March 17th: Come protest BGE’s $15.20/mo proposed rate increase

Say No to BGE Rate Hike

Come protest BGE’s $15.20/mo proposed rate increase. Rally outside of the Public Service Commission March 17th at 5:00 pm. Bring signs, but we will have some available. 6 St. Paul St. Baltimore, 21202. Other utilities soon to follow.

BGE is seeking a $15.20 monthly rate increase for all of its customers –  Most of this is to cover the costs of their wireless smart meter program.  Please note that people have been opposing smart meters for nearly 5 years due to the numerous problems associated them.  These include health effects from 24/7 forced exposure to wireless radiation, privacy violations, hacking, inexplicable skyrocketing bills (in some cases), fire risk, and a grid far more vulnerable to cyber attack.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is holding five public hearings, ostensibly to allow people to object to BGE’s proposed rate hike, but as of now, most people have no idea of the rate hike nor of the public hearings.  Dates, times and locations of the 5 hearings can be found at the end of this email.  You must get there one hour early if you would like to sign up to testify.

Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA) is trying to get the word out to the public ASAP.  We are organizing a rally outside of the PSC building right before the last hearing on March 17th (address can also be found below).  The rally is scheduled for 5:00 pm, and we hope people will stay to testify or just attend the final hearing that follows at 6:00 pm on the 16th floor at this same address.  Again, those wishing to testify should sign in an hour early.  People can cut out of the rally for a few short moments to go up to the PSC on the 16th floor to sign up.  We are hoping for a large turnout at the rally and a packed room at the PSC hearing.  Our ONLY point of leverage in this rate case is public outrage.

Here is a MSMA press release.  It would be awesome if people would submit it to one or more media outlets in their area.

Please pass this message along to all your contacts and encourage them to reach out to others as well – even those who are not in the BGE service area as ALL Maryland utilities will follow suit –  BGE’s just the “trail blazer.” Here is a link to this letter that you can post on Facebook or Tweet:

The PSC will be accepting written public comment until April 15th.  They make it extremely cumbersome to submit comments but if you have time and the necessary resources, the guidelines are attached below.  If you cannot manage to write comments, please do consider writing a letter to the PSC voicing your personal objection to this rate increase.  The letter can be e-filed (under File a Complaint on the PSC website) or snail mailed to the PSC. (Address below)

Del. Glass has dropped a no cost opt-out bill again this year – HB 1354.   The hearing is scheduled for March 11th at 1:00 pm – sign in by 12:00pm to testify.  MSMA plans to testify at the hearing and we urge others to do so as well.  Present reasons for why, especially in light of BGE’s outrageous rate increase, we shouldn’t have to pay to opt-out.

Finally, some additional helpful information:

  1. MSMA Press Release
  2. Guidelines for submitting Comments to the PSC
  3. MSMA Letter to the Editor of the Baltimore Sun
  4. See bottom of this message for: (a) address for the Public Service Commission where both the rally and the final PSC public hearing will be held (b) dates, times and locations for the five PSC public hearings

Thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to read this!

We look forward to hopefully seeing a great turnout at all of these events.

Kate Kheel & Ruthie Eisenberg from Maryland Smart Meter Awareness,

Public Service Commission and the Site of the March 17th Rally: William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul St. Baltimore City  21202. MD 21202 410-767-8000.

NOTICE OF EVENING HEARINGS FOR PUBLIC COMMENT – CASE NO. 9406 – Evening hearings for the purpose of receiving public comment on the application of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company for an increase in its electric and gas base rates and other rate adjustments have been scheduled by the Maryland Public Service Commission as shown below. Written public comments may also be filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission by April 15, 2016.

March 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.: Joint Committee Hearing Room, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD

March 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.: Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel, 10 Burke Ave., Towson, MD

March 9, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.: Banneker Room, George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Dr., Ellicott City, MD

March 16, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.: Town Hall, Rotunda, 39 Hickory Ave., Bel Air, MD

March 17, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.: 16th floor Hearing Room, Public Service Commission, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD

Additional information is available.

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