BGE sincerely thanks each and every one of its 1.2 million residential and business customers for displaying patience and understanding through BGE's massive restoration efforts following the widespread and devastating effects of Hurricane Irene. Please know that we appreciate the intense frustration that results from being without electric service, as daily tasks become progressively more challenging without power into our homes and businesses. We also understand that many routines and lives were interrupted as families, neighbors and friends came to the aid of those who experienced outages. This is a testament to the strong community spirit that is found throughout our service area.

We thank you for taking the time to prepare for this major storm — your careful planning made it possible for all of us to manage the impact of Irene, one of the most damaging storms in our nearly 200-year history. We know that some of our customers were frustrated by receiving multiple estimated times of restoration; however, in a large-scale restoration effort, it is often difficult to provide definitive restoration times as crews often encounter significantly more damage than previously reported. Additionally, we thank you for your help in the restoration process itself. By answering our phone calls and reporting outages, you helped ensure that we restored power as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible. These efforts, along with feedback many of you provided on Facebook, Twitter and bge.com — both positive and negative — not only assisted in these restoration efforts but provided helpful information that will only make our efforts better in the future.

We thank you for your support. The encouraging words of so many of you lifted the spirits of our workers. As approximately 6,000 BGE employees, contractors and out of state linemen and support staff worked night and day to rebuild our electric system infrastructure, the appreciation of our customers was a constant reminder of the vital importance of our labor. Again, thank you for your patience and understanding. As always, we welcome your questions and comments as we work to continually enhance our service to you and the community.

Kenneth W. DeFontes Jr., Baltimore

The writer is president and CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.