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With spike in energy bills, BGE opens payment program

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is offering accelerated enrollment in a 12-month billing plan to allow customers to smooth out spikes in utility costs caused by the frigid winter weather.

Energy use in January jumped an average of 10 percent per customer compared to last year, according to BGE, which opened its Budget Billing program for immediate enrollment on Wednesday. Heating typically accounts for more than 40 percent of energy bills during the winter months, it said.

Customers owing up to $500 can qualify retroactively for the program, which allows payment to be spread over a 12-month period and typically takes a full billing cycle to go into effect.

"While colder temperatures are the primary driver for increased energy use during the heating season, there are many other contributing factors, some of which may not be as obvious," said Carol Dodson, BGE's vice president and chief customer officer. "When it's bitter cold outside, many families spend more time at home, cooking, watching television, and using computers and other electronics. We encourage you to talk to your family about simple steps everyone can take each day, to decrease energy use in your household."

To enroll in Budget Billing call BGE at 800-685-0123.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jsmithhopkins

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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