1. If I need to have maintenance/repair work done, or need to replace my unit, do I need to contact BGE?
  2. When can I expect to see credits appear on my BGE bill?
  3. Are all systems compatible with the PeakRewards program?
  4. Can I have multiple devices (e.g. thermostats and/or switches)?
  5. Does BGE use professionally trained installation experts?
  6. What happens if I experience problems with my system after the installation of a device?
  7. How does the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program decrease my electric bill?
  8. How can I change my cycling level?
  9. I just moved into a house that has a PeakRewards thermostat/switch/device previously installed. What is PeakRewards, and what is this device?
  10. I changed my BGE account to a new name although I did not actually move to a new location. Will this affect my PeakRewards credits or bonus?
  11. How can I be removed from the program?
  12. What is peak electric demand?
  13. Who is paying for this program?
  14. How much is the surcharge?
  15. How will the program benefit BGE customers who are paying the surcharge but do not participate in PeakRewards program?
  16. If I no longer want to be part of the PeakRewards program, what do I do?
  17. More Questions?
1. If I need to have maintenance/repair work done, or need to replace my unit, do I need to contact BGE?

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.

Please note, if you notice a slight rise in the indoor temperature during the cooling season, you should check the thermostat for the word “SAVINGS,” at the top 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; first check your electric water heater switch for a red light to see if your unit is being cycled.

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2. When can I expect to see credits appear on my BGE bill?

As a new PeakRewards A/C customer, you can expect to see your bill credits applied once the installation is complete. Once it is complete, you will receive bill credits spread equally over the four-month period of June through September, each year as follows:

  • 50% cycling: $12.50/month for a total of $50
  • 75% cycling: $18.75/month for a total of $75
  • 100% cycling: $25/month for a total of $100

*Four months of matching bonus credits will be issued on the same schedule as detailed above for the first year of participation. If the PeakRewards programmable thermostat or outdoor switch is installed during the summer months (June through September), the credit will be applied toward all subsequent summer months. For example, if installed in July, before the meter reading, you will receive three months of credits for July, August and September, and will continue each June through September thereafter.

If the PeakRewards programmable thermostat or outdoor switch is installed after your meter reading, you will receive credits starting the following month. Credits will not be prorated based upon the timing of the enrollment and installation.

A/C Overview Chart

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

If you are a property owner or manager, click here for more information.

PeakRewards Electric Water Heater participants will receive bill credits of $6.25 November through February.

Electric Water Heater Program Cycling Overview

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

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3. Are all systems compatible with the PeakRewards program?

Most central air conditioning and electric heat pump units work with PeakRewards programmable thermostat technology. However, some systems are not currently compatible with PeakRewards thermostats and, on occasion, older or poorly maintained systems may not be compatible as well. In most cases where a PeakRewards thermostat cannot be installed, a PeakRewards outdoor switch can be installed so that you may participate in the program.

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.

A PeakRewards technician can evaluate your system to determine compatibility. If you have additional questions about system compatibility or would like to schedule an appointment, please call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday.

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4. Can I have multiple devices (e.g. thermostats and/or switches)?

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. When there is an installation of two or more A/C devices at an installation appointment, all devices must be set at the same cycling level (50%, 75%, and 100%) at the time of installation. Once the device is installed, you can immediately call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to request different cycling levels for each A/C device. Your bill credit and matching bonus will be multiplied by the number of devices installed and cycling option selected. Note: Water heater switches are always cycled at the 100% level, regardless of event type (emergency or non-emergency).

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5. Does BGE use professionally trained installation experts?

PeakRewards installers are professionally trained to perform quality installations. While you should not experience any problems, if you do, you can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance. 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.

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6. What happens if I experience problems with my system after the installation of a device?

PeakRewards installers are professionally trained to perform quality installations. While you should not experience any problems, if you do, you can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance. 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.

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7. How does the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program decrease my electric bill?

When you participate in this program, you will begin receiving money—saving bill credits in the first summer billing cycle (June through September) following the installation of your PeakRewards programmable thermostat or outdoor switch. *During the first year of participation, these credits will be doubled on your energy bills for June through September, as an enrollment bonus for customers for whom the thermostat or switch is installed.

In addition to bill credits, the program will help reduce overall demand for electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region, which will result in electricity prices that are lower than they otherwise would have been. If you choose the programmable thermostat, you can save up to $890 over the next five years.

* A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will be defaulted to a 50% cycling level. A new move-in customer will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

PeakRewards Thermostat 5 Year Savings

Summer Savings Img

For tips on how to decrease summer air conditioning costs and increase comfort, click here.

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8. How can I change my cycling level?

You can call PeakRewards customer hotline 1.888.309.7325 to have your cycling level changed. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday. It can take from 48 hours up to one week in certain circumstances for your cycling level change to be effective. 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.

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9. I just moved into a house that has a PeakRewards thermostat/switch/device previously installed. What is PeakRewards, and what is this device?

A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move in” customer, you are enrolled in the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling (for more information on cycling, click here). However, “move in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home.

PeakRewards program benefits include ongoing bill credits, choice of cycling level, online access to your device, and the opportunity to choose between an outdoor switch and a programmable thermostat. If you would like to upgrade a switch to the PeakRewards programmable thermostat, confirm your cycling level or choose a higher cycling level, please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday.

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10. I changed my BGE account to a new name although I did not actually move to a new location. Will this affect my PeakRewards credits or bonus?

Yes. When you change your BGE account to a new name, our system views the account as a –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) to inform them of the account change. BGE will restore your bonuses, if applicable, and cycling preferences as soon as possible. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday.

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11. How can I be removed from the program?

A customer can call PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to be removed from the program. However, credits will no longer be applied to your BGE bill. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday

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12. What is peak electric demand?

Electricity usage 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. “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 its PeakRewards program.

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13. Who is paying for this program?
The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program® 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.

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14. How much is the surcharge?
The “EmPOWER Md. Chg.”, which includes the combined electric Energy Efficiency, PeakRewards and the bill credits for Energy Savings Days, is 0.71 cents per kWh or about $6.56 for an average residential home that uses 925 kWh per month.

The average residential gas customer who consumes 57 therms per month will see a monthly gas surcharge (as of January 1, 2018) of $2.67 which reflects an EmPOWER Md surcharge rate of 4.69 cents per therm.

The benefits and costs of the programs change over time; the charge may be updated annually (or more often) to reflect these changes. The benefits of the program far outweigh the costs, ultimately helping to reduce customers’ bills from where they otherwise would be, improve service reliability and protect the environment for years to come.

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15. How will the program benefit BGE customers who are paying the surcharge but do not participate in PeakRewards program?
As PeakRewards reduces demand for electricity, all customers, including those not participating in the program, benefit from electricity price reductions, from where they otherwise would be, in the wholesale markets. The program improves electricity service reliability and everyone reaps the environmental benefits of reducing emissions from electricity generation plants and the reduced amount of electricity that generation plants need to provide.

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16. If I no longer want to be part of the PeakRewards program, what do I do?

While most customers choose to stay in the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program and enjoy its many benefits, you can opt-out of the program without any penalties. Some customers who selected higher cycling levels opt to reduce their cycling level rather than leave the program. Should you decide to discontinue your participation, you may keep the programmable thermostat or switch; however, the summer bill credits will no longer be applied to your BGE bill. If you wish to opt-out of the program, simply call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday.

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17. More Questions?

If you have any other questions about PeakRewards, visit BGESmartEnergy.com/PeakRewards or call 1.888.309.PEAK (7325).

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