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BGE gets about half the increase it sought

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. won approval to implement a rate increase, effective Friday — but not the one it had asked for.

The Maryland Public Service Commission announced Friday that it ordered a partial rate increase of $33.6 million for BGE’s electric distribution rates, and $12.5 million for its gas distribution rates.

The new rates will increase average residential bills by $2.13 per month for electricity and 73 cents per month for gas.

Those amounts represent 41 percent and 52 percent, respectively, of what the energy company had requested — $82.6 million for electric and $24.4 million for gas.

The commission also approved an Electric Reliability Investment Initiative for the company, but at a less costly level. BGE had proposed a five-year, $136 million initiative to make improvements for grid reliability during storms and normal weather.

The commission approved a $72.6 million initiative, backing five of the eight programs BGE had proposed.

The surcharge rates to fund the initiative will take effect no earlier than April 1, the release said. The amount added to residential bills will increase each year, beginning with 8 cents per month in 2014 and up to 36 cents per month in 2018 for the average residential customer.

The commission also declined BGE’s request for an increase in its return on equity, saying that economic conditions have not changed significantly since ROE was last set at 9.75 for electric and 9.6 percent for gas. The company requested an increase to 10.5 percent for electric and 10.35 percent for gas.