Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE)

Quick Summary

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), an Exelon company, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, providing safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and 700,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. BGE is rolling out smart street lighting using TerraGo’s field operations software, SLV:GO, integrated with Itron’s SLV CMS.  TerraGo’s software gives BGE full life cycle management of their lighting infrastructure, including five integrated modules for planning, inventory, installation, maintenance, and work orders.  BGE’s Smart Lighting Controls Deployment Program includes installation of smart nodes (networked lighting controllers) on all company-maintained outdoor lights, which is approximately 94% (over 260,000) of all outdoor lights in its service territory. 

  • Streamlining outdoor lighting field operations to successfully deploy and maintain over 260,000 smart streetlights by 2026
  • Implementing data quality control processes in field operations; more than half of the existing streetlights contained inaccurate or missing data, and about 4% have pre-existing issues that have not been reported to BGE
  •  Synchronizing and maintaining data across asset management records, GIS and other back-office systems
  • Identifying and resolving outages faster without relying on customers to report issues; improving operations with data-driven features to reduce the total number of truck rolls
  • Survey crews use TerraGo to audit field data to establish data baseline, validate accuracy and make corrections on the spot
  • Field crews performing install of smart controls also use TerraGo app to capture photos and other data; also can identify pre-existing maintenance issues while at location for dispatch and repair
  • TerraGo maintenance features enables BGE to perform triage on system alarms and automate creation and assignment of work orders to field crews
  • BGE utilized TerraGo to improve processes, standardize procedures and control data quality with configurable field workflows in mobile apps
  • BGE has gone completely paperless for smart lighting, with fully digital and automated operations tracking, from planning through installation, inventory management, maintenance and work orders 
  • TerraGo enables BGE to install faster, identify issues correctly and resolve problems more quickly and efficiently 
  • Reduced truck rolls with remote diagnostics and ability to assign crews based on type of issue, e.g., power faults go to cable crews, luminaire faults go to lighting crews
  • TerraGo inventory management identifies bottlenecks and locate smart nodes “stuck” in various stages, such as quality control or not checked in by a field crews and more 

The Challenge

While Baltimore Gas & Electric began their smart streetlighting rollout in 2021, they have been working diligently “behind the scenes” on the strategy and operational plan for some time. BGE has a dedicated outdoor lighting business unit that worked through pilots with key customers, performed technical evaluations and identified IT system impacts. The pure scale of deploying over a quarter million smart nodes required a robust field operations and data management plan.

The program was being counted upon to realize numerous benefits for BGE customers and communities, including the ability to improve service, reduce time to resolve outages, enhance operational excellence, lower carbon footprint, reduce truck rolls, and eliminate reliance on public outage reporting.   

BGE also recognized a challenge that existed with legacy streetlight data quality, as well as an opportunity to dramatically improve efficiency by automating and integrating data collection with field work. “I thought we kept pretty accurate records,” said Eric Barger, Principal Project Manager, BGE. “But when we did some preliminary audits and surveys using the mobile application for our new smart streetlighting platform, we discovered that for more than half of our streetlights, some data was missing or inaccurate. This was shocking to me.”  Most of these omissions and inaccuracies were fairly minor, such as incorrect manufacturer data. But collectively, a large number of inaccuracies can have significant negative impacts, like sending out trucks with wrong parts, which are a waste of time and money.


“We realized very early on  that there’s a lot more that goes into smart streetlighting deployment and strategy than just screwing photo controls on top of existing light locations.  There are a lot of systems and data involved; and in some cases, data that’s inaccurate and that needs to be accounted for.”

– Eric Barger, Principal Project Manager, Exelon Baltimore Gas & Electric

The Solution

BGE has deployed the full suite of TerraGo streetlight operations applications, integrated with Itron’s SLV CMS.  The five integrated product modules include planning (surveys and audits), inventory, installation, maintenance and work orders. BGE office personnel utilize the web application, which works together seamlessly with the mobile application utilized by BGE field crews on smart phones and tablets.  

BGE crews utilized the planning module mobile application to audit current streetlight inventory, helping to establish a baseline for data quality as well as identifying data collection requirements for the territory-wide deployment. In doing those audits, BGE discovered 50% of the lights had missing or inaccurate data, which caused numerous inefficiencies, like sending a truck out with wrong luminaire, thus requiring a second truck roll to fix one problem.  

Today, BGE crews use the mobile app with a guided workflow that enforces quality control, prevents errors, and accelerates installation. This workflow also guides the crews to validate and capture required data (e.g., pole attachments, stop sign, cell phone antenna, surveillance camera) and photos. For inventory management, BGE warehouse personnel use the TerraGo app to scan QR codes on shipments arriving from the manufacturer. With the TerraGo platform, smart nodes are tracked continuously, with full chain-of-custody, as they move through inventory to install and commissioning, and with all future maintenance, tracking all warranty and asset records.

TerraGo’s streetlight operations solution has helped BGE improve efficiency and customer service across countless use cases.  As an example, BGE’s dedicated streetlighting department includes both cable crews and light servicing crews. Previously, BGE’s standard procedure for diagnosing streetlight problems was to dispatch a lighting crew in a bucket truck, and examine the fixture from the top down. If the problem was a power supply, BGE would reassign to a cable crew and roll another truck. Now the system can discern whether the problem is related to power supply — and in those cases, a cable crew will be dispatched the first time using the TerraGo software.

“We have TerraGo set up as our alarm triage system, and this is where our analyst is reviewing alarms.  And as we learn more, we are able to automate them.  So as soon as certain alarms, say a day burner alarm is brought into TerraGo for triage, it automatically creates a diagnose and repair job and dispatches a crew.”

– Eric Barger, Principal Project Manager, Exelon Baltimore Gas & Electric

The Results

TerraGo has helped BGE accelerate the deployment of smart nodes, which also includes the capture of essential data during the course of the installation workflow. During optimal scenarios, BGE field crews can hit a speed of 6 minutes or less to fully complete a smart streetlight installation, including all required data collection and photos. This speed translates directly into faster realization of smart lighting benefits and establishes data quality that will improve future operations. 

One of BGE’s most quantifiable benefits is the ability to use TerraGo software to reduce operations and maintenance (O&M) costs during installation, leveraging the capital investment of the deployment program. Typically, surveying and auditing requires a large O&M investment. In this case, theTerraGo software provides the ability for BGE crews to audit the system, capture photos, and correct those records, all during the course of a very efficient, guided installation workflow. Whether performing surveys, or installs or maintenance, BGE is now able to automatically update and sync all the asset records related to the streetlight infrastructure, spanning their back-office platforms, asset management, GIS, and SLV systems. With elimination of manual data entry, QR code scanning, data validation, proximity detection and numerous other quality controls, TerraGo is helping BGE dramatically improve data quality today, which translates into greater operational efficiency and lower costs in the future. 

 Once smart streetlight controls are deployed, the lights work smarter. With BGE’s data quality-driven processes and TerraGo’s configurable software, the people are now working smarter too. The real-time visibility of the smart lighting network, paired with TerraGo field applications, helps BGE optimize operational efficiency and maximize numerous benefits for BGE – and the communities it serves

“There is no paperwork needed for smart lighting deployment, inventory management, installation or maintenance.  At every step we are using the TerraGo application to track the process, the inventory, the work and the data.  We know exactly what work is done by whom, where smart nodes are located and that the correct data is being charged back to our asset records management system. TerraGo is just an incredible platform that has really lived up to  our expectations.”

– Eric Barger, Principal Project Manager, Exelon Baltimore Gas & Electric