Since its launch in September 2015, the Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) Smart Energy Economic Development (SEED) Program has approved economic incentives for 19 businesses – which are expected to contribute to the addition of nearly 2,400 new jobs in Maryland.
The SEED Program was developed to meet the needs of commercial customers by offering larger discounts than previous incentive programs, and by adding natural gas discounts in addition to electricity incentives, the utility said on October 20.
New and expanding businesses creating new full-time employment can qualify for SEED discounts on natural gas, and electric connection and usage costs. Qualifying commercial customers receive BGE incentives that:
- Discount charges (demand, distribution, and customer) by 25 percent for electric and natural gas service;
- Offer a 75 percent discount on BGE construction costs to extend and expand service to businesses located in a Maryland Enterprise Zone; and
- Eliminate a minimum usage requirement for businesses located in Enterprise Zones, in order to allow small businesses to take advantage of the program.
“A strong economy is vital to having a strong community and by providing incentives to businesses through the innovative SEED Program, we can help stimulate growth and job creation,” said BGE CEO Calvin Butler Jr. “This is truly a partnership with the state of Maryland, business groups and business customers. By working together, we will continue to move smart energy forward, which benefits the whole region.”
Nineteen SEED applicants have been approved – with 11 in Baltimore City, four in Harford County, three in Baltimore County, and one in Prince George’s County. More than 600 of the planned jobs reported by these businesses will be created in Baltimore City. The planned jobs in Baltimore City also support BGE’s commitment to BLocal, through which Baltimore-area businesses are working together to help strengthen the city.
“The response from the business community shows that there is a strong desire to build in the area,” said BGE Economic Development Manager Ammanuel Moore, “We are thankful for the support we’ve received from economic development groups in spreading the word about SEED.”