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BGE faces scrutiny from Council, Greektown residents

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Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-17 23:12:27-04

BALTIMORE — More Baltimore neighbors, this time from Greektown, are joining a growing rally against Baltimore Gas and Electric, opposed to their external regulators, the same night a new rebuke of BGE's multi-year infrastructure plan passed the City Council.

Chris Angelopulos, a lifelong Greektown resident, described the company as "wanting to start digging at 1:30 in the afternoon with no consent whatsoever. I refused, they said, 'sooner or later you’ll have to join because otherwise your gas will be cut off.'"

Folks in other parts of the city have said something similar: the provider shut off their service when they refused one of these external regulators, which some describe as dangerous.

Attorney Thiru Vignarajah, who is leading a class-action suit, told WMAR-2 News that 400 total residents have signed on.

In a statement made after a similar concerns in another part of Baltimore, BGE said customers were notified in advance that the shutoff would happen if they refused access to its equipment.

READ MORE: Hundreds of people join lawsuit against BGE external regulators

Also on Monday, City Council resolved to urge the state Public Service Commission to reject the utility company’s multi-year infrastructure improvement plan.

Councilman Zeke Cohen, who submitted the resolution, said the check would be fronted by the provider's customers.

"I believe this plan is costly, and irresponsible at a time when our neighbors are struggling to pay the bills for their basic utilities," said Cohen.

The energy company has maintained the plan is within reason, and issued a direct response to some concerns laid forth by Councilman Cohen. BGE calls the escalating numbers used by Cohen "misleading and incomplete."

READ MORE: Council members opposing BGE’s plan to increase rates for consumers

To the contrary, the company says monthly bills would increase by an average of roughly ten dollars each of the three plan years.