Why is BGE offering this program?
BGE is offering this program to encourage customers to use less energy when it is most in demand, during summer peak hours. Managing summer peak demand helps to reduce the need for additional power plants, helps to keep down the overall cost of electricity and eases the burden on Maryland's electricity delivery system as our state's population continues to grow.
Do I need to enroll in BGE Smart Energy Rewards?
No. If you have a smart meter, you can choose whether or not to participate in an Energy Savings Day. If you choose not to reduce your electricity usage or are unable to lower your usage on an Energy Savings Day, you will lose nothing.
What can I do to save a kilowatt hour?
A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a measure of energy. For refence, one kWh is used by running a dishwasher for one hour. BGE Smart Energy Rewards provides you with $1.25 in bill credits for every kilowatt-hour of electricity you reduce on an Energy Savings Day, compared with what you would have normally used. Energy savings tips include:
Reducing your use of air conditioning, which accounts for up to half of your summer electricity costs. Turn up your thermostat by 3-4° and use other ways to stay cool. BGE recommends setting your thermostat at 78ºF.
Delaying your dishwasher or laundry until after 6 pm on Energy Savings Day.
Turning off and unplugging all electronics, including computers, TVs, game consoles and kitchen appliances.
Customers should exercise discretion and consider health impacts when reducing electricity usage.
How do I opt-out of the BGE Smart Energy Rewards program?
BGE Smart Energy Rewards does not require enrollment or unenrollment. You can unsubscribe from receiving Energy Savings Day notifications and choose not to participate during those days. You are not penalized for not participating. To manage your notification preferences, log onto BGE.com/MyAccount and look for the My Alerts & Notifications section under the My Profile tab.
Does BGE control my energy usage in any way?
No, unless you are a PeakRewards or Connected Rewards participant. You make the decision to reduce your electricity usage and earn bill credits on Energy Savings Days. Your credit will be automatically calculated and appear on your next bill. You choose to participate as much or as little as you like. However, if you are a PeakRewards participant, your PeakRewards device will be cycled up to 50% on Energy Savings Days, but you have the option to override up to two Energy Savings Day events per calendar year if you do not wish to participate. For Connected Rewards participants, your device will receive a temperature setback of up to 4 degrees and you can opt out at any time by adjusting the temperature on your thermostat.
Would I be penalized if I choose not to participate?
How are Energy Savings Days determined?
Energy Savings Days typically coincide with the hottest days of the summer when electricity usage is especially high.
How many Energy Savings Days will there be each summer and how long do they
BGE plans to call up to three (3) Energy Savings Days per summer, depending on the weather conditions. Energy Savings Days generally last from 2pm – 6pm. On rare occasions, when there is an immediate need to reduce demand, BGE may start an Energy Savings Day after 2pm. Unlike typical Energy Savings Days, these events are not scheduled one day in advance. Customer notifications may go out once the event has started and not all notification types (phone, email, text, and mobile app alert) may be used due to the delivery time constraints. BGE recommends signing up for more than one notification to stay in the know.
What BGE Smart Energy Rewards credits will I receive on my bill?
The BGE Smart Energy Rewards credits will vary depending on the amount of electricity you reduce during an Energy Savings Day compared to your typical usage on days with similar weather. You can earn a bill credit of $1.25 for every kilowatt-hour saved compared to your typical usage.
If you are a PeakRewards participant, you are guaranteed to receive your monthly PeakRewards credit. If you choose to participate in BGE Smart Energy Rewards and reduce your electricity usage during Energy Savings Days beyond the electricity reduction from the cycling of your air conditioner, you can earn a bill credit of $1.25 for every kilowatt-hour saved compared to your typical usage on days with similar weather. You will receive whichever credit is greater; either your PeakRewards credit or your BGE Smart Energy Rewards credit.
Connected Rewards participants do not receive bill credits. Connected Rewards participants will receive an enrollment incentive and annual participation incentives via eGift card.
How much can I save?
Based on results from past years, participating customers earned, on average, $5-$8* per Energy Savings Day. BGE anticipates that there will be up to 3 Energy Savings Days each summer.
* Your actual savings will vary.
How does BGE know my typical usage and how is it calculated?
BGE Smart Energy Rewards uses your past electric usage data provided by your smart meter to compare your energy use during Energy Savings Days to the average amount of electricity you typically use on days with similar weather. To calculate your typical usage, BGE compares electric usage on days with similar weather during the 14 days prior to the Energy Savings Day (excluding holidays, weekends and prior Energy Savings Days).
Why is BGE paying me $1.25 per kilowatt-hour saved on an Energy Savings Day?
BGE is offering this credit to encourage customers to use less electricity during summer peak hours when demand is especially high.
What can I do to reduce electricity if I'm not home from 2 pm – 6 pm on an
Energy Savings Day?
When will I receive BGE Smart Energy Rewards credits?
Your credit will appear as "Smart Energy Rewards" on your summer BGE bills (June-September), depending on when each Energy Savings Day occurs. If you are also a PeakRewards customer, your credit will appear as "Smart Energy Rewards/PeakRewards" on your summer BGE bills. You can also view the "Smart Energy Rewards" section in BGE's mobile app, located under the Usage tab, to find out how much your savings are before they appear on your bill.
How are the BGE Smart Energy Rewards credits funded?
BGE Smart Energy Rewards is an EmPOWER Maryland program. EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your energy bill. Click here to learn more about EmPOWER Maryland.
By implementing smart meters and related smart grid technology, including BGE Smart Energy Rewards, BGE is investing in the electric distribution system, which will benefit all customers. While BGE will seek to recover additional program costs through rate changes that customers will see on their bills, we believe that customers can expect their savings to be significantly greater than any potential costs.
Would I benefit from increasing my electric usage prior to the Energy Savings
No, you would not. If you increase your energy usage during the two-week period leading up to the Energy Savings Day, you may have a greater savings on the Energy Savings Day, but it will cost you more on your monthly bill if you used a greater amount of electricity leading up to the Energy Savings Day.
I took more energy-saving actions during this Energy Savings Day than the last
but my credits were lower. Why?
The credit a customer earns varies between each Energy Savings Day because it is not only dependent on the efforts a customer took to reduce their usage on that particular day, but it also factors in what your typical usage has been in the 14 days (excluding holidays, weekends and prior Energy Savings Days) leading up to the Energy Savings Day which can be impacted by factors such as weather and a change in usage.
I am already a very energy efficient customer. What can I do to reduce my usage
on Energy Savings Days to earn a credit?
For customers that are already very efficient energy users, the ability to lower their usage even further on Energy Savings Days may not be as easy. One potential way to save on Energy Savings Days would be to raise the temperature on your thermostat by 3-4° and use other ways to stay cool. BGE recommends setting your thermostat at 78ºF. Customers should exercise discretion and consider health impacts when reducing electricity usage. You can also delay the use of appliances and lighting until after 6 pm to reduce your usage. For additional savings tips, visit BGE.com/SmartEnergyRewardsTips.
How will I be notified of an Energy Savings Day?
BGE will notify customers via phone, email, text, or mobile app alert prior to the start of an Energy Savings Day based on their selected notification preferences. On rare occasions, when there is an immediate need to reduce demand, customers may receive notifications after the Energy Savings Day has begun. BGE may not be able to deliver all notification types (phone, email, text, and mobile app alert) due to the delivery time constraints. BGE recommends signing up for more than one notification type to stay in the know.
How do I change my notification preferences for Energy Savings Days?
Manage your phone, email or text message notification preferences 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.
Manage mobile alerts through BGE's mobile app. Once you're logged in, look for the My Alerts Preferences under the More tab.
Download the mobile app here:
Why does the event notification phone call show up on my caller ID as “unknown”
instead of BGE?
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.
What if storms are predicted for the area?
BGE does its best to call Energy Savings Days when the weather forecast shows clear skies. The weather is unpredictable and changes often during hot summer days. This often results in thunderstorms. BGE holds the right to call off an Energy Savings Day if thunderstorms are anticipated to negatively impact a large population of customers, given an Emergency Event has not been called. If this happens, BGE will communicate as best as possible through channels such as BGE.com.
If there is a PJM Emergency Event, BGE will not stop an Energy Savings Day, even if storms are predicted for all or part of the BGE service territory. BGE is required to comply with PJM Emergency Events by reducing grid strain.
What is the difference between PeakRewards and BGE Smart Energy Rewards?
All programs are designed to help ease the "peak" demand for electricity during the hot summer months (June – September).
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. Connected Rewards participants will receive their annual participation incentive in addition to any bill credits earned during Energy Savings Days.
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 turning off all unnecessary lights or using 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 or Connected Rewards annual participation incentive.
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 during Emergency Events also contributes to the overall energy savings that make up the BGE Smart Energy Rewards bill credit. However, Connected Rewards participants do receive the annual participation incentive in addition to the Smart Energy Rewards 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. You are not allowed to override your participation in PeakRewards or Connected Rewards during an Emergency Event or the transition out of an Emergency Event.
Can I override my participation in an Energy Savings Day if I’m a PeakRewards or Connected Rewards customer?
PeakRewards customers can override up to two Energy Savings Days per summer. However, if an Emergency Event is called, the override will be canceled and you will be cycled up to your chosen cycling participation level (50%, 75% or 100%) for the duration of the event. You are not allowed to override your participation during an Emergency Event or the transition out of an Emergency Event.
Connected Rewards; participants can opt out of events by adjusting the temperature on their thermostat. However, like PeakRewards participants, you are not allowed to override your participation during an Emergency Event or the transition out of an Emergency Event.
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?
I’m a PeakRewards customer 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 2 pm – 6 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.