Watson Wants Second Investigation into BGE

The councilmember says there are other pockets of people experiencing reliability problems.


Howard County Councilmember Courtney Watson will introduce legislation next week asking the state to investigate BGE’s reliability in Ellicott City. 

Her request comes on the heels of an , an Ellicott City resident who has led a grassroots effort to fix what she has referred to as unreliable service in certain Ellicott City neighborhoods. 

Since Eshmont’s request was granted by the Public Service Commission (PSC), “There have been other addresses who have come forward with issues,” Watson said. “Cathy has been working hard on finding little pockets.” 

These new “little pockets” where residents say they, too, have reliability issues, are the areas that will be addressed in the legislation Watson plans to introduce at the County Council’s Sept. 4 meeting.

“Our thinking is if we request it,” instead of another resident-driven request, “It helps bring more awareness and we may be able to find other areas that have a problem,” Watson said.

“Many people are suffering through repeated outages without realizing that there is an effort going on to help them.”

In late June the PSC agreed to investigate BGE service in Font Hill, Dunloggin, Valley Mede and several nearby neighborhoods where residents have complained of “chronic reliability problems.”

On July 25, hundreds of residents showed up to , one step in the investigation; a report by the Commission should be complete by the end of the year, according to a PSC spokeswoman. 

BGE spokesman Rob Gould said at that meeting that to some of the areas in question, but "no amount of tree-trimming is going to 'hurricane-proof' this community."

He also said that, while he wasn't dismissing residents' complaints, the neighborhoods in question had "above average" reliability.

"My office and the county, we have a good working relationship with BGE," Watson said.

"We think the men and women ... are doing their very best on the ground, but the PSC needs to be aware of what’s going on in the neighborhoods and needs to hold the public utilities accountable."

For full coverage of BGE reliability in Ellicott City, visit the BGE Topics page.

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Brandie Jefferson August 28, 2012 at 04:46 PM
If you live near Normandy Drive, I know there was an outage yesterday. Do you plan to attend the meeting?
Patrick H. August 31, 2012 at 07:38 PM
People can always go solar and not have to depend upon utility companies. There are also generators that tie into the gas lines and the expense can be rolled into mortgage payments. We looked into BOG before we moved to Maryland and believe that they are doing a relatively good job given what they have to work with. Thank you BGE for trying.
Brandie Jefferson August 31, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Patrick, a few people who testified at this meeting: patch.com/A-wxDy said that they did use solar, but that they still needed to be tied to the grid so they, too lost power during outages. I don't know the number, but one person mentioned to to be taken completely off the grid and wired directly to the solar generator was very expensive.


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