Customers Experience Historically Low Power Outages as BGE Completes Cycle of Tree Trimming Under Maryland Reliability Standard

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Customers in Baltimore
Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE)
service area experienced close to
35 percent fewer outages during the last four years compared to the
previous four years. In 2012, new electric reliability standards were
adopted by the Maryland Public Service Commission in Rulemaking 43
(RM43). BGE developed enhanced procedures for managing vegetation near
power lines to improve reliability that included removing branches that
overhang power lines and other electric equipment.

“By reducing interference from trees at the same time we have been
investing heavily in upgrading electric equipment, our customers have
been experiencing the lowest numbers of power outages in BGE’s history
over the last several years,” said Derrick Dickens, vice president of
Technical Services for BGE. “At the same time, we are working with our
customers and community partners to expand the tree canopy away from
power lines, so we all get the environmental and energy-saving benefits
of trees. That is smart energy.”

In 2015, the frequency of electric service interruptions, including
those caused by weather, was BGE’s lowest on record. BGE is also
reducing the amount of time it takes to restore power to customers who
do experience outages. BGE has reduced the average length of outages by
47 minutes since 2012, excluding significant weather events. BGE also
ranked in the top 25 percent of the most reliable electric utilities
nationwide in 2015.

In 2016, BGE expects to invest nearly $27 million on planned vegetation
management, completing the first cycle of trimming under the RM43
standards. The company will continue to maintain vegetation along more
than 10,500 miles of overhead lines to the same standards on a four year
cycle. More than 60 percent of BGE’s electric distribution lines are
located underground and protected from overhead tree interference.

BGE has donated more than $600,000 to the Arbor Day Foundation since
2013 to help improve the area’s tree canopy. More than 25,000 free trees
have been donated directly to customers through the Energy
Saving Trees Program
. BGE has also donated large trees to the City
of Annapolis, Baltimore City and Baltimore County to help enhance their
green spaces.

BGE’s vegetation management is performed by contractors under the
supervision of Maryland Licensed Tree Experts and are trained to safely
remove trees and branches that would interfere with power lines, while
minimizing impacts to tree health. Additionally, BGE has a professional
staff of Maryland Licensed Foresters and Arborists certified by the
International Society of Arboriculture that monitor the work of the

founded in 1816 as the nation’s first gas utility, is Maryland’s largest
natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE
delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more
than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s
approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable
delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy
management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community
assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the
nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Like us on
and follow us on
and Flickr.


Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)
Richard Yost,
Media Hotline: 410-470-7433