Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

BGE official: PeakRewards did its job

Last Friday was the first time in four years that we have had an emergency activation of BGE's PeakRewards program. We have had some non-emergency events with lower impact. The emergency electric load reduction, which was repeated across the region by other utilities to varying degrees, was taken at the direction of the PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission operator (power grid) serving Maryland and several other states. Emergency activations of the program have been infrequent in the past and are expected to remain infrequent in the future.

BGE recognizes the frustration experienced by some of our PeakRewards customers as a result of the emergency activation of the program on July 22. We appreciate the challenges faced by some customers who didn't have central air conditioning for an extended period of time on a very hot day. We also understand the frustration expressed by some who needed a better understanding of the program or had difficulty contacting us during this event. We are working to identify potential areas of improvement to ensure the program continues to successfully reduce peak electric demand and meet our customers' expectations.

It is important to remember that the PeakRewards program did its job. The program is designed, in part, to lower demand for electricity when we need it most. On July 22, when demand was extremely high and conditions on the electric system were challenging, the emergency activation of the program resulted in the reduction of peak energy demand of more than 600 megawatts, equivalent to a medium-sized power plant. Reducing demand improved system reliability and helped avoid potential brownouts and rolling blackouts — similar to what happened in other states — that could have interrupted electric service to all of BGE's 1.2 million electric customers throughout Central Maryland. The successful peak demand reduction was only possible because of the 450,000 BGE customers who participate in this voluntary program.

In addition to reducing demand, the PeakRewards program helps to defer the need for new and expensive power plants, which benefits the environment and helps lower the cost of electricity. Customers participating in the voluntary program also receive annual bill credits of up to $200 in the first year and up to $100 every year thereafter. Bill credits to participating BGE customers will exceed $20 million this year alone. These credits are paid to customers whether or not BGE ever needs to call on the customers to reduce usage.

We believe our PeakRewards program has tremendous value. We know some PeakRewards customers are frustrated with the program right now, and we appreciate the feedback we have received. We know we must do a better job communicating and working with customers before, during and after PeakRewards events occur. We are reviewing our processes and evaluating potential improvements. We look forward to our customers' continued support and participation in this important program.

Jeannette M. Mills, Baltimore

The writer is senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • BGE customer woes demonstrate need for new approach to energy

    The Sun reported much public outrage following a massive power supply catastrophe last week in which Baltimore Gas & Electric cut the air conditioning of 350,000 martyrs in the company's conservation program ("BGE to review PeakRewards program," July 25). These customers roasted in their homes...

  • Baltimore needs BRT

    Baltimore needs BRT

    Recently, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford announced that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) should be considered as an alternative instead of the now-shelved Red Line light rail system ("Who knew Hogan, Rutherford were such transit geeks," July 15). Why? Costs. Light rail is extremely expensive — to the tune of...

  • Iran deal — war now or war later

    Iran deal — war now or war later

    In its recent editorial, The Sun adopts President Barack Obama's primary argument in favor of the Iran deal — that the only choice is the deal or war ("A 'good enough' agreement," July 24). No one wants war. But the choice here is not war or no war. It is war now or war later.

  • The evil of Iran

    The evil of Iran

    We sat 5,000-plus strong in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the District of Columbia for three intense days of Christians United For Israel (CUFI) 10th summit on July 12-14. We came from all across the nation (including 95 members from other countries and 500 college students). We...

  • Orioles: No gnomes, please

    Orioles: No gnomes, please

    In light of the Orioles recent near-death spiral, many fans have pinned the blame on the Buck Showalter Garden Gnome giveaway ("Buck Showalter garden gnome briefly causes long lines at Camden Yards," June 28). True, their record since the promotion has been dismal and Buck Showalter was warned...

  • Baltimore remains a fiber desert

    Baltimore remains a fiber desert

    Like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Smarter Baltimore draft report, the commentary, "Broadband for Baltimore" (July 27), has solid recommendations for building high speed Internet in Baltimore. But like that report, it ignores the principal reason that Baltimore City doesn't have broadband. Verizon's...

  • Trump is the anti-politician

    Trump is the anti-politician

    Why are the press and both political parties so upset that Donald Trump is running for president ("The Trump lesson that Bush and Clinton should heed," July 27)? Could it be that he does not need someone else's money so the Democratic National Committee, GOP, George Soros or big business can't...

  • Gun laws aren't enforced

    Gun laws aren't enforced

    The people screaming for more gun control and more gun laws and all the other useless ideas should be finding out why the laws now in place are not being enforced. The last maniac to shoot up a theater should have never been able to purchase a gun but evidently some judge did not do her job ("Gunman...

Comments
Loading
79°