BGE representatives say they hopes to reduce gas leaks and boost safety and reliability by replacing 1,300 miles of gas mains and 1,200 miles of service pipes to individual customers.
State regulators are being asked to approve first-year surcharges of 32 cents a month on residential bills and $1.87 on business customers to help fund the work. The surcharge is expected to rise to $2 a month on residential customers’ bills by 2016.
BGE is not the only utility company undertaking a major modernization effort. Across the Potomac River, Dominion Virginia Power has been cleared to build a gas-fired power plant in Brunswick County. Residential bills will go up 81 cents a month starting in September to help pay for it.
Besides Baltimore City and Baltimore County, BGE has customers in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel and Carroll counties.