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Heat helps trigger BGE energy-saving program

This week’s extreme heat and a transformer problem triggered the first “emergency event” in four years for Baltimore Gas and Electric’s energy-saving program that allows the utility to turn off participants’ heating and air conditioning units when demand is the highest. In exchange, participants save $50 to $100 per year.

BGE announced Sunday that the six-hour event Friday reduced peak energy demand by more than 600 megawatts and helped avoid brownouts and rolling blackouts.

Some participants complained that they were without air conditioning for up to 10 hours on Friday as their homes reached 90 degrees. The utility says some participants may have had other problems that kept their air conditioners off longer.

A Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman says the regulatory panel doesn’t believe the utility did anything wrong.


  1. I am a voluntary participant in BGE’s Peak Rewards program. We recognized the potential for risk when we signed up. The net result is that our system is rarely “cycled,” and the savings are tremendous. I have a 3 bedroom, all electric split level home. With the benefits from Peak Rewards figured in, my electric bill last month was under $115. It’s worth one day of minimal discomfort for the benefit.

  2. This is BS they are supposed to cycle the system 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Not off for over 7 hours!!!

  3. I am on the Peak Rewards program and didn’t even notice the power cycles on my home. I think the people who were complaining are those who don’t’ have any insulation in their homes and probably also have a broken air conditioning unit.

    Just a reminder, Peak Rewards is a program that helps BGE use their existing power generation plants instead of building new power plants — and new plants cause thousands of tons of carbon emissions.

    Let’s try to work together to save the environment, and stop complaining about a good program.