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For Immediate Release

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Richard L. Yost

Richard.Yost@bge.com

Are You Ready for Summer Heat and Storms?

Get set for hurricane season and be prepared to take advantage of Energy Savings Days to help reduce energy costs

BALTIMORE (May 24, 2018) – BGE has prepared for potential extreme weather this summer, having invested approximately $1.1 billion in electric system operations, maintenance, and infrastructure improvements during 2017. While customers experienced the best electric reliability in the company's history in 2017, and the average residential electric customer's total bills remain lower than a decade ago, customers should still get ready for summer's high heat, potentially increased electricity usage and damaging summer storms. 

"BGE continues to invest in our system and train as a team to ensure we are prepared to meet the demands of extreme summer weather. We also ask our customers to prepare for extreme weather situations," said BGE President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Woerner. "We emphasize innovation in every aspect of our business, which helps us deliver the quality electric power that our customers expect and need in their daily lives, not just during the summer storm and heat season, but year-round."

BGE's summer readiness system upgrades include installation of more durable poles and wiring, expanded options for rerouting service to decrease the number of customers affected by an outage, and automated equipment that responds to system damage allowing field personnel to be deployed to other areas where on-site work is required.

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, 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 (June 1 – Nov. 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.

 

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BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable power delivery to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. J.D. Power's 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM ranked BGE highest in customer satisfaction with business electric service in the east among large utilities. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube  and Flickr.

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