Pushing People into Poverty and Public Health Crisis: Maryland's Recent Energy Cost Increases Could Add Up to an Equity Disaster

commentary

Mar 26, 2024

Over-the-shoulder view of a Black woman looking at an electric bill with a calculator and phone on the table, photo by Ridofranz/Getty Images

Photo by Ridofranz/Getty Images

This commentary originally appeared on Baltimore Sun on March 26, 2024.

One year ago, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a series of multi-year rate increases (PDF) for Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E). This month, those increases began to take effect, and now thousands of households throughout Baltimore City and parts of the 10 adjacent Maryland counties BG&E covers will see a 43 percent increase in their gas, and a 21 percent increase in their electricity distribution rates. Gas distribution rates will continue increasing over the next two years, and by 2026 will reflect a 61 percent increase, and electricity rates a 31 percent increase.

These rate increases arrive at a difficult moment for many. BG&E is the largest energy provider in the state; about a fifth of all Maryland households are BG&E customers. Last year, one in four Marylanders reported being unable to pay an energy bill in the last 12 months. In Baltimore County, low-income households spend one-third of their income on energy bills—nearly five times the U.S. average of 6.5 percent.…

The remainder of this commentary is available at baltimoresun.com.


Joie D. Acosta is a senior behavioral scientist at RAND.

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