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BG&E FILES WITH MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION FOR 7.4 PERCENT RATE INCREASE EFFECTIVE NEXT APRIL

 BG&E FILES WITH MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
 FOR 7.4 PERCENT RATE INCREASE EFFECTIVE NEXT APRIL
 BALTIMORE, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Citing the cost of improvements and investments in generating, transmission and distribution facilities -- as well as increased operating costs due to inflationary and regulatory pressures -- Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (NYSE: BGE) today filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission for a 7.4 percent, or $169 million, overall rate increase effective next April.
 This is BG&E's first application for a general base rate increase for electric service in nearly 2-1/2 years. If approved, the new rates would increase the typical residential electric bill by $6.79 per month to $62.95, and the typical residential gas bill by $1.33 per month to $54.75.
 The impact of the base rate increase on BG&E's customers will be offset by reductions in the fuel rate portions of their bills. Since the beginning of the year, BG&E has filed for four fuel rate reductions totaling $114 million. The combined effect of these reductions and further decreases anticipated by the first half of 1993 are expected to offset the base rate increase resulting from this case.
 In testimony filed with the PSC today, BG&E President and Chief Operating Officer Edward A. Crooke outlined the reasons for the rate request. Additionally, he pointed out that the company has implemented a program of rigorous cost-control measures, including not granting a 1992 general wage increase for company employees, elimination of overtime pay for salaried employees, and an early retirement program that was accepted by 335 employees. Taken together, these measures have reduced 1992 operating expenses by $20 million, and will produce significant recurring savings in future years.
 Crooke also detailed measures taken to minimize financing costs. A total of $333 million of debt issues have been refunded to take advantage of current lower interest rates, representing interest savings of $11 million over the life of the securities refunded. As a result of these actions, the company is seeking a reduction in its authorized rate of return from 9.94 percent to 9.89 percent, while holding its return on equity at 12.87 percent.
 "We have taken extensive measures to control costs," said Crooke. "However, the company is in a period which requires significant expenditures to upgrade and maintain its transmission and distribution system, as well as its existing generating plants."
 -0- 9/25/92
 /CONTACT: Arthur J. Slusark, director of public information of Baltimore Gas and Electric, 410-234-7433/
 (BGE) CO: Baltimore Gas and Electric Company; Maryland Public Service
 Commission ST: Maryland IN: UTI SU:


MK-LJ -- PH014 -- 3500 09/25/92 11:58 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 25, 1992
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