Web site of the week: Die-BGE-Die.com
What is it: A site for consumers angry about the 72 percent electricity-rate increase customers of Baltimore Gas and Electric can expect to experience beginning July 1. Site includes contact information for public officials, links to ongoing media coverage of the rate-increase debacle, a "countdown to RIPOFF" timer, and candle-safety tips. Because, seriously, you might need them come July.
Excerpt: "So we were sitting around in the dark one night, practicing for the time when we won't be able to afford to burn electric lights in our homes, and we thought, 'What if we just didn't agree to pay the rate increase?'
Think about it: No one asked us whether or not we would like to pay this rate increase. This is supposed to be a democracy, right? We all have a voice, don't we? We are The Market, we choose who we want to do business with and at what cost to us. BGE didn't even have the cajones to call us up and let us know it was planning this buzz kill.
What if our July bill arrives and, just like the letter says, it's $48 dollars more than we're used to paying; forty eight dollars more than we can afford?
What if we just pay our usual amount and let the additional rate hike amount just hang? Will BGE turn off our electricity? We paid the bill; we just didn't pay all of it. We paid only what we could afford.
We promise to cut down on needless usage, sure. We'll do our part to conserve, etc. But, what if we can't afford to pay our whole electric and gas bill anymore? We'll pay some. We'll pay what we can afford. But the rest? We just can't swing it this month, pal.
We're afraid to actually try this. We just wanted to float the idea."