Is a BGE rate increase rescue possible?


The scheduled 72 percent Baltimore Gas & Electric rate increase is just 24 days away and I’m feeling a bit like a damsel in distress. I imagine all of us 1.1 million BGE customers tied to railroad tracks in a world devoid of Technicolor kicking our high button shoes and shaking our curls waiting to be rescued. But instead we get our governor offering us a chance to pay less now and pay more later and blaming the machinations that happened years ago for our fate today. Then, Baltimore’s mayor, with an eye on the governor’s job charges up with a lawsuit. We peek our heads up from the ties that bind us to the railroad and watch with disgust as representatives of the state’s Public Service Commission march before a Baltimore Circuit Judge and argue that it’s “too late” for the city to raise questions about the cost of power. “They came to the party late, and they want to start over and that’s just wrong,” a PSC spokeswoman said in a recent Baltimore Sun story. Huh? Now the General Assembly steps up with a plan to call the legislators back to Annapolis to finish what they couldn’t before the end of the session. Some of the members want to come up with a way to provide rate relief and replace the PSC members. While all these players lob accusations back and forth, us rate payers are still bound to the tracks resigned to the fact that the rate hike train is coming but too stunned by the complicated details of the opt-in/opt-out and pay dearly either way plan to figure out how to untie ourselves. At this point we’re not looking for excuses. We want to be rescued. We want someone to swoop in with a creative plan to save us, to toss out the way things were done and come up with a better plan – a fairer plan, a plan that doesn’t leave BGE’s parent company sitting so pretty it catches the eye of a potential merger partner while it ruptures the family budgets of 1.1 million rate payers’. I’m thinking white horse, drawn sword … that’s who’d get my vote.