program, BGE offers grants of up to $10,000 to environmental non-profits in central Maryland. Since 2013, the company has awarded more than $1 million through the program.[19] Past recipients include:[20] • 4-H Chesapeake Bay Stewards Program • Project Clean Stream and Clean Water Communities • Rainscape and Environmental Educational Program • Bio-science Educational Program and Outreach • Fall Free Tree Giveaway • Increasing Tree Canopy Projects • Recycling days • Neighborhood Beautification • A Green Place to Play • Community Wildlife Habitat • Fresh Fruit Farm

In 2015, BGE launched a program that allows customers to report osprey nests on or near electrical lines. The company then insulates or moves the nest to platforms. In the programs first year, learned of 23 nests built on electrical equipment.[21] As part of BGE’s bicentennial celebration in 2016, the company added large, decorative murals to the three large storage tanks on its Spring Gardens campus in south Baltimore.[22] BGE also partnered with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in 2016 to construct Eddie Murray Field in west Baltimore.


Exelon-Pepco merger[edit]

The Maryland Public Service Commission approved the merger of Exelon and Pepco Holdings in May 2015;[5] their approval was required due to BGE's subsidiary status relative to Exelon. The merger, which would set Exelon as the controlling interest for 80% of Maryland's consumer electricity market, has been met with significant opposition within Maryland due to concerns over the potential for major electricity cost increases.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". bge.com. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. Retrieved 9 March 2015. [self-published source]
  2. ^ "Service Territory" (PDF). greaterbaltimore.org. Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  3. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2014/02/12/bge-promotes-calvin-butler-to-ceo.html
  4. ^ Bloomberg News (1999-05-01). "COMPANY NEWS; BALTIMORE GAS AND ELECTRIC TO SELL 15 NURSING HOMES". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  5. ^ a b c Wells, Carrie (15 May 2015). "Public service commission approves Exelon-Pepco merger on 3-2 vote". Baltim. Sun. Under state law, the PSC was allowed to approve the merger only if it resulted in "no harm" to consumers and was in the public interest. Critics, including Frosh and the Maryland Energy Administration, said the merger met neither obligation and urged the PSC to reject it. 
  6. ^ http://www.vault.com/company-profiles/utilities/baltimore-gas-and-electric-company/company-overview.aspx
  7. ^ http://www.greaterbaltimore.org/Portals/_default/Publications/BGE%20Economic%20Impact.pdf
  8. ^ "BGE, the Country's First Gas Company, Celebrates Its Bicentennial: The Company Turns 200 on June 17, 2016", Business Wire, June 16, 2016, 02:30 PM, EDT.
  9. ^ http://thedailyrecord.com/2017/02/07/maryland-baltimore-first-gas-streetlamp/
  10. ^ https://todayinsci.com/Events/Technology/GasLightCoBaltimore(1881).htm
  11. ^ https://mdbiznews.commerce.maryland.gov/2016/06/bge-celebrates-bicentennial-giving-back-baltimore/
  12. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/weather/weather-blog/bs-md-bge-storm-response-20120731-story.html
  13. ^ http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/ph-ac-cn-historic-storms-1001-20151001-story.html
  14. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-bge-proposes-microgrid-pilot-20151221-story.html
  15. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-bge-partial-rate-increase-20160603-story.html
  16. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-bge-lawsuit-20151016-story.html
  17. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-bge-deal-20161130-story.html
  18. ^ http://www.greaterbaltimore.org/Portals/_default/Publications/BGE%20Economic%20Impact.pdf
  19. ^ http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/environment/ph-ac-cn-bge-green-grants-0512-20160511-story.html
  20. ^ http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141024005694/en/BGE-Presents-300000-Environmental-Stewardship-Grants-40
  21. ^ http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/environment/ph-ac-cn-on-the-bay-1018-20161017-story.html
  22. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2016/04/05/bge-is-adding-murals-to-its-south-baltimore.html