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Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published December 21, 2012

BGE Offers Ways for Customers to Help Those in Need this Holiday Season through the Fuel Fund Envelope and "Gift of Energy" Programs



BGE Offers Ways for Customers to Help Those in Need this Holiday Season through the Fuel Fund Envelope and "Gift of Energy" Programs

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Offers Ways for

Customers to Help Those in Need this Holiday Season

through the Fuel Fund Envelope and “Gift of Energy”

Programs

Customers can contribute to the Fuel Fund of Maryland through BGE’s

new online donation option or traditional envelopes enclosed in

December and January bills 

 

BALTIMORE, Dec. 21, 2012 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx>  today announced that customers have the opportunity to contribute online to the Fuel Fund of Maryland <http://www.fuelfundmaryland.org/>  through BGE’s website <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/pages/fuel-fund.aspx>  or by using postage-paid envelopes enclosed in their December and January bills. This annual, customer-funded effort makes energy assistance available to limited-income customers who apply for assistance from the Fuel Fund of Maryland, after exhausting other resources. Customers who receive their bills electronically will receive a “virtual Fuel Fund envelope” by email.

“We are grateful to both our generous customers and our employees who have been longtime supporters of the Fuel Fund of Maryland and many other worthwhile causes that assist families in meeting their energy needs, especially during the winter months,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “The season of giving is the perfect time for those who have the means to share the warmth with those in need and to help make the holidays brighter for those families throughout central Maryland who may be financially challenged. Every penny contributed goes to those who need assistance.”

Individuals may also consider helping specific customers with their BGE bills by donating through the company’s Gift of Energy <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/Pages/Give-the-Gift-of-Energy.aspx>  program. Using a special form <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/Documents/Donation_Form_REV617.pdf>  available on bge.com <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/Documents/Donation_Form_REV617.pdf> , customers are able to make donations of any amount to the accounts of specific customers. Donations will apply on a future bill as a credit to the recipient’s BGE account. Recipients will be notified that they have received a gift credit. The donors may also notify the recipients or remain anonymous. Any BGE customer is eligible to receive a Gift of Energy <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/Pages/Give-the-Gift-of-Energy.aspx> . Recipients do not have to qualify for energy assistance or any special programs. The Gift of Energy form <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/Pages/Give-the-Gift-of-Energy.aspx>  can be found on bge.com<http://www.bge.com/>  and includes instructions on where to mail the special form and payment. Customers can also place a Gift of Energy <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/Pages/Give-the-Gift-of-Energy.aspx>  order by calling BGE at 800.685.0123

Since the Fuel Fund was founded more than 30 years ago – with seed money from BGE – it has helped thousands of individuals and families stay warm in the winter and keep the lights on year round. Last year, nearly 21,000 Maryland individuals received help from those who generously donated to the Fuel Fund of Maryland.

BGE’s Envelope campaign is a fast and convenient way for customers to contribute to the Fuel Fund.  Additionally, for every two dollars paid by the customer with help from the Fuel Fund, BGE’s customers contribute one dollar in bill credits. The Envelopecampaign alone has generated more than $8 million in customer-funded support to the Fuel Fund. This year, Fuel Fund customers will use nearly $2.6 million in BGE matching credits.  

BGE also has a new program called Dollar Donation Fund <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/pages/dollar-donation.aspx?s=1&_InfoPath_Sentinel=1>  that allows customers to designate a donation of $1 to $20 to the Fuel Fund and have it added to their BGE bill each month.  When a monthly bill is paid in full, BGE will forward the contribution directly to the Fuel Fund. These donations are all tax-deductible and the Fuel Fund will send customers a summary of their donations for their records after the end of the year. Customers may stay enrolled for as long as they wish, change their donation amount or withdraw from the program at any time. To participate in the Dollar Donation Fund <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/pages/dollar-donation.aspx?s=1&_InfoPath_Sentinel=1>  visit bge.com<http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx>  to complete a simple form <http://www.bge.com/ourcommitments/community/energyassistance/pages/dollar-donation.aspx?s=1&_InfoPath_Sentinel=1>  or call BGE at 800.685.0123.

For more information on contributing through the annual energy assistance campaigns, visit www.bge.com. <http://www.bge.com.>  

Customers should never wait until they are in trouble to seek assistance. For information on financial and billing assistance, visitbge.com <http://www.bge.com/myaccount/waystopay/pages/financial-billing-assistance.aspx> . Customers are also encouraged to enroll in BGE’s Budget Billing <http://www.bge.com/myaccount/billsrates/billing%20options/pages/default.aspx>  program, which spreads payments out over a 12-month period so customers aren’t as affected by seasonal increases in usage. Typically, the enrollment process takes a full billing cycle.   

Customers who may have trouble paying their utility bills can apply for help at one of 16 agencies throughout central Maryland and surrounding counties.  Go to the Fuel Fund <http://www.fuelfundmaryland.org/get-assistance.shtml#contacts-start>  for a list of those agencies.  Customers are strongly encouraged to apply for assistance first with their local Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) agency <http://www.dhr.state.md.us/blog/?page_id=4326> .

About the Fuel Fund of Maryland

The Fuel Fund of Maryland is a private nonprofit agency which raises funds from the public in order to help households in central Maryland pay their utility bills, through bill payment grants, and learn how to consume less energy, through their Watt Watchers of MarylandTM program.  BGE’s customers are able to access not only grants from the Fuel Fund, but matching bill credits that are funded by BGE’s customers.  BGE provides $1 in bill credits for every $2 the Fuel Fund and its clients are able to pay.  This year, Fuel Fund customers will use nearly $2.6 million in BGE matching credits.  The Fuel Fund helps households regardless of the source of their heating, including home heating oil, propane, even wood.

BGE <http://www.bge.com/Pages/default.aspx> , headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 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 subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues.  Like us on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/myBGE>  and follow us on Twitter <http://twitter.com/mybge> , YouTube <http://www.youtube.com/baltimoregaselectric>   and Flickr <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mybge> .