Service to more than 92,000 customers restored since Friday afternoon
BALTIMORE, Feb. 8, 2010 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG), today announced it is on target for restoring electric service by late tonight to the vast majority of customers who remain out of service as a result of last weekend’s record-setting snowstorm. However, the utility advises customers that isolated outages could extend into Tuesday and new outages could occur as a result of another storm forecasted to reach Central Maryland Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. BGE is monitoring the weather and advises customers to be prepared for additional outages associated with the approaching storm.
“As of this morning, BGE has restored electric service to more than 92,000 customers with the assistance of crews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. BGE remains fully engaged in the restoration effort and is aggressively addressing the remaining outages, which requires tedious and time consuming work, resulting in fewer customer restorations at one time, said A. Christopher Burton, senior vice president of gas and electric operations and planning for BGE. “We continue to encourage customers to call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 to report a downed wire or power outage. BGE will respond as safely and as quickly as possible.”
Since storm operations began on Friday afternoon, there have been approximately 97,000 service interruptions and BGE’s Call Center has responded to more than 130,000 calls. The total number of people involved in restoration activities is approximately 1,400 which includes BGE field and office personnel, contractors as well as out-of-state linemen and support staff.
As people continue the process of digging out their vehicles and clearing driveways and other areas around their homes, customers are reminded to avoid gas and electric meters and attached equipment. Meters should be kept clear of snow and ice buildup to prevent the devices from malfunctioning and possibly interfering with service. When clearing ice and snow from around meters, it is best to use a broom instead of a shovel. Customers with electric heat pumps should also clear snow and ice away from the heat pump to allow the unit to function properly.
To assist customers in managing extended outages, BGE reminds customers to keep the following items readily available:
* Flashlights – not candles
* Fresh batteries
* Battery operated clock radio
* Corded telephone
* Fully charged cell phone
* Non-perishable foods
Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For our customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged. Customers using a generator or space heater should follow manufacturer instructions and be sure to locate generators in well-ventilated areas.
Additionally, customers with special needs such as those who may be elderly, handicapped or dependent on electricity for medical equipment, should have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage. BGE's restoration priorities are public safety issues and critical facilities, such as 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations. Then restoration is generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. However, in cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have been without service for the longest.
Customers are reminded to always stay clear of downed wires and to call BGE at 1-877-778-2222 to report downed wires, power outages or any unsafe condition involving gas or electric delivery. For more information about BGE storm preparation and how customers can protect their families and property, go to www.bge.com.
In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions which could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm related service restoration are tested. BGE also reviews its Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.