Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), has announced that as a result of increased electric usage due primarily to an extremely hot summer, and the likelihood that customers will receive bills that are higher-than-expected, it is offering to enroll customers into its Budget Billing program immediately upon request. Under normal conditions, customers must wait one full billing cycle before Budget Billing is applied to their account.
“This has been an extremely hot summer, and even customers who leave their thermostats at set temperatures can expect an increase in electric usage since air conditioning systems must work harder just to maintain the set temperature when the weather is extremely hot,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president of customer relations and account services. “If a customer requests immediate enrollment into Budget Billing, BGE will reissue their current bill to reflect their new Budget Billing amount, as long as the customer contacts us within five business days of receiving the bill.” Outstanding balances from prior bills cannot be factored into the Budget Billing amount.
Budget Billing evens out payments so that customers are not as affected by seasonal increases in energy usage. Typically, customers who are enrolled in BGE’s Budget Billing program do not experience significant spikes in their bills during periods of high usage. Budget Billing accounts are adjusted periodically to ensure customers are billed only for the energy actually used. To enroll in Budget Billing, customers should call 410-685-0123.
In addition to BGE’s Budget Billing program, to help customers manage summer cooling bills, BGE has enhanced the Summer Ready section of its website which includes interactive information about how homes use energy as well as low-cost and no-cost measures customers can take to improve the efficiency of their homes. Customers may also access BGE’s Online Energy Calculator to learn more about how their homes use energy. BGE also offers many incentives including rebates of up to $400 for participation in its Residential Heating and Cooling programs, bill credits of up to $200 for the first year of participation in the PeakRewardsSM program, as well as many other cost savings as part of BGE’s Smart Energy Savers ProgramSM.
Additionally, limited income customers are strongly encouraged to apply for energy assistance before they are in crisis. For more information, contact the Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) at 800-352-1446.