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After BG&E Turns On Power Saving Program, PSC Investigates

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Last week's extreme heat triggered the first "emergency event" in four years for BG&E's energy-saving program, dubbed "PeakRewards." The measure allows the utility to turn off participating customer's air conditioning units when the power demand is the highest. In exchange, participants save $50 to $100 per year.

Over the weekend, a six-hour power cycling event Friday reduced peak energy demand by more than 600 megawatts and helped avoid brownouts and rolling blackouts, according to utility officials.

Some participants complained they were without air conditioning for up to 10 hours that afternoon, however. Others complained home temperatures reached 90 degrees. The utility reports some participants may have had other problems with their system that kept their air conditioners off longer.

The Maryland Public Service Commission is looking into the program. A PSC spokeswoman says s far, the regulatory panel doesn't believe the utility did anything wrong.

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