PeakRewards: more things to consider

July 26, 2011|By Liz F. Kay

We've gotten tons of comments from readers about BGE's PeakRewards program after the utility activated an "emergency event" on Friday at the direction of the regional grid operator, triggering air conditioning cycling that left people without cooling for hours on the hottest day since 1936.

Check out Jay Hancock's column about PeakRewards, as well as his blog posts about PeakRewards.

Here are a couple of items that did not make it into my PeakRewards story today:

1. Paula Carmody of the Office of the People's Counsel advises that the program, which offers customers bill credits as an incentive for agreeing to cycling, might not be a good idea for households in which people are home during the day and could suffer ill effects from the heat.

I'd extend this to pets, as well: if your dog will suffer in temperatures, then perhaps cycling at 100 percent levels, when the AC could be cut off entirely for an extended stretch, is not a good idea.

2. Remember to check whether you're enrolled in PeakRewards, and if cycling has been activated, before you call your HVAC service professional. Hank Greenberg, the state director of AARP Maryland, talked to at least one senior who said he had already made an appointment for a $150 repair call before he learned by reading the news story online that the AC shut off was intentional.

If you're a PeakRewards customer, do you plan to continue to participate? Or are you going to downgrade your cycling level or quit entirely?

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