Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Urges Customers to Take Steps to Manage Energy Usage During Cold Weather
Customers can expect seasonal increase in bills associated with increased usage
BALTIMORE, Jan. - Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG), today announced actions that customers can take to reduce natural gas and electricity usage brought on by colder temperatures, which will help reduce the impact of extreme winter weather on heating bills.
“It is not uncommon for customers to experience an increase in energy usage and bill amounts during this time of year, when temperatures are typically at their coldest,” said Jeannette M. Mills, senior vice president of customer relations and account services for BGE. “The increase in usage has a direct impact on customer bills and applies to customers who heat their homes with natural gas as well as customers who have electric heat.”
Customers should remember that even if the thermostat is set at a fixed temperature and never changed, usage will increase just to maintain the set temperature, if the weather gets colder. The colder it is outside, the harder and longer the heating system has to work to maintain the temperature setting.
Additionally, all homes are different, even those that look the same or similar. Factors affecting usage include but are not limited to insulation; location; sun exposure and shading; efficiency of appliances, windows and doors; window treatments as well as how electricity and natural gas are used by the occupants and the number of occupants in the home.
BGE recommends customers consider taking the following action to reduce usage and better manage their energy bill:
* Lower the thermostat. For every degree the thermostat is lowered below 73° customers can save two to four percent in heating costs.
* Decrease hot water usage. Heating water is the second biggest energy user in the home.
Long showers can use 20 gallons or more of hot water.
Consider washing clothes in cold water.
* Use foil tape to close loose seals and gaps in heating system duct work to prevent heat from escaping.
* Keep blinds and curtains open during the day to let the sun’s warmth in.
* Close blinds and curtains at night to keep the cold air out.
* Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) which last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
* Enroll in BGE’s Budget Billing program. It’s free and spreads the annual bill into 12 even monthly payments subject to periodic adjustments for actual usage. Budget Billing customers are not as affected by seasonal changes in usage.
* Apply for energy assistance if you qualify. For more information call 800-352-1446. In Baltimore City, call 410-396-5555.
* Go to www.bge.com for more energy saving tips.
BGE is also doing its part to help customers manage energy costs. BGE recently unveiled PeakRewards(SM) and is also offering price mark downs on CFLs and rebates on certain ENERGY STAR® appliances. These and other conservation and energy efficiency programs under development are part of BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program(SM). For more information, go to www.bgesmartenergy.com.
For customers who enroll in Budget Billing, BGE pays six percent simple interest if usage is lower than what is billed over the course of a 12 month period. BGE also staggers its purchases of natural gas and electricity supply to lessen the impact of marketplace fluctuations and help stabilize prices. Additionally, BGE works to ensure the accuracy and integrity of its meters by following PSC requirements which include annual inspections of random samples of meters.
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