BGE should encourage off-peak power use

The Baltimore Sun

Maryland won't really start to address its looming electricity shortage until households get better incentives to use electricity during off-peak hours. BGE's "time of use" plans used to give huge discounts for running dryers and dishwashers at night or on weekends instead of at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday in July. Now the savings for the one in a dozen households using the plan are much less. The June-through-September differential between peak and offpeak prices will be a little less than last summer's.

If you're on the plan, electricity burned from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on summer weekdays will cost the most - 15.298 cents per kilowatt hour. That's a little less than last year's peak price.

But the offpeak price has risen. Electricity used on weekends and from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays will be 8.917 cents per kilowatt hour, up from last year's 8.025 cents. With the offpeak price only a fifth less than the round-the-clock fixed price most BGE households pay, it may not be worth the trouble.

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