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BGE Billing Glitch Affects 14,000 Customers

Spokesman says affected customers have been identified and the problem is being corrected.

A glitch in a new billing system used by BGE has resulted in some customers being double billed for some electricity supply charges.

Aaron Koos, a spokesman for the company, said the issue affects about 14,000 or about 1 percent of its 1.2 million customers in central Maryland who buy their electricity from suppliers other than BGE.

"We've identified the issue and the affected customers," Koos said.

BGE serves electricity customers in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

The company explained the issue after a customer, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted Patch Wednesday about the over-charges.

BGE is in the midst of upgrading its billing system for the first time in more than 20 years. The change over has resulted in "some challenges," according to Rob Gould, another BGE spokesman.

In this case, a difference of one day between the billing date and the meter reading date resulted in some customers being overcharged in March. The error could result in hundreds of dollars in over-charges depending on an individual customer's usage, Koos said.

He said customers who believe they have been affected have several options.

Customers who have already paid their bills will receive a credit on their bill for next month.

Customers who believe they have been over-charged but have not paid their bill can either pay the bill and receive a credit or call BGE at 800-685-0123 to get their correct bill total.

Koos said the company is also working with customers to waive late charges and set up payment plans for anyone with difficulty paying their bills as a result of the billing system change over.

SZ March 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM
This happened to my bill. I called BGE and waited on hold for 10 min to get a 30 sec answer that this was a "known issue" and that new bills will be mailed next week with an adjusted due date. I was most frustrated that if this was a known issue why wasn't there some sort of notification to the affected customers?
Randy M March 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM
How do you know if you've been overcharged from looking at your bill?
AnnKangarouse March 23, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Water bill....BGE bill.... what's next?? I can only assume that in both cases, these were 'mistakes". Or perhaps "mistakes" until customers started asking questions as to why their bills were so high.
Mel March 23, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Go out to your meter, physically record the reading for yourself and keep it on file. Compare the end reading results listed on your BGE statement to the reading on your meter, if the number or substaintially off contact BGE.
AnnKangarouse March 23, 2012 at 01:27 PM
GOOOOD idea!! The fact that they simply drive by your home and the information is recorded has never seemed right to me. (this is the procedure thay told me they used, though it was a number of years ago) Wondering if this is still their procedure considering they don't actually read and record the information themselves.
Courtney March 23, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I was hit with a bill that was triple my normal amount. I spoke to three different reps who all told me different things. Come to find out, my meters werent actually being read. They were what they call an "estimated" reading. Infact, my meters were expired from years ago, I found this out per BGE. They knew this all along and nothing was done...I have yet to receive my credit from the bills where I had been overcharged....
Mel March 23, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Mostly they used estimates when adverse weather or other conditions prevent the readers from performing their duties. Harford Water Dept, I believed just completed their upgrade and installment of new meters and will conduct their reading similar to BGE. It would be good idea to record and compare their final readings also. You can located your meter near your main inside water cutoff valve that leads into your residence.
AnnKangarouse March 23, 2012 at 02:11 PM
UGH!! That's horrible!!! A number of years ago, I decided to challenge myself during the winter months. I did not have my furnace turned on at all and only kept one warm heated with a room heater. My bill kept going up. For one months time, my BGE bill was aprox $450-$500. Again, while not using the furnace. When I finally got an actual person on the phone, the rep informed me that "in the colder months, we turn our heat up, hence your bill will be more." He didn't have a response, ther than beicng shocked when I told him I wasn't using my furnace to heat my home at all. After several more calls, I was told that I had only been charged for gas and not electriic for the previous 14 months, then asked why I allowed this to go on for so long. I had NO clue. If I'm paying that much each month... Turns out I had a bad meter, but BGE never picked up on the fact that it wasn't reading anything for the electric...for 14 months. They assured me they could call back and try to figure out what the problem was. Never happened, but I sure got a bill for $1,500.00. It was then that I was told that no human being actually reads our meters, and apparantly no actual human being feeds the information into the system that goes on our bills.
Randy B March 23, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I think the gas stations are making some "billing" mistakes as well.
AnnKangarouse March 23, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Yes. I've seen this reported on local news. We have to check behind ALL of these folks!! The percentage of people who check behind them are fewer than the folks who don't check. So many of these "mistakes" keep happening and happening and happening....
Mel March 23, 2012 at 02:35 PM
If you were billed by the result of a estimate reading or you feel the numbers are off, just called appropriate agency that bill you and give them the reading that you found on your meter and a adjustment should be made or someone from that agency will come out and take another reading, but do this immediately after receiving the invoice.
CB9678 March 23, 2012 at 02:56 PM
look at the dept of weighs and measures sticker and make sure it is up to date!
AnnKangarouse March 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Did you just say I'm insane?!?!
Tim March 23, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Al: Plausible deniability. If you honestly think these utilities are on the up and up, then Gayle's not the one who's insane.
Mary March 23, 2012 at 09:59 PM
That's not their only "glitch". I am being billed for a contract that I don't have. Wait time to speak to someone at BGE was just over 25 mintues.
Bart March 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM
So sorry, Mary. The "wait time" is a joke. Once, I left a request for a "call back" which took 2 days, and that was only after I received a "wait time" estimate message of 3 hours. BGE has become a joke.
AnnKangarouse March 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Many years ago, I typed BGE and spellcheck caught it. One of the options for correcting this word was BEGS. Ironic!
Jason March 24, 2012 at 03:32 AM
You know u can leave BGE right?
Sheilam March 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Jason, No you can't.
sarah March 26, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Sheilam- you can switch to concellation https://home.constellation.com/maryland
Dave in BR March 26, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Yeah, but BGE still provides your service with Constellation the electricity supplier. Short of leaving the grid entirely, you cannot get away completely.
Kevin March 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM
You can't leave the grid but you can switch to a supplier that is not affiliated with BGE in any way. Try cbenergygroup.com which is a locally owned and operated supplier with the lowest price in the market.
Needaname March 26, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Who is going to read the meter ? BGE
Needaname March 26, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Who reads the meter ?
Maggie Mae McGrath March 26, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Just so you know constellation is BGE.
Maggie Mae McGrath March 26, 2012 at 04:43 PM
BGE still reads the meter so it doesn't matter what gas or electric supplier you use.

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