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BGE parent Exelon plans cost cuts, won't rule out layoffs

BGE parent Exelon plans cost cuts, won't rule out layoffs
(Jeffrey F. Bill / Baltimore Sun)

Nuclear power giant Exelon, the parent of Baltimore Gas & Electric, said it plans to cut costs — and it isn't ruling out layoffs. But any job losses will have "minimal impact" on BGE, an Exelon spokeswoman said.

Citing increased competition and low energy prices, the Chicago-based company released a statement Tuesday saying it aims to achieve savings over the next two years.

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Any layoffs would be limited to the Exelon Business Services Co., which handles information technology, finance, legal and communications among other functions, and Exelon Generation, which includes the company's solar, wind, nuclear and hydro plants, spokeswoman Judy Rader said. Both divisions have operations in the Baltimore region.

The cost-cutting will not affect Exelon's new tower under construction at Harbor Point, Rader said.

Exelon spokesman Paul Adams declined to discuss the possible Exelon job cuts Tuesday, instead releasing a statement: "Recognizing that we operate in an increasingly competitive business, and that we continue to face depressed energy prices and low load growth, we are implementing an effort to reduce costs, with savings to be achieved by the end of 2017."

The statement concluded: "In no case will we make cost cuts that jeopardize safety or reliability."

Exelon has suffered setbacks in recent years as it struggles with money-losing nuclear power plants and attempts to shift its focus to the less-risky regulated utility business, reflected by its 2012 acquisition of BGE.

In the latest blow to the firm, its proposed merger with Pepco Holdings was blocked last week by Washington, D.C.'s Public Service Commission. Both Exelon and Pepco have indicated they will appeal that decision.

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