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BGE announces Energy Savings Day for July 21

BGE has scheduled an Energy Savings Day for its smart meter customers from 1 to 7 p.m. today.

"July 21 has the right combination of heat and electricity demand. It will be hot enough that will customers will have an opportunity to save over previous days," said BGE spokesperson Aaron Koos.

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Koos said BGE customers with installed smart meters can earn bill credits of $1.25 for every kilowatt-hour saved by voluntarily reducing their electricity usage from 1 to 7 p.m. Koos said more than 1 million customers are eligible to participate this year. He said last year about 69 percent did something to reduce usage.

"Last year the average customer bill credit was $5.92," Koos said.

According to a BGE press release, customers who participate in both BGE Smart Energy Rewards and the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program will have their central air conditioner automatically cycled up to the 50 percent level, which means their A/C compressors will be off for half of the time they would normally run. The energy saved from automatically cycling PeakRewards participants' air conditioning on Energy Savings Days contributes to the overall energy savings that make up the BGE Smart Energy Rewards bill credit.

BGE recommends customers consider the following tips to help save energy and stay comfortable during the Energy Savings Day:

Raise the thermostat 3 or 4 degrees above the normal setting between 1 and 7 p.m. If you don't plan to be home before 7 p.m., raise your air conditioner temperature even higher for added savings.

Consider turning some window units off during the Energy Savings Day, if you have them.

Use an outdoor grill or microwave instead of the stove or oven.

Avoid using other heat-producing appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers.

Draw blinds and curtains in rooms that receive a lot of sunlight.

Turn on ceiling fans with blades rotating counter-clockwise.

Stay hydrated; drink plenty of water.

Consider going to a cool place such as a movie theater, mall or pool.

Relax in the basement where the temperature is typically several degrees cooler than the rest of the house.

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