Local utility companies offer credit, tips for saving energy

WASHINGTON —  As the heat wave continues, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has made Monday an “Energy Savings Day.” Residential customers with Smart Meters who cut back electric use between 1 and 7 p.m. will earn credits. Other utilities are recommending energy saving tips for a hot day when demand is expected to be high.

“We typically ask customers just take some small steps to be mindful of ways that they can conserve electric use,” said Justin Mulcahy, spokesman for BGE.

BGE customers will receive $1.25 credit for each kilowatt hour they reduce usage during the Energy Savings Day period. Smart meters are used to compare energy consumption in the home against days with similar weather.

Customers who participate in the utility’s PeakRewards program will have their air conditioners cycled off 50 percent during the period.

“If you’re going to use appliances that produce heat, such as dishwashers and clothes dryers, you might want to do that later in the evening,” Mulcahy said. BGE also recommends turning off unnecessary lights and devices, and keeping shades, blinds and curtains closed.

About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Ceiling fans are helpful to circulate air.

Pepco’s summer energy saving tips include setting the thermostat at 78 degrees and making regular checks of air filters.

Pepco says it will provide 24-hour notice for any days when credits are offered for reducing consumption. Pepco calls such days “Peak Savings Days.”

Dominion Virginia Power’s similar program is called “Smart Cooling Rewards.” The program was activated this past Friday. A spokesman said the utility can declare another such day on short notice.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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