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Are You Ready For Summer Heat And Storms?

7/20/2018, 10:34 a.m.
Summer’s high temperatures translate to more electricity use, as air conditioning units work harder to keep homes and businesses comfortable, ...

— Summer’s high temperatures translate to more electricity use, as air conditioning units work harder to keep homes and businesses comfortable, but there are opportunities for customers to save. Starting June 1, 2018, the average BGE residential customer who purchases electricity from BGE will see a bill reduction of $11 a month due to the lowest electric commodity prices in a decade and distribution rate reductions spurred by federal tax-reform.

Customers are also using less energy today, thanks to energy efficiency programs and smart grid upgrades. This includes taking advantage of Energy Savings Days, which occur when the demand for electricity is expected to be particularly high, typically on very hot summer weekdays when both homes and businesses are using higher amounts of electricity. BGE notifies customers via phone, email or text usually the day before a BGE Energy Savings Day. Use less electricity between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on an Energy Savings Day and earn bill credits!

For those who want to use energy even more efficiently, the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program® can help identify new ways to save energy, money and the environment.

The program, which supports the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act, has provided $779 million in rebates to BGE customers and helped customers save more than 3.3 million megawatt-hours of electricity.

EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your electric bill. EmPOWER programs can help you reduce your electricity consumption and save you money.

Customers can also save energy and lower their bills this summer by following a few simple tips:

•Maintain your A/C system: Most warm weather energy expenses are directly related to cooling your home. Regular maintenance will keep your system running at peak efficiency.

•Use MyAccount online tools: Track your energy usage in near-real time. Compare energy usage trends, measure energy-saving practices, and set alerts to know when usage is trending high.

•Reduce hot water usage: Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of home energy consumption. Install faucet aerators and efficient flow showerheads and adjust your hot water heater to 120°F, or the low setting, to lower usage.

•Manage your thermostat: Keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level when at home. Raise the thermostat setting for days of extreme heat to save even more. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home's temperature settings when you're away or sleeping.

•Close window shades and blinds: Sunlight passing through windows heats your home and makes your A/C work harder. Block this heat by closing your window blinds or drapes.

•Conserve with lighting: Turn off unnecessary lights and use LEDs, which can save you about $80 in electricity costs over their lifetime.

•Reduce kitchen heat: Cook outdoors on a grill when possible.

•Keep the air moving: Run your ENERGY STAR® certified ceiling fan counterclockwise to produce downward airflow and a cooling effect.

Customers can also prepare for summer storms and hurricane season, which runs until November 30.

•Connect with BGE for additional ways to report outages and get status updates:

*Download BGE’s free mobile app at the Apple Store or Google Play.

*Sign up for text, email and/or phone alerts at bge.com/alerts.

*Text “ADDOUTAGE” to MYBGE (69243), for two-way texting.

•Store a supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare, non-perishable foods.

•Keep cell phones and mobile devices charged.

•Customers with landlines should keep a corded phone to report outages if cell phones lose power.

•Have a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of your home.

•Customers requiring refrigeration for medication or electricity for medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in the event of an extended power outage.

•Bookmark BGE’s enhanced outage map at bge.com/outagemap for general information on outages in BGE’s service area.