Baltimore Gas and Electric
|Industry||Electric power and Natural gas|
|Founded||June 17, 1816|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Founder||Rembrandt Peale, (1778-1860)|
|Baltimore metropolitan area|
|Calvin G. Butler, Jr.|
|Services||Electric power transmission|
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is a subsidiary of the Exelon Corporation and Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility. BGE earlier had created the holding company Constellation Energy in 1999. Constellation Energy was acquired by Exelon in 2012.
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. BGE employs 3,100 people in the state of Maryland, making the company one of the 15 largest private employers in the region.
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Artist / sculptor /museum operator Rembrandt Peale, (1778-1860), incorporated the "Gas Light Company of Baltimore" on June 17, 1816, after having exhibited gas lighting at his Holliday Street museum which was designed by famed local architect Robert Cary Long, Jr., built and opened in 1814 (between East Saratoga and East Lexington Streets - after a variety of uses including as Baltimore's City Hall, 1830-1875, later in 1931 to become the Municipal Museum of the City of Baltimore, popularly known once again as the Peale Museum into 1997) ; this was the first gas company in the Americas. 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 7, 1817. By February 1818, only 28 gas-lit lamps existed. The Belvidere Theatre became the first public building to be lit using gas. Over the next decades the company experimented with piping, meters, and other mechanical technology. Baltimore committed to gas for municipal use, including the installation of gas service in all public markets between by 1851. Private subscription also steadily increased; by 1870, the company had 15,301 customers in Baltimore.
In 1955, the company rebranded to become Baltimore Gas and Electric, and began to recognize the acronym BGE sometime during the 1990s.
Baltimore Gas and Electric is under common control with Maryland's second and third largest electric utilities after the Maryland Public Service Commission approved the acquisition of Pepco Holdings by Exelon in 2015. The acquisition of Pepco Holdings by Exelon was completed in 2016.
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. 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. The utility has proposed the construction and operation of microgrids, capable of generating and distributing electricity during larger outages to the centralized electrical grid; however, in July 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 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. The $2.80 rate increase went into effect in June 2016 and raised BGE customers’ average electric bill to $134.33 per month.
In October 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. In November 2016, BGE and the city settled the suit, with the utility accepting an increase to $24 million a year to use the city's 741 miles (1,193 km) long conduit system.
BGE employees volunteered 25,000 hours of labor in 2013.
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. Past recipients include:
- 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 program's first year, learned of 23 nests built on electrical equipment.
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. BGE also partnered with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in 2016 to construct Eddie Murray Field in west Baltimore.
- "Service Territory" (PDF). greaterbaltimore.org. Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
- Haber, Gary (February 12, 2014). "BGE promotes Calvin Butler to CEO". Baltimore Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- 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.
- Wells, Carrie (15 May 2015). "Public service commission approves Exelon-Pepco merger on 3-2 vote". The Baltimore 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.
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- Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (June 2014), Gas and Electric Company Economic Impact of Baltimore (PDF), BGE, retrieved June 6, 2017
- "BGE, the Country's First Gas Company, Celebrates Its Bicentennial: The Company Turns 200 on June 17, 2016". Business Wire. June 16, 2016.
- Whong, Jason (February 7, 2017). "Baltimore celebrates 200th anniversary of an American first". The Daily Record. Maryland Daily Record. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Scharf, J. Thomas (1881). History of Baltimore City and County from the Earliest Period to the Present Day : Including Biographical Sketches of their Representative Men. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts. pp. 500–501.
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- Dance, Scott (July 31, 2012). "Report: BGE struggled to gather storm crews after derecho". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Jedra, Christina (October 1, 2015). "Five memorable storms that hit Anne Arundel, Maryland". Capital Gazette. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Mirabella, Lorraine (December 21, 2015). "BGE plans to test 'microgrids' at retail centers". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Sherman, Natalie; Broadwater, Luke (June 3, 2016). "State regulators agree to another BGE rate increase, though less than utility sought". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Wells, Carrie (October 16, 2015). "BGE sues city of Baltimore over conduit rate hike". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Broadwater, Luke (November 30, 2016). "BGE settles lawsuit with Baltimore, plans to seek rate hike". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Jedra, Christina (May 11, 2016). "BGE offers environmental grants to area nonprofits". Capital Gazette. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) (October 24, 2014). "BGE Presents $300,000 in Environmental Stewardship Grants to More Than 40 Nonprofit Organizations in Support of Environmental Preservation, Protection and Enhancement" (Press release). Baltimore: Business Wire. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Brockett, Megan (October 17, 2016). "On the Bay: 23 osprey nests on BGE equipment, 8-inch blue crab surprises students". Capital Gazette. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Munshaw, Jonathan (April 5, 2016). "BGE is adding murals to its South Baltimore storage tanks". Baltimore Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved June 6, 2017.