More than 1,400 BGE employees, contractors and out-of-state crews worked to restore power to more than 137,000 customers affected by the severe winter storms
BALTIMORE, March 2, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it has been awarded the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) “Emergency Recovery Award” for its restoration efforts during the February 2010 back-to-back blizzards. The award is presented annually to U.S. and foreign-based companies in recognition of outstanding efforts in restoring electric service following severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process and awards are presented during EEI’s annual meeting. EEI is an association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies and represents approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry.
“BGE employees, including field forces, storm center, call center, contract and other personnel, worked tirelessly over the course of an extraordinarily challenging week in February 2010 to restore power as safely and quickly as possible to our customers,” said Kenneth W. DeFontes, president and chief executive officer, BGE. “One of our core values at BGE is a commitment to the safe, reliable delivery of electric and gas service. During the 2010 blizzards, our employees met that commitment head-on, working around-the-clock until the last customer was restored. It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of BGE’s 3,400 dedicated employees. I also want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this most unusual series of winter weather events.”
The back-to-back blizzards of 2010 resulted in record-breaking snow accumulations, putting BGE’s skills and resources to the test. On Feb. 5, 2010, a winter storm dropped nearly two feet of heavy snow throughout the BGE service area, interrupting electric service to nearly 97,000 customers. Just four days later, another blizzard added more than two feet of snow and affected another 45,000 customers. Final accumulation levels exceeded five feet of snow in some areas, burying cars and making response and restoration efforts extremely complicated.
Before the first storm, BGE proactively coordinated with responders and secured out-of-state mutual assistance crews to assist with the restoration work. More than 500 out-of-state linemen and contractors joined BGE’s efforts from six different states, including Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.
While restoring electricity to tens of thousands of customers, BGE simultaneously responded to gas emergency calls following collapsed buildings, blocked meter vents and snow plows striking gas risers. During the second storm, a water main break in Baltimore City resulted in water entering a low pressure natural gas main affecting gas service to 69 customers. BGE safely restored natural gas service to all affected customers in two days. BGE employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews worked more than 250,000 man hours to restore electric service. All electric customers were back online within 72 hours following the second blizzard. In all, the utility replaced 25 miles of distribution line and 60 distribution poles.
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 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.