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MARYLAND PSC GRANTS BG&E 3.8 PERCENT RATE INCREASE

 BALTIMORE, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Maryland Public Service Commission today granted Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE: BGE) an overall 3.8 percent, or $86.5 million, base rate increase, effective immediately.
 For the BG&E residential customer using 620 kilowatt hours of electricity and 80 therms of gas per month, the new rates would increase the monthly electric bill by $3.69 to $60.22, and the monthly gas bill by $0.22 to $51.06. More than half of BG&E's residential bills are for 620 kilowatt hours of electricity and/or 80 therms or natural gas or less.
 The impact of the increase on residential customers will vary depending on the type and size of their dwellings. For example, typical monthly usage of an all electric townhouse is around 1200 kilowatt hours per month while the same townhouse with gas heat will have average monthly usage of 400 kilowatt hours of electricity and 50 therms of gas. For an all-electric colonial-style home, average monthly usage is 1900 kilowatt hours, while the same home with gas heat will average about 550 kilowatt hours of electricity and 100 therms of gas.
 The impact of the increase to electric customers has been more than completely offset by recent reductions in the fuel rate portions of their bills. Over the last 23 months, the fuel rate portion of a residential customer's bill (620 kwh usage) has dropped $5.86 per month, reflecting a $235 million annual savings. The primary reasons for the declining fuel rate are increased low-cost generation from the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and the start-up of Unit 2 at the Brandon Shores coal-fired generating plant in May 1991.
 BG&E originally requested a 7.4 percent, or $169.4 million, rate increase in September 1992. In filing for that request, BG&E cited the cost of improvements and investments in generating, transmission and distribution facilities, as well as increased operating costs due to inflationary and regulatory pressures.
 Additionally, the company noted that it had implemented a program of rigorous cost-control measures that reduced 1992 operating expenses by approximately $20 million, and reduced employee complement by about 500 with no layoffs. BG&E also has taken advantage of lower interest rates to reduced interest expenses by $6.7 million annually and a total of $77 million over the life of the securities.
 In its order today, the PSC granted BG&E:
 -- $67.3 million of its original $106.1 million request for higher capital investment and increased operating expenses resulting from inflationary and regulatory pressures.
 -- $9.2 million of its original $21.1 million request for adopting accrual accounting for postretirement benefits expense, as required by Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106. The remainder of this request will be addressed in BG&E's next base rate proceeding.
 -- A full $10 million of the request for Brandon Shores Unit 2 property taxes paid for the first time in July 1992. Since the unit was put in service in May of 1991, these taxes were not included in the last rate order.
 In addition, the PSC also:
 -- Deferred action on BG&E's original $23.8 million request to reflect revised depreciation rates pending completion of a separate proceeding to address this issue.
 -- Declined BG&E's original $8.4 million request for costs already incurred in association with the proposed expansion of the Perryman generating facility. Last month the PSC authorized the utility to construct a 140-megawatt natural gas combustion turbine at Perryman and, in accordance with that order, all Perryman-related costs will be addressed after the new unit is put into commercial service, probably in 1995.
 BG&E officials declined further comment on the 129-page decision until they have time to analyze it in more detail.
 -0-
 /CONTACT: Arthur J. Slusark, director of public information of Baltimore Gas and Electric, 410-234-7433/
 (BGE)


CO: Maryland Public Service Commission; Baltimore Gas and Electric
 Company ST: Maryland IN: UTI SU:


JM -- PH036 -- 0228 04/23/93 16:12 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1993
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