BGE: No plans to trigger Peak Rewards Friday
Temperatures are expected to push into the upper 90s across Central Maryland on Friday. But despite the forecast, BGE says it has no plans to activate its Peak Rewards shutoffs.
Of course, the utility cautions that "unforeseen operating conditions" could change that. They had no plans to activate Peak Rewards last week until grid managers asked them to. So it's a good idea, if you're still participating, to make your own plans accordingly.
The forecast calls for a high of 98 at BWI-Marshall Airport, and 99 downtown. Heat Advisories have been issued for all of Central Maryland, and the Lower Shore, with highs potentially reaching the low 100s in some locations, and Heat Index values from 105 to 109 degrees. Two Marylanders died of heat-related causes during Heat Advisories last week.
BGE is urging customers to look for ways to conserve energy on Friday. Keep curtains closed, delay the use of heat-generating appliances until after 9 p.m. To which I would add, if you're vulnerable to the heat, find another, air-conditioned place to go if the utility announces Peak Rewards activation.
"We're extremely sensitive to the discomfort many of our Peak Rewards customers experienced during last Friday's system-wide emergency activation... particularly those who signed up for the highest cycling option and whose air conditioning was off for the duration of the event," said Jeannette Mills, chief BGE customer officer.
The utility is reviewing the program's performance last week, and expects to make any needed changes. Thousands of customers were without their AC for six to eight hours, and 2,500 subsequently quit the Peak Rewards program.
In other news related to the hot-weather forecast for Friday and Saturday, the Baltimore Health Department has already declared Code Red Heat Alerts for the city on both days, opening emergency cooling centers and sending workers out to check on vulnerable residents.
The Maryland State Highway Administration is advising motorists to prepare for the heat by making routine checks of their vehicles - hoses, belts, tires and fluid levels are good places to start. You don't want to be stranded out in the heat by a breakdown.
Park in shaded areas where possible. Remember to take your pets and children with you after you park your car. And bring plenty of water, just in case. And consider public transportation where you can.