Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

Mr. Wrong: I am Totally not Doing the BGE Smart Energy Rewards Thing

City Paper

Hey Baltimore, and Maryland, even, did you get that thing from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) about how now that you have your “Smart Meter” you are eligible to participate in “Energy Savings Days”? Fun!

Yeah man, they (BGE) are all about savings so hard, I mean, they used to be called “BG&E,” and I bet they got rid of the Ampersand in their abbreviation to save on Typography or something, right? Anyway, BGE, which is a Power Company, says We (the Consumer) have the Power! To save!

BGE Smart Energy Rewards® is a voluntary program that helps you earn credits on your summer electricity bills. All BGE customers with a smart meter are eligible to participate in the program. There’s no enrollment required and no obligation to participate. Simply reduce your electric use and save. The power to save is yours! Read Energy Savings Day tips.

So that’s OK, I mean, I didn’t have the Power to not get a “Smart Meter,” well, more accurately, I couldn’t afford the Power to not have a “Smart Meter,” because if I didn’t let the BGE install one, they woulda charged me $75 for not getting one, and then started charging me 11 bucks a month for the not-having, so I got the “Smart Meter,” which is not as fun-looking as the old meters, the ones that have that little spinning thing inside, to show you the electricity you are slurping off the Electricity Grid, which I only usually think about when I am watching an old Godzilla movie and Godzilla is walking through some of those power lines and all the people in the movie are screaming “AIEEEE!!! Not in the middle of the new ‘True Detective’ on the Home Box! No! No! Oh, the humanities, I’m totally gonna get Spoilered at work tomorrow, AUGHHH!!!”

So after my Smart Meter was in my house being all Smart and stuff, BGE told me all about “BGE Smart Energy Rewards®.”

The BGE Smart Energy Rewards program was designed to encourage customers to use less electricity when energy demand is high. Managing summer peak demand helps reduce the need for power generation plants, helps keep down the overall cost of electricity, and eases the burden on electricity systems.

You see where this is going, right? I mean, the idea here is to keep all of us from slurping too hard when everybody really wants to slurp the sweet, sweet Electric juice, the “peak demand,” which seems to typically happen between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on an “Energy Savings Day.”

BGE will notify you by phone, email or text, usually the day before an Energy Savings Day. An Energy Savings Day is typically a very hot summer day when energy demand is high.

BGE doesn’t wanna be threatening or make people panic, but if there’s too much peak in the peak demand—peak peak, if you will—what could happen is BGE might be like, “OK, right now errbody on the whole damn Grid is slurping too deep for their Air Conditioning! For their Refrigerators! For the pumps in their swimming pools! It’s too beaucoup! In order to keep this whole grid from going “Blackout,”  we gotta do something!” That’s called “Rolling Blackouts” when they just shut your stuff down for an hour or two, or “Brownouts” where things get weird because there is less juice coming out of the plugs. So this way BGE gets some people to be Proactive, ease up on the Grid a li’l bit, then maybe there won’t be any people sitting in their house with their Iron Lung machine or some sorta machine that keeps them in the Game of Life or something, going “hey, what just happened?”

Between 1 p.m.-7 p.m. on an Energy Savings Day, simply use less electricity by reducing air conditioning use, delaying the use of large appliances or turning off lights. The power to save energy and money is yours.

I work at home, so this whole Initiative is going right at me, in terms of my comfort during my Workday, you know? I’m supposed sit here at my computer sweating onto my keyboard while I’m pooping out my column? No way! I need to have a cool brain to compose this stuff! Plus, if I decide it’s time for a midday nap, who wants to sweat while they do that? Not me! Plus, exactly how much are we saving here, protecting the Grid?

You can earn a bill credit of $1.25 for every kilowatt-hour saved compared to your typical usage. To learn what your typical electricity usage is, log into your online account and click “My Energy Use”. Your credit will appear as “Smart Energy Rewards” on your summer BGE bills. Based on results from summer 2014, participating customers saved, on average, $5-$8* per Energy Savings Day.
* Your actual savings will vary.

“$5-$8”?!? Are you kidding me? That’s not even enough for me to shut down my house and go catch a matinee at the movies in order to enjoy the Air Conditioning there! Hey BGE, howabout gimme some movie passes and a coupon for a soda pop and some popcorn and maybe then I’ll get with the Program? Meanwhile, if you work in an office, your house is probably empty during the day, you’re already saving energy, because you are slurping The Man’s juice to run the lights and, I hope, to have enough Air Conditioning to keep you from sweating on your work, which to me, is of vital importance if you are making pizzas or sandwiches, you know? I hope for all our sakes the BGE “Smart Energy Rewards” does not extend to businesses. “Hey, this pizza is really salty!” AIEEEE!!! 

Sweaty Twitter: @MRWRONGCOLUMN

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