The repurposed Pratt Street Power Plant in Baltimore was the central coal-fired steam station for the predecessors of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.
The Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., founded as the Gas Light Co. of Baltimore in 1816, will recognize its bicentenary with a series of events for company employees as well as customers and residents of central Maryland.
The 200th anniversary milestone is significant to Baltimore, as well as the energy industry, as the company was the first gas company in North America. On June 11, 1816, artist Rembrandt Peale lit the first gas lamps in Baltimore at his museum on Holliday Street.
Peale then incorporated the Gas Light Co. of Baltimore on June 17, 1816. The company’s founding is among other notable “firsts” for Baltimore, including the country’s first railroad company and first post office system.
“We look forward to sharing this milestone with our customers as we recognize both our Baltimore history and our commitment to the future of the central Maryland region… Our employees are proud that BGE was an industry pioneer, and remains an innovator today as we develop tools to meet the changing needs of our customers,” said CEO Calvin G. Butler Jr. “We look forward to sharing this milestone with our customers as we recognize both our Baltimore history and our commitment to the future of the central Maryland region.”
BGE’s long-term customer commitments include the investment of more than $5 billion in system upgrades and expansions, resulting in improvements to the customer experience.
Customer benefits from the upgrades include the reduction in both the average frequency and duration of power service interruptions by 27 percent in 2014 over the average performance of the prior four years.
BGE has also invested in technology upgrades that provide customers with tools to better manage their energy use, such as the smart-meter enabled BGE Smart Energy Rewards Program. Through this program, customers have earned more than $28 million in total bill credits since 2013.
With the ongoing theme “Moving Smart Energy Forward,” some of BGE’s bicentennial activities will include:
• Customer Appreciation Month at the Orioles – BGE customers and employees will be eligible for discounted tickets at 12 games in June
• BGE-sponsored Independence Day celebrations in Baltimore City and all counties in BGE’s service area – July 2-4
• Partnership with the nonprofit Art with a Heart to design and install 100 mosaics in communities throughout central Maryland
• Lead sponsorship of the “Light City” festival in Baltimore, the first international light festival in the United States celebrating innovation and creativity. Baltimore March 28 – April 3, 2016
• An anniversary book, “Baltimore Gas and Electric at 200” written and published by the Maryland Historical Society, to be distributed to BGE employees, retirees and community partners in June 2016. A free version will also be available online.
The company is also planning legacy gifts to its service area with a focus on education and community development. To learn more about these and additional 200th anniversary activities throughout the year, visit www.200bge.com.
BGE, 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 Corp.