What is the difference between PeakRewards and BGE Smart Energy Rewards?
As a PeakRewards customer, can I participate in BGE Smart Energy Rewards?
Yes, all residential customers with smart meters are automatically enrolled in BGE Smart Energy Rewards. You will continue to receive PeakRewards bill credit or your BGE Smart Energy Rewards credits, whichever are greater from June through September each year.
How will I know what I saved?
Your smart meter measures total household energy usage. BGE will calculate your savings by comparing your electric usage during an Energy Savings Day with your typical usage on days with similar weather. If you perform a few energy-saving measures during an Energy Savings Days – like turn off all unnecessary lights or use ceiling fans to stay cool instead of your air conditioning– your efforts can make a difference. You will earn a bill credit of $1.25 for every kilowatt-hour reduced during an Energy Savings Day, which will appear on your next BGE electric bill. These savings may exceed what you typically earn through PeakRewards, however if they do not, you will still receive your typical PeakRewards summer bill credits.
Why can’t I earn both my PeakRewards credit and BGE Smart Energy Rewards credit?
Customers who participate in both programs do not receive double the credits because the energy saved from automatically cycling their air conditioning on Energy Savings Days and emergency cycling events also contributes to the overall energy savings that make up the BGE Smart Energy Rewards bill credit.
On an Energy Savings Day, demand for electricity and the price of electricity is high, so it is beneficial to use less of it. During an emergency event, demand for electricity is close to surpassing supply and BGE is required by the regional grid manager to activate its PeakRewards program. This type of event is called to avoid potential brownouts and rolling blackouts area-wide. For customers with water heater switches, during emergency events, their water heater will be cycled. Their water heater will NOT be cycled during and Energy Savings Day.
Can I override my participation in an Energy Savings Day if I’m a PeakRewards
For customers with a PeakRewards thermostat - Why does the air conditioner fan
run anytime there is an event or anytime it is set to On or Circ – even if the
system is off?
The fan is designed to run throughout an entire cycling event to keep air circulating throughout the house even if the air conditioning is off. Typically, cycling events are on very hot summer days and having the fan on throughout the duration of the event helps keep the air circulating and the home more comfortable during the event.
I’m a PeakRewards customers and I’m signed up to receive cycling notifications.
Will I receive a notification when an Energy Savings Day is taking place?
BGE Smart Energy Rewards customers with a PeakRewards device installed in their home will be cycled up to the 50% level from 1 pm – 7 pm on Energy Savings Days. In most cases, these customers are notified by phone, email or text the evening before an Energy Savings Day occurs. This day-ahead notification informs customers that their PeakRewards device will be cycled and encourages the customer to take additional steps to save energy and earn credits on their bill. To ensure you receive these notifications, log into BGE.com/MyAccount and update your notification preferences.
How will I be notified of an Energy Savings Day?
You will be notified automatically by phone and
email the evening before an Energy Savings Day. You can also choose to receive
a text message. On rare occasions, when there is an immediate need to reduce
demand, you may receive these notifications when the Energy Savings Day has
begun, not the evening before. In this instance, it could take up to three
hours to receive notification.
How do I change my notification preferences for Energy Savings Days?
You can manage your phone, email or text message
notification preferences or unsubscribe through your online account at BGE.com/MyAccount.
Once you’re logged in, look for the My Alerts & Notifications section under the My Profile
tab. From there, you can select which notifications you wish to receive.
Why did I receive more than one notification in a single day?
BGE notifies customers before an Energy Savings Days and the following business day to inform customers of their savings. There have been occasions when more than one notification was delivered to a single customer. BGE has made improvements in the notification process, which should eliminate the number of pre-event notifications one customer receives. Post notifications are sent to customers by the number of active accounts. Therefore a customer will receive one notification per account to inform them of savings per home.
Why does the event notification phone call show up on my caller ID as “unknown”
instead of BGE?
phone numbers are programmed to reflect our company name in the caller ID as
“BGE.” On occasion phone carriers are unable to relay the company name with the
phone number information. In order to confirm if BGE is calling you about an
Energy Savings Day, you may visit BGE.com/SmartEnergyRewards or call back to
the BGE call center.
How do I learn a more about the Smart Energy Savers Program?
For answers to your questions about BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program, please visit bgesmartenergy.com.
How do I get a refund for Sales tax and applicable local energy taxes paid in
prior periods that I should not have paid?
The State of Maryland and certain local taxing authorities allow exempt
customers to obtain a refund for taxes paid in prior years. The customer must
apply for the refund with the appropriate governmental entity in order to
receive the refund. BGE does not refund the taxes. View the refund forms and
instructions below. In conjunction with the refund process – in the event a
customer is missing a bill or bills from a prior period, BGE may provide bill
copies at no cost.
Sales and Use Tax Refund Application
Refund Procedure for Nonprofit Organizations
Refund Procedure for Governmental Organizations
Refund Procedure for Manufacturing Organizations
How do I get a Maryland Sales tax exemption on my Public Service account for a
In order to receive this exemption, you must complete a “Condominium
Questionnaire” and provide the original form to BGE. Click on the link below to
view the form which must be completed.
I am a governmental entity. How do I get a tax exemption on my bill?
As a governmental customer, an exemption is available to you for Maryland Sales tax, and the following local energy taxes: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Prince George's, and Anne Arundel County. In order to receive the exemption, you must provide a copy of the "Comptroller of Maryland Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate" (which was issued to you by the State of Maryland) to BGE. Click on the link below to view a sample of the certificate.(A governmental certificate does not have an expiration date). When submitting your documentation – please ensure that you have provided a list of all BGE account numbers covered by the exemption.
You may PDF your tax exemption certificate and any corresponding documentation to the following email address:
Government Certificate Sample
I am a manufacturing entity. How do I get a tax exemption on my bill?
As a manufacturing customer, an exemption is available to you for Maryland Sales tax and Baltimore City Energy taxes. Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County provide a discounted energy tax rate if your account is on an Electric Tariff Schedule "GLP", "P' or "T", or a Gas Tariff Schedule "IS". In order to receive the exemption or discounted rate, you must provide a completed Maryland Form SUT206 - "Exemption Certification for Utilities or Fuel Used in Production Activities" to BGE. Please click the link below to view the certificate which must be completed. Please note – retail food vendors are not considered eligible for the manufacturing exemption by the State of Maryland.
You may PDF your tax exemption certificate and any corresponding documentation to the following email address: TaxCertificateMailbox@constellation.com
I am a non-profit entity. How do I get a tax exemption on my bill?
As a non-profit customer, an exemption is available to you for Maryland Sales tax, and the following local energy taxes: Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County. Baltimore City applies a discounted energy tax rate to non-profit customers. In order to receive the exemption or discounted rate, you must provide a copy of the "Comptroller of Maryland Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate" (which was issued to you by the State of Maryland) to BGE. Click on the link below to view a sample of the certificate. When submitting your documentation – please ensure that you have provided a list of all BGE account numbers covered by the exemption.
Non-Profit Sample Certificate
How do trees affect service to BGE customers?
Trees growing under or adjacent to overhead lines can interfere with BGE’s
electric distribution and transmission systems. Power outages can be caused by
broken branches and fallen trees that come into contact with electric wires.
Broken branches and fallen trees can also cause power lines to fall or possibly
knock down utility poles, causing considerable damage and significant power
outages. Overgrown trees near power lines also prevent BGE crews from repairing
equipment quickly, and delay the process of restoring power to customers.
Further, disruption to electric transmission systems could provide significant
impacts to large numbers of area residents and to regional power supplies. Trees
that grow on or above gas pipelines, have the ability to interfere with
ground-based leak and corrosion surveys and to inhibit effective aerial surveys
for leaks and property encroachments.
What is included in the PSC's RM 43 Regulation?
The RM 43 regulation includes reliability and service quality standards intended
to enhance performance across a broad spectrum of programs managed by Maryland’s
utilities. Tree and vegetation management practices are a large component of
Will BGE's tree and vegetation management practices change?
In most cases, the company’s existing tree and vegetation management practices
meet or exceed the expectations outlined in the PSC’s standards; however, BGE
will modify and enhance some elements of our current tree and vegetation
management practices to align with new tree and vegetation management standards
and the higher reliability performance targets required by the PSC. Consistent
with the company’s current customer communication policies and RM43, BGE will
reach out to customers in advance of any work being performed on their property.
How will I be affected by these changes?
The PSC’s RM43 tree and vegetation management standards strive to uniformly
provide more space between trees and power lines to help ensure electric
reliability by limiting the tree’s potential to come in contact with the power
line. As BGE works to enhance our tree and vegetation management efforts in
accordance with the PSC’s RM 43 standards, trees that BGE may have allowed to
previously coexist with distribution power lines may now need to be pruned or,
in some cases, removed. Additionally, BGE will conduct more comprehensive tree
and vegetation management along its overhead lines located close to the
company’s electrical substations – important facilities that manage the delivery
of power from generating plants to customer homes and neighborhoods. The PSC’s
standards specify that BGE and other Maryland utilities remove all overhanging
limbs from the substation to what is known as the first “protective electrical
device” that is set away from the substation. These protective devices are used
to minimize the effect of power interruptions, similar to the circuit breakers
in your residence. In some cases, BGE may extend beyond these devices if the
community’s electric reliability will benefit from the effort. In these cases,
BGE employees and contractors will work with individual customers to address
concerns and questions.
I live near a transmission line – will I be affected by RM 43?
In recent years, BGE increased its already robust tree and vegetation management
efforts around transmission lines to further limit any potential for
vegetation-related power outages. Because of this aggressive initiative, the
impact to the vegetation along BGE’s transmission system resulting from RM 43
will be limited.
Can I prune or remove trees on my property near power lines?
If you plan on doing work within 10 feet of distribution power lines, you are
required by law to contact BGE so that a BGE representative can assess the
situation for adherence to proper safe work practices
Does BGE need my permission to prune or remove trees?
BGE performs the work on BGE-owned property or on easements granted to them that
provide the necessary authority to manage the vegetation. While customer
permission is not required, BGE believes in working with customers to notify and
inform them about the necessary work. BGE representatives will do their best to
work with you and without compromising the safety and reliability of our
electric and gas systems
How often does BGE manage vegetation in my area?
Trees that are close to power lines are maintained on a four or five year cycle,
depending on the line voltage. These trees may be pruned or removed so that
adequate clearance can be achieved between the tree and the overhead lines
between cycles. However, BGE only prunes trees along loop lines – (power lines
that run from distribution lines to your house) when they are experiencing
strain or abrasion from the limbs.
Are BGE’s vegetation management crews trained professionals?
Vegetation management and tree work in particular, are inherently dangerous
activities. Coupled with the hazards associated with working around energized
conductors, it is important that qualified professionals are used to perform the
work. Accordingly, BGE hires licensed contractors who are trained as line
clearance workers to safely and efficiently remove problem trees and branches
that would interfere with power lines, while minimizing impacts to tree health.
Additionally, BGE has a professional staff of Maryland Licensed Foresters and
International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborists that monitor the work
of the contractors.
How does BGE select which trees are to be removed and which trees are to be
BGE removes trees that grow within a transmission corridor in order to establish
a sustainable vegetation community of grasses and other low-growing vegetation
in accordance with national standards. Healthy trees that are situated outside
of the transmission corridor that have the capability of falling in proximity to
the lines are pruned, and in some cases, removed to protect the lines during the
five-year management cycle.
What recommendations do you have about planting trees near power lines?
If you wish to plant trees near distribution lines (wood pole lines that provide
power to your neighborhood), plant trees with mature heights that do not exceed
25 feet. Trees planted away from the power lines should not have mature heights
that will allow them to hit the power lines if they were to fall. If you wish to
plant near transmission lines you will need to contact BGE prior to planting.
BGE supports the establishment of naturally occurring, low-growing vegetation on
transmission rights-of-way. Accordingly, tree planting on transmission
rights-of-way is a restricted practice and is discouraged by BGE. Learn how to
select the right tree for the right place by visiting www.bge.com.
Does BGE dispose of branches and wood after they have pruned or removed my
During routine maintenance, small branches (8” diameter or smaller) are normally
chipped and removed from the property. Branches larger than 8” are cut and left
for the property owner. When nature causes trees to interfere with the overhead
wires and disrupt your electric service, the trees or tree parts are removed
from the wires to enable electric service to be restored as quickly as possible.
Service restoration workers will deposit this material on the ground as close as
possible to where the material would have naturally fallen had the wires not
been there to enable them to quickly complete their work and move on to the next
work location. The final disposition of this material will be the responsibility
of the property and/or tree owner.
Is pruning dangerous to the health of my trees?
BGE follows industry best practices (American National Standards Institute
A-300) for tree work along our transmission corridors. For most trees, pruning
simply reduces the volume of foliage and the health of the tree is unaffected.
However, some trees need to be heavily pruned in order to achieve the necessary
clearance from power lines. In these instances, the tree’s health could be
compromised. Therefore, removing the tree may be the best option. For more
information about proper pruning standards, please visit bge.com,
Does BGE manage trees and other vegetation around natural gas transmission
Yes. Continued safe operations of natural gas pipelines require regular
inspections and a clear, easily accessible right of way above the pipeline. In
compliance with federal requirements, inspections of our natural gas
transmission lines are conducted from the ground and air to allow BGE to look
for signs of leaks, corrosion, encroachments, missing pipeline markers and
construction activity near the pipeline. Adequate management of vegetation
growth along the transmission pipeline is necessary to ensure the safe operation
of the transmission pipeline system.
How are trees and other vegetation managed around natural gas transmission
BGE will clear vegetation
located within the right of way, up to 50 feet, which requires removing trees
and shrubs in the right of way, and tree limbs and canopy overhanging the right
of way. Trees that are rooted outside of this zone or even off of the right of
way, but which would require removal of more than 25 percent of their crowns
overhanging the right of way will be considered candidates for removal because
extensive pruning can create unhealthy, unstable trees. The final disposition of
these trees will be determined in consultation with the property owner. Before
work begins at each adjacent property, BGE will directly notify property