BGE $100 rate credit to show up in May bills

Mergers, Acquisitions and TakeoversBusinessEnvironmental IssuesBaltimore Gas and Electric Co.Constellation Energy GroupExelon Corp.Energy Saving

BGE's 1.1 million residential customers will get a nice surprise in their May bill: a $100 credit on their accounts.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. announced Friday that most customers will receive the credit by the end of May. The ratepayer relief is part of the merger between BGE's parent Constellation Energy Group and Chicago-based Exelon Corp. The two companies agreed to provide the rate credit under an agreement with Maryland energy regulators, which approved the deal in February.

The ratepayer relief is not the first that BGE customers have received in recent years. In 2010, BGE customers got a $100 rate credit as a condition for state approval of Constellation's nuclear joint venture deal with French utility EDF.

During the regulatory review of the Constellation-Exelon merger, some critics, including the Maryland Office of People's Counsel, called on the companies to double the credit to $200 per residential customer.

But the Maryland Public Service Commission decided against imposing a higher credit because the panel believed the companies' promise to provide millions of dollars for energy-efficiency and low-income programs would have a more significant long-term impact on ratepayers. The two companies committed to providing $1 billion in total concessions as part of the merger.

BGE will automatically apply the credit to residential customers who have an active account on May 1. If a customer's bill is less than $100, the remaining balance will carry over to future bills.

Customers who cancel their BGE service before incurring $100 will not be given cash refunds, the company said.

hanah.cho@baltsun.com

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