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News Opinion Readers Respond

Can we trust BGE enough to approve higher rates?

In editorial "Cost vs. reliability" (July 30) you speculate that granting BG&E a rate increase "might be worth it" if it results in infrastructure improvements that lead to more reliable service. That implies several uncertainties. First, can we be certain that substantially all of the funds from a rate increase will actually be used for infrastructure? Second, if that is how they are used, will the investment actually lead to improved service? Finally, if they do improve service, is it "worth it"?

There is one certainty in the mix. Rates and bills for customers who are already struggling will go up. Why should BG&E be given an unconditional rate increase so we can wait to find out if it leads to improvements? It seems to me that giving an up front rate increase to a company because of their poor service is rewarding poor service.

BG&E has made promises before. Weren't we promised that utility deregulation would result in real competition and lower bills for customers? How is that working out? BG&E consistently over-promises and underperforms for its customers. It seems naive to offer them more money up front now in the hope that it will improve service. Improvements which may (or may not) be worth it if they occur.

Bill Adams, Ellicott City

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