While increased fuel costs are the major driver behind higher utility bills, the report that BGE’s costs for delivering energy to customers have not changed since last year — attributed to a BGE spokesperson — is incorrect. (“Home energy costs rise sharply in Baltimore region, a result of war, inflation and other factors,” March 17.)
In its 2020 three-year rate plan mentioned in the article, BGE sought significant revenue increases for each year 2021-2023, much of which the Public Service Commission approved. Due to the pandemic, the commission delayed all rate increases through the end of January 2022, and then reduced planned increases by 50% for gas and 25% for electric for the rest of 2022. Customers will in the future still pay the full costs for these increases.
So, in fact, BGE gas and electric delivery rates are currently higher than a year ago, though not as high as they will be when the approved increases are fully implemented. BGE’s gas delivery costs now comprise more than half of residential customer bills. Moreover, gas customers in particular should be preparing for long-term, sustained rate increases due to BGE’s investment programs, which currently have the utility spending $1.244 million each day on new capital infrastructure that will be recovered in gas delivery rates for decades to come.
David S. Lapp
The writer is people’s counsel for the state of Maryland.
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