BGE and WBAL-TV meteorologist Ava Marie presented Fountain Green Elementary School in Bel Air, Md., with a $10,000 check for winning the “The Adventures of Captain Mercaptan®, BGE Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge.” The annual contest challenges elementary students at schools in BGE’s service area to illustrate gas safety messages featuring Captain Mercaptan, BGE’s fictional natural gas safety superhero. The first-place comic strip drawn by Ryleigh, a fourth-grade student, will be featured in a BGE natural gas safety advertisement in February.
“It is wonderful to see the continued enthusiasm and creativity of the students participating in the Captain Mercaptan contest,” said Christopher Burton, BGE vice president of Gas Distribution. “Educating our customers, especially children, on how to remain safe around natural gas is a priority for BGE. Our natural gas safety contest not only taps into children’s creativity, it also helps reinforce valuable information that can be life-saving for the entire community.”
“It’s an honor to help judge BGE’s natural gas safety contest,” said WBAL-TV meteorologist Ava Marie. “What a creative way to teach children life-saving information and also empower them to be leaders in their own communities.”
Participating schools, public and private, can win up to $10,000 toward a school enrichment project. In addition, a teacher from the grand prize-winning school receives a $500 gift card and teachers from the other winning schools receive $100 gift cards. Overall, $35,000 is awarded by BGE to the winning schools each year, and since the contest’s inception BGE has awarded $245,000 to area schools.
Captain Mercaptan teaches kids how to recognize a natural gas leak, and the steps they need to take when they smell gas. Captain Mercaptan’s name is derived from “mercaptan,” a safety additive put in natural gas to give it a distinctive rotten egg odor that makes gas easier to detect. The superhero and his safety sidekicks, Sunny and Piper, were designed by elementary school students during BGE’s first “The Adventures of Captain Mercaptan” contest.
Nineteen area schools submitted 51 drawings and safety messages in the contest before the public voted and a panel of judges, including celebrity judge Ava Marie, selected the winners. Over 60,000 votes were cast online at bgegashero.com. In addition to the first-place winning prize, a top entry was chosen for each grade level, kindergarten through fifth grade.
The winning schools are:
· $10,000 Captain’s Choice and BGE Hero Awards (Fourth grade): Fountain Green Elementary School, Bel Air, MD.
· $5,000 BGE Hero Award (Kindergarten): St. Michael-St. Clement School, Baltimore, MD.
· $5,000 BGE Hero Award (First grade): Mount Washington School, Baltimore, MD.
· $5,000 BGE Hero Award (Second grade): North Bend Elementary School, Jarrettsville, MD.
· $5,000 BGE Hero Award (Third grade): Perry Hall Christian School, Perry Hall, MD.
· $5,000 BGE Hero Award (Fifth grade): Immaculate Conception School, Towson, MD.
Captain Mercaptan teaches children that they can be a hero too if they follow these simple safety tips:
• Use your nose. Mercaptan is a safety scent that BGE puts in natural gas to give it a rotten egg smell.
• Use your ears. Listen for the hissing sound of escaping gas.
• Use your eyes. Look for dirt being blown into the air, dead plants or grass in otherwise green areas, fire coming from the ground or water bubbling and being blown into the air.
• If you detect natural gas, leave immediately.
• Don’t attempt to detect the source of the leak.
• Don’t use matches or turn anything on (including a cell phone).
• Find a safe place outside and call BGE or have an adult call 1.877.778.7798 or 911.
BGE traces its roots back to 1816 and is the first natural gas utility in North America. Today the company provides safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 680,000 gas customers in central Maryland. Customers are reminded to immediately contact 911 or BGE at 1.877.778.7798 from a safe location if they have any questions or concerns about natural gas. Gas safety tips are available at bge.com/CaptainMercaptan.
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation’s first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility. The company’s approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. In the J.D. Power 2017, 2018, and 2019 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Studies SM BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Electric Service in the East among Large Utilities. In the J.D. Power 2018 and 2019 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Studies SM BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Natural Gas Service among utilities in the East Region. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Connect with BGE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and engage with the latest BGE stories on bgenow.com.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (or “BGE”) received the highest score in the East Region of the 2019 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study and the East Large Segment of the 2019 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study of gas and electric utility customer satisfaction among business customers. Visit jdpower.com/awards