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Heat Helps Trigger BGE Energy-Saving Program

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BALTIMORE (AP) — This week’s extreme heat and a transformer problem triggered the first “emergency event” in four years for Baltimore Gas and Electric’s energy-saving program that allows the utility to turn off participants’ heating and air conditioning units when demand is the highest. In exchange, participants save $50 to $100 per year.

BGE announced Sunday that the six-hour event Friday reduced peak energy demand by more than 600 megawatts and helped avoid brownouts and rolling blackouts.

Some participants complained that they were without air conditioning for up to 10 hours on Friday as their homes reached 90 degrees. The utility says some participants may have had other problems that kept their air conditioners off longer.

A Maryland Public Service Commission spokeswoman says the regulatory panel doesn’t believe the utility did anything wrong.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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