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For Immediate Release

Contact

Rachael Lighty

rachael.lighty@bge.com

BGE Invites Customers and Employees to Celebrate Earth Hour 2014 with the Company by Turning Off Lights and Conserving Energy Saturday Evening

Created by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007, Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of support in protecting the environment

BALTIMORE (March 29, 2014) – In celebration of Earth Hour 2014, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is encouraging customers and employees across central Maryland to join the company in an effort to conserve energy this evening, March 29. Starting at 8:30 p.m. and lasting until 9:30 p.m., BGE encourages customers to turn off all non-essential lights at their homes and businesses. BGE will be turning off nonessential lights at several of its central Maryland facilities in celebration of Earth Hour 2014.

Created by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007, Earth Hour is celebrated across the globe as households, businesses, and landmarks symbolically switch off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change. This year, from Thailand to Tahiti, Iran to Las Vegas and the International Space Station to Sudan - iconic monuments and moments are planned in celebration of Earth Hour 2014. BGE’s support of Earth Hour strengthens the company’s focus on environmental stewardship, environmental enhancement and restoration programs and energy-efficiency education. BGE is joined in this effort by its sister utilities PECO in Philadelphia and ComEd in Chicago, and parent company, Exelon Corporation.

“At BGE, we have a long-standing commitment to the environment and our customers continue to show their strong support by participating in energy efficiency programs, such as BGE's Smart Energy Savers Programs®, a portfolio of programs intended to help customers manage and decrease energy use, which may ultimately help reduce their energy bills and impact on the environment,” said Carol Dodson, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “BGE works to provide customers with the tools they need to manage their energy use and in addition to financial savings, BGE customers can see a direct benefit to the environment in which they live, work and play. By achieving a savings of more than 1.2 billion kWh a year, our customers are working together with BGE in keeping Maryland clean, green and reliable. We encourage our customers to continue their commitment to energy-efficiency and preserving the environment by participating alongside us celebrating Earth Hour 2014.”

In addition to turn off non-essential lights, BGE shares the following tips with customers to conserve energy year-round:

  • During the winter, heating systems typically account for more than 40 percent of customers’ energy bills. For systems other than heat pumps, set thermostats at 68 degrees F, if health allows. For every degree below 73 degrees, customers can see a 2-4 percent decrease in energy use.
  • Customers who heat with older model electric heat pumps are especially vulnerable to sharp increases in usage when auxiliary heating is activated during cold weather. On days where the temperature dips below freezing, a heat pump can use 2 to 3 times as much energy as it does compared to periods where the temperature is above 30 to 40 degrees. Customers who heat with heat pumps should check with the manufacturer for recommendations on the temperature setting to ensure that systems are working at the highest efficiency.
  • Natural gas customers should consider setting the thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night. This can help customers see a 3-4 percent decrease in energy use.
  • Change the furnace filter regularly. A dirty filter forces the furnace to work harder.
  • Install an approved insulation blanket around the water heater and insulate the first three feet of water pipe (keep insulation at least 6 inches from the flue on gas water heaters).
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F and conserve hot water when you can. Heating water is the second largest use of energy in your home in the winter months.
  • Open curtains and drapes during the day, to let the sun warm your home, and close them at night for insulation.
  • Don’t heat unused spaces. Close vents in unused rooms and shut doors to unused rooms, closets and basements.
  • Caulk and weather strip windows and doors to keep cold air out.
  • Check/add attic insulation to reach a level of R-38 or 12 inches.
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water and rinse in cold water to reduce water heater usage.
  • Over the long term, make your home more energy efficient, using BGE’s Quick Home Energy Check-up or Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, improved insulation, high efficiency appliances and other measures.
  • Have the furnace checked by a licensed professional to be sure it is operating efficiently and seal any leaks in furnace ducts. BGE offers rebates for these and other home efficiency improvements through the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program®.
  • Make your business more energy efficient also with BGE Smart Energy Program.

The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program is a suite of programs that enable all customers to control energy use, in support of EmPOWER Maryland’s goal of a 15 percent per capita reduction in energy consumption by 2015, and leading to more efficient use of electricity and lowering energy bills from where they otherwise would be. Collectively, the programs help contain the cost of energy and improve reliability. The programs also help to reduce peak demand and slow the growth in energy consumption to lessen the need for more power plants. BGE offers energy saving solutions for renters, homeowners, large and small business customers, non-profits and institutional customers. More information can be found at www.bgesmartenergy.com.

Last year’s Earth Hour was the largest in the history of the campaign. Nearly 7,000 cities, towns and municipalities participated across more than 150 countries and territories on all seven continents. This year’s “lights out” events feature some of the world’s most recognized landmarks, including the Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney Opera House. Locally, the following institutions and buildings are just a few of those who will be participating this evening:

  • Baltimore City Hall
  • USS Constellation
  • War Memorial Building
  • National Aquarium in Baltimore
  • Domino Sugar Sign
  • Bromo Seltzer Tower
  • USS Constellation

Earth Hour aligns with BGE’s company-wide Exelon 2020 low-carbon goals and reflects the company’s portfolio of energy efficiency and environmental programs in support of EmPOWER Maryland goals. For more information about Earth Hour, visit the www.EarthHour.org. You can also follow Earth Hour on Twitter and Facebook.

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BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 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 a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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