Utility offers many options for customers to better manage energy usage during periods of extreme weather including BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program®, Summer Ready and Budget Billing
BALTIMORE, Aug.10, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that as a result of extremely high temperatures in July, customers may experience higher-than-expected bills in August. According to Weather Services International, there were 22 days in July when the temperature was at or above 90 degrees and 3days when the temperature was at or above 100 degrees. Although electric commodity prices are down nearly 25 percent since 2009, increased energy usage during extreme weather can significantly impact customers’ energy bills.
“During the summer months, cooling typically accounts for approximately half of a customer’s energy usage, and when temperatures are extreme, usage will increase accordingly. In some cases, it may even double. It’s important to remember that even customers who leave their thermostats at a set temperature will experience an increase in usage when the temperature is extremely hot because cooling systems must work harder just to maintain the set temperature. Additionally, old or inefficient cooling systems typically use more energy than newer, more efficient systems,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “To help alleviate the impact of extreme temperatures and to help customers better manage their energy bills, BGE offers a host of programs, billing options and other important information that customers should consider.”
To help customers manage summer cooling bills, BGE has enhanced the Summer Ready section of its website which includes interactive information about how homes use energy as well as low-cost and no-cost measures customers can take to improve the efficiency of their homes.
BGE customers have many options for managing energy costs including but not limited to the following:
-Budget Billing which helps even out payments over a 12-month period.
-Energy assistance for qualifying customers.
-Setting air conditioner thermostats at 78 degrees or higher. Every degree above72 degrees saves 5 to 7 percent on cooling costs.
-Delaying the use of heat-generating appliances such as stoves, ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers until after 9 p.m. when the temperature begins to drop.
Taking shorter hot showers. Heating water is the second biggest energy drain in the home.
-Professional inspection of central air conditioning systems to ensure optimal efficiency.
-Sealing gaps around windows, doors and wall outlets.
-Checking/adding insulation in attics to reach an R-30, the depth of 12 inches.
-Scheduling a BGE Quick Home Energy Check-up to discover opportunities for making a home more energy efficient.
-Taking advantage of BGE price mark-downs on compact fluorescent light bulbs which use approximately 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and burn cooler.
-Using only lights that are necessary.
-Consider unplugging computers, cable boxes and other electronics which stay on even when not in use.
Customers may also access BGE’s Online Energy Calculator to learn more about how their homes use energy. BGE also offers many incentives including rebates of up to $400 for participation in its Residential Heating and Cooling programs, as well as many other cost savings as part of BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program®.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is an indirect subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.