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More cold weather means higher energy bills, BGE warns

There were more cold days in this winter than last, so Central Maryland residents should expect to receive higher energy bills, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said Friday.

"Although BGE's commodity prices have remained stable … extreme weather generally triggers significant increases in energy usage, which in turn can lead to higher-than-expected bills," said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE.

"Even when the thermostat is kept at the same temperature, heating units must work harder to maintain the set temperature," Mills said.

From November through February, the greater Baltimore area experienced 633 hours of temperatures at or below freezing, BGE said. Last year, there were only 498 hours during those months when thermometers were at 32 degrees or below, the company said.

Despite the increase in the number of below-freezing days, BGE expects its customers' winter energy bills this year to add up to the second-lowest total in the past 10 years. Last year's winter is the only one that is likely to have a lower total, the company said.

"This is a result of stable, lower global natural gas prices and BGE's commodity acquisition strategy," BGE said.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

twitter.com/stevekilar

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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