BGE sticks it to customers

After leaving Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers without power for up to eight days and with a poorly functioning customer service line in the wake of Hurricane Irene, it's appalling that Constellation Energy Group would have the nerve to turn around and ask us to foot the bill for cleanup ("BGE estimates Irene response cost $81 million," Sept. 21).

BGE customers already pay some of the highest utility rates in the country and have seen average rate hikes of 58 percent since 2007.

What does this mean in dollars and cents? IF BGE's rates had gone up at the combined average rate of the rest of the country's major electric utilities, BGE customers would have paid almost $2.6 billion less. And now Constellation wants to put $81 million more "on our tab" before they merge with Exelon Corp. and move their headquarters out of the state? If this is the kind of "customer service" we are receiving now, imagine what it will be like when their headquarters are in Chicago.

Franklin Akins, Baltimore

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