General Program Questions
If you are a PeakRewards Air Conditioning program participant, you are guaranteed to receive your monthly PeakRewards credit (June – September). If you choose to participate on an Energy Savings
Day and reduce your electricity usage, you can earn a bill credit of $1.25 for every kilowatt-hour
saved compared to your typical usage. If you participate in both, you will receive whichever credit is
higher each month.
Additionally, your PeakRewards device will be cycled up to 50% on Energy Savings Days —
regardless of your chosen cycling level. You are allowed two overrides on Energy Savings Days. However, during emergency cycling events, you will be cycled up to your chosen level (50%, 75% or
100%) and overrides will not be permitted.
General maintenance should not require a call to BGE. However, you should inform the contractor that a BGE thermostat, outdoor switch or electric water heater switch is installed. If a contractor needs to disconnect the thermostat or switch for any maintenance or system replacement work, you should call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for immediate assistance. Tampering with or removal of the PeakRewards device could jeopardize bill credits.
Most central air conditioning and electric heat pump units work with PeakRewards programmable thermostat technology. However, some older or poorly maintained systems may not be compatible.
Most electric water heaters, with a capacity of 30 gallons or more, are compatible with PeakRewards technology. Gas, tankless and some solar hot water heater systems are not compatible with the electric water heater switch.
If you have more than one central air conditioner, electric water heater or electric heat pump unit, you can have multiple devices (thermostat and/or switches) installed. Your bill credit and matching bonus will be multiplied by the number of devices installed and cycling option selected.
PeakRewards installers are professionally-trained to perform quality installations. While you should not experience any problems, you can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance if a problem arises. A PeakRewards technician will inspect the installation of the PeakRewards device but will not perform any other diagnostics or repairs on your unit. For issues not related to the PeakRewards device, please contact your local contractor.
NOTE: If you notice a slight rise in the indoor temperature during the cooling season, check your thermostat for the word “SAVINGS” or check the switch to see if the red light is on before calling a contractor to avoid an unnecessary service call. This will advise them that BGE is temporarily cycling your air conditioner. After the cycling event is over, your air conditioner should return to normal operation. Likewise, if you notice that your supply of hot water has been reduced, check your electric water heater switch for a red light to see if your unit is being cycled.
As of April 1, 2020, PeakRewards participants can only request a decrease in their cycling level. To have your cycling level changed, call the PeakRewards customer hotline 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm (EST). It may take anywhere from 48 hours to one week for your cycling level change to go into effect. Once your cycling level is in effect, your bill credits will be adjusted accordingly for the next bill cycle. Keep in mind, you cannot change your cycling level during an emergency event or the transition out of an emergency event.
NOTE: Water heater switches are always cycled at the 100% level, regardless of event type (emergency or non-emergency).
As a “move in” customer, you are automatically enrolled in the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program at the 50% cycling level. This means that the existing PeakRewards device (an outdoor switch or programmable thermostat) in your new home will allow you to receive ongoing bill credits for participation in the program.
To confirm your cycling level or decrease your cycling level, please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm (EST).
Yes. When you change your BGE account to a new name, our system views the account as a new “move in” customer. Therefore, the new account is not eligible to receive the first-year matching bonus credits and the cycling level will automatically be set to 50%. Please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm (EST) to inform them of the account change. BGE will restore your bonuses (if applicable) and cycling preferences as soon as possible.
Electricity demand fluctuates constantly due to weather conditions, commercial and industrial business hours and residential electricity usage. During the summer months, demand is usually greater as electricity is used to cool homes and businesses — especially during weekday afternoons when it’s hottest outside. “Peak electric demand” refers to the point of highest electricity use over a certain period of time. Throughout the day, BGE continually monitors electricity demand to ensure reliable delivery and minimize costs. When demand is high, BGE will activate the PeakRewards program.
PeakRewards and Energy Savings Day bill credits are paid for by all BGE residential customers through the EmPOWER Maryland surcharge that appears on their monthly BGE bill.
All customers benefit from these programs whether they participate or not. These programs help keep down overall energy costs, improve electric service reliability, eliminate the need to build additional power plants and reduce power plant emissions. Through BGE’s PeakRewards and Energy Savings Days, BGE is also better able to avoid potential brownouts and blackouts during periods of peak demand.
The “EmPOWER Md. Chg.” is 0.825 cents per kWh or about $7.13 per month for an average residential home that uses 864 kWh per month. This charge accounts for electric energy efficiency, PeakRewards and the bill credits for Energy Savings Days.
The average residential gas customer who consumes 56 therms per month will see a monthly gas surcharge (as of January 1, 2020) of $2.53 per month, which reflects an EmPOWER MD surcharge rate of 4.52 cents per therm.
The gas/electric surcharge for a combined customer has increased by a combined $1.08 per month from 2019 (for an average home that used 864 kWh per month and 56 therms of gas). The average total surcharge amount for a combined customer is about $115.92 per year.
The benefits and costs of the programs change over time and the charge may be updated annually to reflect these changes.
Overall, the savings from PeakRewards far outweighs the cost of the program. Capacity and energy revenue earned by the program in the wholesale market are applied to offset the costs of PeakRewards. Customers see savings resulting from wholesale capacity and energy prices that are lower than they otherwise would have been. Also, BGE has the potential to spend less on transmission and distribution infrastructure because the program helps to relieve the peak load that this infrastructure has to carry.
As PeakRewards reduces demand for electricity, all customers — including those not participating in the program — benefit from electricity price reductions in the wholesale markets. The program also helps improve electricity service reliability to all customers, reduce power plant emissions and decrease the amount of electricity that generation plants need to provide.
If you wish to opt-out of the program, simply call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm (EST). Keep in mind, once you are removed from the program, credits will no longer be applied to your BGE bill and, as of April 1, 2020, you cannot rejoin the program.