1. If I need to have maintenance/repair work done, or need to replace my unit, do I need to contact BGE?
  2. What is BGE's PeakRewards Air Conditioning (A/C) program?
  3. Who qualifies for the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program?
  4. What is the difference between an "emergency" and "non-emergency" event?
  5. I’m enrolled in Budget Billing; can I participate in the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program?
  6. When can I expect to see credits appear on my BGE bill?
  7. Can I override cycling events?
  8. Are all systems compatible with the PeakRewards program?
  9. Can I have multiple devices (e.g. thermostats and/or switches)?
  10. Does BGE use professionally trained installation experts?
  11. What happens if I experience problems with my system after the installation of a device?
  12. How does the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program decrease my electric bill?
  13. Should I choose the programmable thermostat or the A/C switch?
  14. My air conditioner or electric heat pump was cycled and now, that the event is over, it’s taking a while for my home to cool down again. Is this normal?
  15. How will the program benefit BGE customers who are paying for the program but not participating in PeakRewards?
  16. How can I change my cycling level?
  17. I just moved into a house that had a PeakRewards thermostat previously installed. What is the device for, and what is PeakRewards?
  18. I just moved into a house that has a PeakRewards outdoor switch installed. What is the device for, and what is PeakRewards?
  19. I just moved into a house that has a PeakRewards thermostat/switch/device previously installed. What is PeakRewards, and what is this device?
  20. The house I just moved into has a switch attached to the air conditioning unit. How do I get the thermostat installed instead?
  21. As a new “move in” customer, what are the levels of PeakRewards bill credits and when will they be applied to my BGE bill?
  22. How can I change my cycling level?
  23. How do I change my thermostat temperature through Online Access?
  24. After I request a cycling change, how long does it take to go into effect?
  25. I signed up to receive notifications, why does it take so long to receive them?
  26. I signed up to receive notifications, why does it take so long to receive them?
  27. What is "peak electric demand?"
  28. What is cycling?
  29. What does "cycling level" mean?
  30. How can I tell if a cycling event is taking place?
  31. How can I tell if I’m cycling?
  32. What can I do if I get uncomfortable during an event?
  33. I am an A/C program participant. How long will it take for me to see my requested cycling level change online?
  34. Why am I not able to use my override during an emergency event?
  35. If I schedule an override in advance and a non-emergency event does not occur, will I be able to use that override in the future?
  36. How soon will my unit resume normal operation if I override a non-emergency cycling event?
  37. How will cycling affect the temperature in my home?
  38. Is there a limit to the number of hours I can be cycled?
  39. Will my BGE bill be higher because my A/C or electric hot water heater had to work hard after a PeakRewards cycling event?
  40. How soon will my unit return to normal operation after an override or cycling event ends?
  41. I am an A/C program participant. I believe I was supposed to be cycled at 50% but my unit did not appear to turn on during the event. Why was I cycled at a different level?
  42. Is there a limit to the number of hours I can be cycled?
  43. Who should I call if my unit is still cycling after an event has ended?
  44. If I have an electric heat pump, how can I avoid unnecessary use of costly auxiliary/emergency heat?
  45. What is an outdoor switch and how does it work?
  46. I changed my BGE account to a new name although I did not actually move to a new location. Will this affect my PeakRewards credits or bonus?
  47. How will I know when BGE is cycling the outdoor air conditioner switch?
  48. Where will the outdoor switch be installed?
  49. Do I need to be home for an outdoor switch installation?
  50. What is a programmable thermostat and how does it work?
  51. Can I get the PeakRewards programmable thermostat instead of the outdoor air conditioner switch?
  52. How do I get the PeakRewards programmable thermostat installed?
  53. How will I know when BGE is cycling the PeakRewards thermostat?
  54. What is the difference between the PeakRewards programmable thermostat and other programmable thermostats? Why would I need a new thermostat when I already have a programmable thermostat?
  55. Will BGE change settings on the thermostat without my consent?
  56. Is the PeakRewards programmable thermostat capable of tracking energy usage in my home?
  57. Can I schedule a temporary thermostat setting while I’m on vacation?
  58. Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of related to the PeakRewards thermostat?
  59. What are the menu options shown within PeakRewards Online Access for my thermostat?
  60. Why do I see multiple thermostat menu selections within PeakRewards Online Access?
  61. This is the first time that I’m in PeakRewards Online Access to set my thermostat— what do temperature values represent when I get to this page?
  62. I’ve just sent a thermostat schedule from within PeakRewards Online Access; however, I don’t see the changes reflected on my thermostat.
  63. The name of the thermostat label is confusing — can I change it?
  64. How do I make a temporary change to my thermostat setting?
  65. Does PeakRewards Online Access keep a record of all cycling events?
  66. I have adjusted the thermostat settings on the thermostat directly; however, when I log into PeakRewards Online Access, I do not see my thermostat changes online. What happened?
  67. What if I only want my thermostat to change temperature twice a day?
  68. How do I set a schedule through PeakRewards Online Access?
  69. Can I send my thermostat schedule when BGE is cycling my air conditioner?
  70. What’s the difference between a Temporary and Permanent Hold?
  71. Is there a smart phone app available to access my PeakRewards thermostat remotely?
  72. I’ve just submitted a thermostat hold from the PeakRewards Online Access page; however, I don’t see the changes reflected on my thermostat.
  73. Will BGE change settings on the thermostat without my consent?
  74. How will I know when BGE is cycling the thermostat?
  75. I am a Maryland-licensed HVAC contractor. How can I participate in the PeakRewards Trade Ally program?
  76. Can a Trade Ally receive credit for commercial referrals?
  77. What do I do if I encounter a Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat during a new HVAC system installation?
  78. The customer has asked that I disconnect the LCR 4700 outdoor air conditioner switch, what should I do to inform BGE of the disconnect? What should I do with the switch?
  79. The customer has asked that I disconnect the Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat. What should I do to inform BGE of the removal? What should I do with the thermostat?
  80. I found a disconnected PeakRewards outdoor air conditioner switch during a recent service call. What should I do?
  81. I have found a removed Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat during a recent service call. What should I do?
  82. I have received several calls during a hot summer day that appear to be related to BGE cycling. What should I have my dispatcher and service representatives do to minimize the impact to our technicians?
  83. How can I change the backlight or other “operational” settings within the Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat?
  84. I’ve encountered PeakRewards thermostats showing blank screens. What problem does the blank screen usually indicate?
  85. I am a renter and I am interested in signing up for the PeakRewards program. Am I able to do so if my community is not currently participating?
  86. I am a Property Owner, what are the benefits of PeakRewards and how do I enroll my property?
  87. I am a Property Owner with ACN (Automatic Name Change) accounts set up for my units; can I participate in the PeakRewards program?
  88. What choices does the PeakRewards Multifamily program offer me?
  89. Why are the Energy Saver Switch bill credits reduced and being eliminated?
  90. Do I have to contact BGE to upgrade to PeakRewards if I am a participant in the BGE Energy Savers Switch Program (Rider 5)?
  91. Will I receive my bill credits this summer if I upgrade to PeakRewards?
  92. What does the new program offer?
  93. How does cycling work?
  94. What does “cycling participation level” mean?
  95. What is “peak electric demand”?
  96. What is the difference between this thermostat and other programmable thermostats?
  97. Will I continue to receive bill credits for the Energy Saver Water Heater Switch program in which I have been participating for years?
  98. What is the difference between the Energy Saver Water Heater Switch and the PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program?
  99. When can I get a new water heater switch installed for the PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program?
  100. If I need to have maintenance, repair work done or need to replace my unit, do I need to contact BGE?
1. If I need to have maintenance/repair work done, or need to replace my unit, do I need to contact BGE?

General maintenance should not require a call to BGE. However, you should inform the contractor that a BGE thermostat, outdoor switch or electric water heater switch is installed. If a contractor needs to disconnect the thermostat or switch for any maintenance or system replacement work, you should call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for immediate assistance. Tampering with or removal of the PeakRewards device could jeopardize bill credits.

Please note, if you notice a slight rise in the indoor temperature during the cooling season, you should check the thermostat for the word “SAVINGS,” at the top or check the switch to see if the red light is on before calling a contractor to avoid an unnecessary service call. This will advise them that BGE is temporarily cycling your air conditioner. After the cycling event is over, your air conditioner should return to normal operation. Likewise, if you notice that your supply of hot water has been reduced; first check your electric water heater switch for a red light to see if your unit is being cycled.

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2. What is BGE's PeakRewards Air Conditioning (A/C) program?

The PeakRewardsSM A/C program is designed by BGE to help ease the "peak" demand for electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is part of the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program®, which helps you conserve energy, save money and protect the environment. During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, typically during the summer months, a radio signal may be sent to the programmable thermostat or outdoor switch to interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or electric heat pump for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling.  Cycling reduces the peak demand for electricity, helping to maintain reliable service and keep down the cost of electricity. By enrolling in this program, you are helping to reduce energy demand in your local community and the Mid-Atlantic region. Your participation in this program will also help reduce the need for future power generation plants.

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3. Who qualifies for the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program?

BGE residential customers with central air conditioning or an electric heat pump in good working order can qualify for the A/C program. The program is available to all BGE electric customers regardless of their electricity supplier. For more information on electric choice, click here.

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4. What is the difference between an "emergency" and "non-emergency" event?

Emergency Events
During an emergency event, regional demand for electricity is close to surpassing regional supply, and BGE is required by the regional grid manager, PJM, to activate its’ PeakRewards program. This type of event is usually called to avoid potential brownouts and rolling blackouts area-wide. A/C program participants will be cycled up to their chosen cycling level – 50%, 75% or 100%, and Electric Water Heater program participants will be cycled at 100%.

Non-Emergency Events
On occasion, BGE may activate its PeakRewards program when regional demand is not very close to surpassing regional supply, but the wholesale price of electricity is very high. These events may occur on a localized level restricted to certain areas within the BGE territory or they may occur across the entire BGE territory. Activating the PeakRewards program during these non-emergency events puts downward pressure on energy prices and increases the reliability of the distribution system. For non-emergency events, A/C program participants will be cycled up to 50% and Electric Water Heater program participants will be cycled at 100%.

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5. I’m enrolled in Budget Billing; can I participate in the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program?

Yes. PeakRewards and Budget Billing are separate programs and BGE customers may participate in both. Budget Billing spreads your annual BGE bills evenly throughout the year. PeakRewards gives you bill credits on your summer BGE bills, after the budget billing amount is applied. For more information about Budget Billing, click here.

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6. When can I expect to see credits appear on my BGE bill?

As a new PeakRewards A/C customer, you can expect to see your bill credits applied once the installation is complete. Once it is complete, you will receive bill credits spread equally over the four-month period of June through September, each year as follows:

  • 50% cycling: $12.50/month for a total of $50
  • 75% cycling: $18.75/month for a total of $75
  • 100% cycling: $25/month for a total of $100

*Four months of matching bonus credits will be issued on the same schedule as detailed above for the first year of participation. If the PeakRewards programmable thermostat or outdoor switch is installed during the summer months (June through September), the credit will be applied toward all subsequent summer months.  For example, if installed in July, before the meter reading, you will receive three months of credits for July, August and September, and will continue each June through September thereafter.

If the PeakRewards programmable thermostat or outdoor switch is installed after your meter reading, you will receive credits starting the following month. Credits will not be prorated based upon the timing of the enrollment and installation.

A/C Overview Chart

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

If you are a property owner or manager, click here for more information.

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7. Can I override cycling events?

A/C participants may override cycling events from June through September and Electric Water Heater participants may override two events from October through May. Overrides may be scheduled by calling the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) or via PeakRewards Online Access. Participants can change their cycling level and cancel their participation in the program at any time, except during emergency cycling events. Requested changes typically take within 48 hours.

A customer who participates in the BGE Smart Energy Rewards program may override unlimited Energy Savings Days or two PeakRewards non-emergency events per summer; however, a customer may not override an emergency event or the transition out of an emergency event. Additionally, customers may not change cycling levels, nor exit the program during an emergency event, a preseason cycling event, or the transition out of these events. Also, if you scheduled an override and subsequently an emergency event is called on the day you scheduled your override, the override will be canceled. When the emergency event ends, BGE will transition all air conditioning program customers to a lower cycling level for a brief period of time to avoid sudden increases in electric demand which may cause reliability problems.

During emergency and preseason events, and the remainder of the event day, the following Online Access tools will be temporarily unavailable:

  • The “Override” link will be removed
  • The “Set Thermostat Schedules” feature will be disabled
  • The “Temporarily Adjust Settings” feature will be disabled

Customers enrolled in PeakRewards are subject to the Terms and Conditions for the PeakRewards program. The program Terms and Conditions are available online at: BGEsavings.com/programresources.

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8. Are all systems compatible with the PeakRewards program?

Most central air conditioning and electric heat pump units work with PeakRewards programmable thermostat technology. However, some systems are not currently compatible with PeakRewards thermostats and, on occasion, older or poorly maintained systems may not be compatible as well. In most cases where a PeakRewards thermostat cannot be installed, a PeakRewards outdoor switch can be installed so that you may participate in the program.

Most electric water heaters, with a capacity of 30 gallons or more, are compatible with PeakRewards technology. Gas, tankless and some solar hot water heater systems are not compatible with the electric water heater switch.

A PeakRewards technician can evaluate your system to determine compatibility. If you have additional questions about system compatibility or would like to schedule an appointment, please call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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9. Can I have multiple devices (e.g. thermostats and/or switches)?

If you have more than one central air conditioner, electric water heater or electric heat pump unit, you can have multiple devices (thermostat and/or switches) installed. When there is an installation of two or more A/C devices at an installation appointment, all devices must be set at the same cycling level (50%, 75%, and 100%) at the time of installation. Once the device is installed, you can immediately call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to request different cycling levels for each A/C device. Your bill credit and matching bonus will be multiplied by the number of devices installed and cycling option selected. Note: Water heater switches are always cycled at the 100% level, regardless of event type (emergency or non-emergency).

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10. Does BGE use professionally trained installation experts?

PeakRewards installers are professionally trained to perform quality installations. While you should not experience any problems, if you do, you can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance. A PeakRewards technician will inspect the installation of the PeakRewards device, but will not perform any other diagnostics or repairs on your unit. For issues not related to the PeakRewards device, please contact your local contractor.

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11. What happens if I experience problems with my system after the installation of a device?

PeakRewards installers are professionally trained to perform quality installations. While you should not experience any problems, if you do, you can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance. A PeakRewards technician will inspect the installation of the PeakRewards device, but will not perform any other diagnostics or repairs on your unit. For issues not related to the PeakRewards device, please contact your local contractor.

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12. How does the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program decrease my electric bill?

When you participate in this program, you will begin receiving money—saving bill credits in the first summer billing cycle (June through September) following the installation of your PeakRewards programmable thermostat or outdoor switch. *During the first year of participation, these credits will be doubled on your energy bills for June through September, as an enrollment bonus for customers for whom the thermostat or switch is installed.

In addition to bill credits, the program will help reduce overall demand for electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region, which will result in electricity prices that are lower than they otherwise would have been. If you choose the programmable thermostat, you can save up to $890 over the next five years.

* A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will be defaulted to a 50% cycling level. A new move-in customer will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

PeakRewards Thermostat 5 Year Savings

Summer Savings Img

For tips on how to decrease summer air conditioning costs and increase comfort, click here.

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13. Should I choose the programmable thermostat or the A/C switch?

Both the PeakRewards programmable thermostat and the outdoor air conditioner switch are professionally installed at your home at no out of pocket cost to you. With the programmable thermostat, you are able to set your home’s temperature and manage your thermostat settings remotely from anywhere you have internet access. The outdoor air conditioner switch allows you to participate in the PeakRewards air conditioning program while still using your existing thermostat inside your home. However, you cannot control your temperature settings remotely via Online Access as you would with the PeakRewards programmable thermostat.

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14. My air conditioner or electric heat pump was cycled and now, that the event is over, it’s taking a while for my home to cool down again. Is this normal?

Once a cycling event has fully ended, including the transition out of an event, your air conditioner or heat pump should resume normal operation within 30 minutes. However, the amount of time it takes for your home to return to normal temperature depends on many variables, including the outdoor temperature, how well your home is insulated, the condition of your air conditioner or heat pump, and the duration of the PeakRewards cycling event. If a cycling event has ended and the word “SAVINGS” still appears on your thermostat screen, or if there is a red light on your outdoor air conditioning switch, you should call the PeakRewards hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance. Otherwise, if you believe your unit is not operating effectively, please contact your HVAC contractor.

Key causes of ineffective cooling is the system overheating due to a dirty air filter or clogged drain lines, or insufficient refrigerant, both of which can be avoided with routine system maintenance.

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15. How will the program benefit BGE customers who are paying for the program but not participating in PeakRewards?

Overall, the savings from PeakRewards far outweighs the cost of the program. Capacity and energy revenue earned by the program in the wholesale market are applied to offset the costs of PeakRewards. Customers see savings resulting from wholesale capacity and energy prices that are lower than they otherwise would have been. Also, BGE has the potential to spend less on transmission and distribution infrastructure because the program helps to relieve the peak load that this infrastructure has to carry.

As PeakRewards reduces demand for electricity, all customers, including those not participating in the program, benefit from electricity price reductions in the wholesale markets. The program improves electricity service reliability to all customers; and everyone reaps the environmental benefits of reducing emissions from electricity generation plants and reducing the amount of electricity that generation plants need to provide.

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16. How can I change my cycling level?

You can call PeakRewards customer hotline 1.888.309.7325 to have your cycling level changed. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday. It can take from 48 hours up to one week in certain circumstances for your cycling level change to be effective. Once your cycling level is in effect, your bill credits will be adjusted accordingly for the next bill cycle. Keep in mind, you cannot change your cycling level during an emergency event or the transition out of an emergency event.

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17. I just moved into a house that had a PeakRewards thermostat previously installed. What is the device for, and what is PeakRewards?

The PeakRewards device installed in your home is a programmable thermostat used by the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program to help reduce peak demand for electricity. The thermostat also has other features, including online programming, advanced scheduling, touch screen programming, and other state-of-the-art features.

During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, typically during the hot summer months, a radio signal may be sent to the programmable thermostat to interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or electric heat pump for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling (for more information on cycling, click here). Only electricity to the compressor is interrupted. The compressor is what produces cool air. Cycling reduces the peak demand for electricity, helping to maintain reliable service and lower the cost of electricity.

Emergency Events — During an emergency event, regional demand for electricity is close to surpassing regional supply, and BGE is required by PJM to activate its’ PeakRewards program. This type of event is usually called to avoid potential brownouts and rolling blackouts area-wide. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event or during the transition out of an emergency event. You will be cycled up to your chosen cycling level — 50%, 75% or 100%.

Non-Emergency Events — On occasion, BGE may activate its PeakRewards program when regional demand is not very close to surpassing regional supply, but the wholesale price of electricity is very high. These events may occur on a localized level restricted to certain areas within the BGE territory or they may occur across the entire BGE territory. Activating the PeakRewards program during these non-emergency events puts downward pressure on energy prices and increases the reliability of the distribution system. You may choose to override participation during this type of event up to two times per summer. For non-emergency events, participants will be cycled up to 50%.

As a “new move in” customer, your PeakRewards participating level is set at 50% cycling. At 50% cycling, your central air conditioner or electric heat pump will produce cool air for half its normal running time during a cycling event. You will receive $50 in annual bill credits — $12.50 for each of the 4 summer months, June – September. A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

Summer Savings Img

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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18. I just moved into a house that has a PeakRewards outdoor switch installed. What is the device for, and what is PeakRewards?

The PeakRewards outdoor switch installed at your home and connected to the air conditioning or electric heat pump unit helps reduce peak demand for electricity. During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, typically during the hot summer months, a radio signal may be sent to the outdoor switch to interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or electric heat pump for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling (for more information on cycling, click here). Only electricity to the compressor is interrupted. The compressor is what produces cool air. Cycling reduces the peak demand for electricity, helping to maintain reliable service and lower the cost of electricity. For participating in the PeakRewards program, you will receive BGE bill credits of up to $100 each year. If you have additional questions about the program, please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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19. I just moved into a house that has a PeakRewards thermostat/switch/device previously installed. What is PeakRewards, and what is this device?

A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move in” customer, you are enrolled in the PeakRewards Air Conditioning program at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling (for more information on cycling, click here). However, “move in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home.

PeakRewards program benefits include ongoing bill credits, choice of cycling level, online access to your device, and the opportunity to choose between an outdoor switch and a programmable thermostat. If you would like to upgrade a switch to the PeakRewards programmable thermostat, confirm your cycling level or choose a higher cycling level, please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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20. The house I just moved into has a switch attached to the air conditioning unit. How do I get the thermostat installed instead?

After you receive your first BGE bill in your new home, call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to find out how you can replace the outdoor switch for the PeakRewards programmable thermostat at no out-of-pocket cost to you. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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21. As a new “move in” customer, what are the levels of PeakRewards bill credits and when will they be applied to my BGE bill?

PeakRewards bill credits are monthly credits applied to your BGE bill in exchange for allowing BGE to cycle your air conditioner during periods of peak demand. The bill credits are applied during the months of June, July, August, and September. PeakRewards bill credits will be applied to a participating customer’s bill for however long they are enrolled in the program.

As a “move in” customer, your cycling level is automatically set at 50%, the lowest level of credits and cycling. At the 50% cycling level, you will receive a credit of $12.50 on your June – September BGE bills. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. You can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to increase your cycling level at any time.

Alternatively, since the program is voluntary, if you decide you do not want to participate, please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to be removed from the program. Keep in mind that summer credits will no longer be applied to your bill. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

You can also find more information on bill credits under the PeakRewards A/C Program Benefits FAQ’s.

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22. How can I change my cycling level?

You can call PeakRewards customer hotline 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to have your cycling level changed. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday. Once you change your cycling level, your bill credits will be adjusted accordingly for the next bill cycle.

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23. How do I change my thermostat temperature through Online Access?
  1. Sign-on to BGE “Manage My Account”


  2. Click on “PeakRewards” under “My Programs”


  3. Click on the Thermostat you wish to adjust


  4. Select “Manual” and adjust the on-screen, virtual thermostat just as  you would adjust the one in your home. IMPORTANT! Click “Send” when adjustments are complete for settings to take effect.

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24. After I request a cycling change, how long does it take to go into effect?

You should typically be able to view your cycling level change on your PeakRewards Online Access account within 48 hours.

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25. I signed up to receive notifications, why does it take so long to receive them?

Some email providers use a practice called rate limiting to control the traffic on their mail servers which helps ensure emails are delivered but this practice may cause a lag in message delivery time. Rate limits are set by your email provider and it is recommended you contact them directly if you are not receiving emails promptly.

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26. I signed up to receive notifications, why does it take so long to receive them?

Some email providers use a practice called rate limiting to control the traffic on their mail servers which helps ensure emails are delivered but this practice may cause a lag in message delivery time. Rate limits are set by your email provider and it is recommended you contact them directly if you are not receiving emails promptly.

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27. What is "peak electric demand?"

Electricity usage fluctuates constantly due to weather conditions, commercial and industrial business hours and residential electricity usage. During the summer months, demand is usually greater as electricity is used to cool homes and businesses, especially during weekday afternoons. “Peak electric demand” refers to the point of highest electricity use over a certain period of time. Throughout the day, BGE continually monitors electricity demand to minimize cost and ensure reliable delivery.

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28. What is cycling?

During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, a radio signal may be sent to the programmable thermostat, outdoor A/C switch or electric water heater switch to interrupt the flow of electricity to your unit for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling. This allows BGE to help maintain reliable service while keeping down the overall cost of electricity for everyone.

During the winter months (November through February), cycling typically occurs on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. During the summer months (June through September), cycling typically occurs between noon and 8 p.m. The length of a cycling event depends on the type of event (emergency or non-emergency) and the need to reduce electricity demand. BGE is unable to predict the number of times it will cycle electric water heaters each year, nor the length of an event. If an emergency event is activated, it will generally last until the peak demand period has ended, which may be longer than a non-emergency event.

A/C program participants may choose a cycling level that will determine how long their air conditioner will be impacted during an event:

All A/C customers are cycled up to 50% during non-emergency events and you may choose to override participation during this type of event up to two times per summer. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event or during the transition out of an emergency event. You will be cycled up to your chosen cycling level — 50%, 75% or 100%.

Electric Water Heater program participants will be cycled at 100%, regardless of event type (emergency or non-emergency) and may choose to override up to two non-emergency events from October through May. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event.

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29. What does "cycling level" mean?

Cycling level is the key component of the PeakRewards program. A/C participants can choose from three different program options, which represent various cycling levels during emergency events. If you have health concerns, are elderly, have pets or children in the home that may be affected by increased temperatures due to a cycling event, we suggest that you select the 50% cycling level or call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to discuss what option may be best for you:

A/C Overview Chart

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

The temperature change in your home during a cycling event will vary based on factors including: the outdoor temperature, how well your home is insulated, duration of the cycling event, air conditioning unit size, cycling level and other variables. Actual temperature changes during cycling may vary.

Note: All PeakRewards A/C participants will be cycled up to the 50% level during non-emergency events. If you think a cycling event is occurring, you may confirm the type of event by checking online via Online Access, looking for the word “SAVINGS” on a PeakRewards thermostat or a red light on the switch, or by calling the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

Electric Water Heater program participants will be cycled at 100%, regardless of event type (emergency or non-emergency)

**A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

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30. How can I tell if a cycling event is taking place?

There are several ways to know if a cycling event is taking place. A/C program participants may look for the word “SAVINGS” at the top of their programmable thermostat screen or may look for a red light on their outdoor switch. Likewise, electric water heater participants may also look for a red light on the front of their electric water heater switch.

Additionally, if you sign up for Event Notifications, you will receive an email or text at the start and end of every PeakRewards cycling event.

We have established an Event Central website: BGEsavings.com/PeakRewardsEvent that alerts participants when cycling events occur, includes details about cycling, and offers helpful tips to stay cool during cycling events.

You may also sign up for Online Access to view your cycling status online. Cycling status messages such as: “You have not been cycled today”, “Currently cycling”, or “You have been cycled today” will be displayed on the welcome page.

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31. How can I tell if I’m cycling?

There are several ways to know if a cycling event is taking place. A/C program participants may look for the word “SAVINGS” at the top of their programmable thermostat screen or may look for a red light on their outdoor switch. Likewise, Electric Water Heater program participants may also look for a red light on the front of their electric water heater switch.

Additionally, if you sign up for event notifications, you will receive an email or text at the start and end of every PeakRewards cycling event.

We have established an Event Central website: BGEsavings.com/PeakRewardsEvent that alerts participants when cycling events occur, includes details about cycling, and offers helpful tips to use during A/C and electric water heater cycling events.

You may also sign up for Online Access to view your cycling status online. Cycling status messages such as: “You have not been cycled today”, “Currently cycling”, or “You have been cycled today” will be displayed on the welcome page.

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32. What can I do if I get uncomfortable during an event?

A/C participants may choose not to be cycled during cycling events from June through September and Electric Water Heater participants may choose not to be cycled during two events from October through May. These are called overrides, and they may be scheduled by calling the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) or via PeakRewards Online Access. Participants may change their cycling level or cancel their participation in the program at any time, except during emergency cycling events. Requested changes typically take within 48 hours.

A customer who participates in the BGE Smart Energy Rewards program may override unlimited Energy Savings Days or two PeakRewards non-emergency events per summer; however, a customer may not override an emergency event or the transition out of an emergency event. Additionally, customers may not change cycling levels, nor exit the program during an emergency event, a preseason cycling event, or the transition out of these events. Also, if you scheduled an override and subsequently an emergency event is called on the day you scheduled your override, the override will be canceled. When the emergency event ends, BGE will transition all air conditioning program customers to a lower cycling level for a brief period of time to avoid sudden increases in electric demand which may cause reliability problems.

During emergency and preseason events, and the remainder of the event day when these events are called, the following Online Access tools will be temporarily unavailable:

  • The “Override” link will be removed
  • The “Set Thermostat Schedules” feature will be disabled
  • The “Temporarily Adjust Settings” feature will be disabled

Please refer to the following “Tips to Stay Comfortable” for consideration during an emergency event:

Tips to stay comfortable during an event

During Electric Water Heater events:

  • Tip 1 Avoid laundry loads that require hot water
  • Tip 2 Skip long showers and baths that require hot water
  • Tip 3 Avoid running the dishwasher

During Air Conditioning events:

  • Tip 1 Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water
  • Tip 2 Consider going to a cool place such as a movie theater, mall or pool
  • Tip 3 Relax in the basement where the temperature is typically several degrees cooler than the rest of the house
  • Tip 4 Use an outdoor grill or microwave instead of the stove or oven
  • Tip 5 Avoid using other heat-producing appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers
  • Tip 6 Draw blinds and curtains in rooms that receive a lot of sunlight
  • Tip 7 Turn ceiling fan on with blades rotating counter clockwise

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33. I am an A/C program participant. How long will it take for me to see my requested cycling level change online?

You should typically be able to view your cycling level change on your PeakRewards Online Access account within 24–48 hours, but changes may take up to five business days in certain circumstances

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34. Why am I not able to use my override during an emergency event?

During an emergency event, overrides are not permitted due to system reliability concerns and customers are cycled up to their chosen cycling levels. Under emergency conditions, BGE is directed by the regional grid manager, PJM Interconnection, to activate the PeakRewards program due to concerns that the demand for energy may exceed the supply. PeakRewards customers are not able to override since, under emergency conditions, there is an extreme need for lowering electricity demand. Scheduled overrides and overrides requested the day of an emergency event will not be implemented. In a critical situation, a customer representative can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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35. If I schedule an override in advance and a non-emergency event does not occur, will I be able to use that override in the future?

Yes. If you schedule an override for a non-emergency cycling event and an event does not occur, the override will not count against the two overrides allowed per year and you will be able to schedule an override at a later date.

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36. How soon will my unit resume normal operation if I override a non-emergency cycling event?

Normal unit operation should typically resume within 30 minutes from the receipt of the non-emergency cycling event override request, but could take more than 30 minutes in certain circumstances. Each request will be processed in the order in which it is received and implemented as soon as the system allows. For scheduled overrides, the electric water heater, air conditioning or electric heat pump unit will not be cycled on the scheduled day under non-emergency cycling event conditions.

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37. How will cycling affect the temperature in my home?

The temperature change in your home during a cycling event will vary based on factors including: the outdoor temperature, how well your home is insulated, duration of the cycling event, cycling level and other variables. Please note, extreme temperatures outside can affect the duration of an event, which may also affect the temperature inside your home.

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38. Is there a limit to the number of hours I can be cycled?

No, there is no limit to the number of hours you can be cycled. The length of a cycling event will depend on the type of event (emergency or non-emergency) and the need for BGE to reduce peak electric demand. BGE cannot predict the length of a cycling event. Cycling typically occurs Monday-Friday between the hours of 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. Please note, cycling events may be activated outside of the Monday-Friday, 12 p.m.-7 p.m. timeframe. Also, the actual start time, end time, and duration of each cycling event will vary.

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39. Will my BGE bill be higher because my A/C or electric hot water heater had to work hard after a PeakRewards cycling event?

No. Data gathered during the PeakRewards pilot shows that A/C customers use between 25% and 50% less energy than they would have without the event. Significantly less energy is used when your A/C is being cycled. After a cycling event, while your A/C may be on more during the cool down period than it would typically be at that time, it actually is on less than it would have been absent the event. It also helps that the recovery period is typically in a cooler part of the day.

Once the cycling period is completed, the water heater will resume normal operation. Note that the water heater should retain its capacity of hot water for a period of time but recovery of hot water will not be possible during a cycling event. No water is being heated during the event.

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40. How soon will my unit return to normal operation after an override or cycling event ends?

Normal unit operation should resume within 30 minutes after the completion of a cycling event.

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41. I am an A/C program participant. I believe I was supposed to be cycled at 50% but my unit did not appear to turn on during the event. Why was I cycled at a different level?

Customers who believe they may have been cycled at the wrong cycling level should call the PeakRewards hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) so that the cycling level can be verified and, if needed, a PeakRewards technician can perform an inspection of the thermostat or switch. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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42. Is there a limit to the number of hours I can be cycled?

The length of a cycling event will depend on the type of event (emergency or non-emergency) and the need for BGE to reduce peak electric demand. BGE cannot predict the length of a cycling event. Cycling typically occurs Monday-Friday between the hours of 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. Please note, cycling events may be activated outside of the Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. timeframe. Also, the actual start time, end time, and duration of each cycling event will vary. BGE is unable to predict the number of times it will cycle air conditioners or electric heat pumps each year.

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43. Who should I call if my unit is still cycling after an event has ended?

Once a cycling event has fully ended, your air conditioner or heat pump should resume normal operation within 30 minutes. However, the amount of time it takes for your home to return to normal temperature depends on many variables, including the outdoor temperature, how well your home is insulated, the condition of your air conditioner or heat pump, and the duration of the PeakRewards cycling event. If a cycling event has ended and the word “SAVINGS” still appears on your thermostat screen, or if there is a red light on your outdoor air conditioning switch after the event has ended, you should call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for assistance. Otherwise, if you believe your unit is not operating effectively, please contact your HVAC contractor.

Key causes of ineffective cooling is the system overheating due to a dirty air filter or clogged drain lines, or insufficient refrigerant, both of which can be avoided with routine system maintenance.

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44. If I have an electric heat pump, how can I avoid unnecessary use of costly auxiliary/emergency heat?

You can help to avoid unnecessary use of auxiliary heat by setting the thermostat and leaving it alone. The PeakRewards programmable thermostat is specifically designed for heat pumps, which allows you to regulate the temperature in your home more efficiently. A programmable thermostat not designed for heat pump application will cause the auxiliary heat to come on prematurely after a nighttime setback. Auxiliary heat can offset any savings realized during the setback period. A heat pump programmable thermostat allows for greater recovery time, allowing the heat pump to gradually recover the desired temperature.

For helpful electric heat pump maintenance tips, click here

For more information on electric heat pumps, click here

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45. What is an outdoor switch and how does it work?

A PeakRewards outdoor air conditioner switch has a small radio receiver and is typically mounted on the foundation of your home near your outdoor air conditioning or electric heat pump unit. It is used to help reduce peak demand for electricity.

During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, typically during the hot summer months, a radio signal may be sent to the outdoor switch to interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or electric heat pump for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling. Only electricity to the compressor is interrupted. Cycling reduces the peak demand for electricity, helping to maintain reliable service and lower the cost of electricity.

The cycling option you chose determines how long your air conditioners’ compressor will be impacted during an event:

A/C Overview Chart

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

All customers are cycled up to 50% during non-emergency events and you may choose to override participation during this type of event up to two times per summer. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event or during the transition out of an emergency event. You will be cycled up to your chosen cycling level — 50%, 75% or 100%.

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46. I changed my BGE account to a new name although I did not actually move to a new location. Will this affect my PeakRewards credits or bonus?

Yes. When you change your BGE account to a new name, our system views the account as a –move-in— customer. Therefore, the new account is not eligible to receive the first-year matching bonus credits and the cycling level will automatically be set to 50%. Please contact the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to inform them of the account change. BGE will restore your bonuses, if applicable, and cycling preferences as soon as possible. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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47. How will I know when BGE is cycling the outdoor air conditioner switch?

A red light will be displayed on the outdoor switch during the activation of a BGE cycling event, indicating that the outdoor switch is adjusting compressor activity. A green light will indicate that the outdoor switch has power and is connected to the network but is not currently affecting compressor activity. If you do not see any light on the outdoor air conditioner switch, call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). Additionally, you can check if an event is taking place by logging in to your online account via PeakRewards Online Access.

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48. Where will the outdoor switch be installed?

Typically, BGE will install the outdoor switch on the foundation of your home with a connection to the air conditioning or electric heat pump unit. By mounting it on your home, similar to the way a meter or cable box is mounted, you will avoid the chance of it being removed if the installers replace your air conditioning or electric heat pump unit. At your request, BGE will mount the outdoor switch directly onto the air conditioning or electric heat pump unit.

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49. Do I need to be home for an outdoor switch installation?

In most cases, you do not need to be home and do not require an appointment to have the outdoor switch installed, since installation does not require entry into the house. Some situations may require that you be present such as the type and location of the air conditioning unit, protective fencing, or the presence of a dog.

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50. What is a programmable thermostat and how does it work?

The PeakRewards programmable thermostat refers to the Honeywell touch-screen programmable thermostat being used for the program. It can be programmed for four separate time periods each day with various settings for weekdays and weekends. Using a programmable thermostat can help you save up to 15% each year in energy costs versus a non-programmable thermostat. Savings vary. Click here to read user manual.

The model of thermostat used for PeakRewards has additional functionality, which allows BGE to communicate remotely with it during periods of peak demand. During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, typically during the hot summer months, a radio signal may be sent to the programmable thermostat to interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or heat pump for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling. Only electricity to the compressor is interrupted. Cycling reduces the peak demand for electricity, helping to maintain reliable service and lower the cost of electricity.

The cycling option you chose determines how long your air conditioners’ compressor will be impacted during an event:

A/C Overview Chart

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

All customers are cycled up to 50% during non-emergency events and you may choose to override participation during this type of event up to two times per summer. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event or during the transition out of an emergency event. You will be cycled up to your chosen cycling level — 50%, 75% or 100%.

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51. Can I get the PeakRewards programmable thermostat instead of the outdoor air conditioner switch?

When you enroll in PeakRewards, you have a choice of either an outdoor switch or programmable thermostat. If you currently have a switch on the outdoor unit, you can upgrade to the Honeywell programmable thermostat at any time by calling the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325).

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52. How do I get the PeakRewards programmable thermostat installed?

BGE will work with you to schedule a convenient time to have the programmable thermostat installed. To schedule an installation, call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325). The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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53. How will I know when BGE is cycling the PeakRewards thermostat?

You will see the word “SAVINGS” displayed in the thermostat window during a BGE cycling event. “SAVINGS” will disappear from your thermostat after the cycling event is over.

thermostat

All customers are cycled up to 50% during non-emergency events and you may choose to override participation during this type of event up to two times per summer. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event or during the transition out of an emergency event. You will be cycled up to your chosen cycling level — 50%, 75% or 100%.

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54. What is the difference between the PeakRewards programmable thermostat and other programmable thermostats? Why would I need a new thermostat when I already have a programmable thermostat?

The PeakRewards programmable thermostat has a built-in radio receiver, which allows BGE to send a cycling command to help ease electricity demand during periods of peak electricity use. You can use the PeakRewards Online Access features to manage your thermostat settings and preferences from anywhere with access to a web browser. Please note, BGE will not alter your temperature or any other settings from this device. If you already have a programmable thermostat that you are happy with, you can choose to have the outdoor switch installed instead.

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No. Under no circumstance will BGE alter any thermostat settings without your express authorization. During the initial installation, a BGE representative will set the thermostat to your preferred setting or temperature schedule. You can also call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST on Saturday to have a customer service representative remotely perform thermostat scheduling functions on your behalf. Detailed instructions on setting the thermostat can be found in the user manual. You can also program your thermostat from anywhere you have access to a web browser with PeakRewards Online Access. To learn more about PeakRewards Online Access, click here.

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56. Is the PeakRewards programmable thermostat capable of tracking energy usage in my home?

No. The PeakRewards outdoor switch and programmable thermostat only track the run time and cycle time of the air conditioning system. These devices do not have the ability to track energy usage.

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57. Can I schedule a temporary thermostat setting while I’m on vacation?

The system allows you to select and hold a specific temperature for vacation and other times when you are away. You should simply select the desired temperature and press the HOLD key. This setting will be maintained until you cancel it by pressing the CANCEL key, resuming normal cooling and heating schedule settings. You may also make any of these changes by calling the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) during normal operating hours. With your permission only, a customer service representative can remotely reset temperatures to your desired levels. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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We are not aware of any safety concerns related to PeakRewards. The Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat used for the PeakRewards program is rigorously tested prior to installing any of these devices in BGE customer homes. The PeakRewards thermostats go through a detailed testing and quality control process, performed both by the manufacturer and Honeywell so that the devices can meet a high level of customer safety, reliability and satisfaction.

If you have any health concerns, are elderly, have pets or children in the home that may be affected by increased temperatures due to a cycling event, but still want to participate in the program, we suggest that you select the 50% cycling level or call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to discuss what option may be best for you. The PeakRewards customer hotline is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday–Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday.

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59. What are the menu options shown within PeakRewards Online Access for my thermostat?

There are three thermostat menu options within PeakRewards Online Access:

  • Schedule — create or adjust the temperature settings on your thermostat.
  • Manual — set and hold your thermostat at a specific temperature for vacation and other times when you are away.
  • Saved Schedules — view or remove any thermostat schedules you previously saved.

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60. Why do I see multiple thermostat menu selections within PeakRewards Online Access?

PeakRewards Online Access allows you to schedule your thermostat settings per device. If you are participating in the PeakRewards program with two or more thermostats, each thermostat will be listed in the PeakRewards Online Access portal on the left side of the screen. From there, you can adjust thermostat settings for each device.

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61. This is the first time that I’m in PeakRewards Online Access to set my thermostat— what do temperature values represent when I get to this page?

The temperature values represent current nationally recommended thermostat settings created by ENERGY STAR® and the US Department of Energy. These settings are not reflected in your thermostat unless you press the SAVE AND SEND SCHEDULE button on the bottom of the page.

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62. I’ve just sent a thermostat schedule from within PeakRewards Online Access; however, I don’t see the changes reflected on my thermostat.

It may take up to 15 minutes for the changes to take effect. When you send the thermostat schedule, a signal is sent out from the PeakRewards Online Access screen. If you don’t see the thermostat changes after fifteen minutes, resend your thermostat schedule again.

BGE is not responsible for the thermostat settings and schedules, which are chosen by the customer. BGE cannot guarantee the information transmitted will change the setting due to atmospheric conditions and/or weak signaling strength in certain areas.

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63. The name of the thermostat label is confusing — can I change it?

The name of the thermostat was created when the technician installed your thermostat. You can change it by:

  • Pressing the Manual link on left side menu
  • Pressing the Edit link located next to the thermostat title
  • Entering a name for your thermostat and pressing the SAVE button

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64. How do I make a temporary change to my thermostat setting?

Once you are logged onto PeakRewards Online Access, click the thermostat you want to temporarily adjust from the left-hand navigation menu. Under the name of the thermostat, you will see a Manual link. The Manual link will take you to the Temporary Adjustment page, which will allow you to enter a temporary setting. You can simply adjust the temperature by clicking on the up or down arrows or enter the temperature in the temperature box. The new temperature setting will temporarily change your set point until the next scheduled time period. You must check “HOLD” if you want to permanently maintain this new setting.

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65. Does PeakRewards Online Access keep a record of all cycling events?

Yes. The Cycling History link found on the left-hand navigation menu directs you to a view of your complete cycling history. To view a listing of when your central air conditioning experienced a cycle, click on the View Complete History button. Your history will be displayed for each thermostat or switch, giving you the start date and end date, cycling duration or how long the cycle lasted. By clicking the view function’s drop down menu on the right, you can isolate the listing to feature cycling history by day, week, year or all cycling events.

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66. I have adjusted the thermostat settings on the thermostat directly; however, when I log into PeakRewards Online Access, I do not see my thermostat changes online. What happened?

Currently, a one-way communication exists between the PeakRewards Online Access portal and the thermostat where any changes sent online are received by the thermostat but any changes made on the thermostat directly are not updated online.

BGE is evaluating the feasibility of providing two-way communication between the thermostat and PeakRewards Online Access for the future.

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67. What if I only want my thermostat to change temperature twice a day?

You can schedule two consecutive periods (Wake, Leave, Return, and Sleep) with the same temperature.

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68. How do I set a schedule through PeakRewards Online Access?
  1. Sign-on to BGE “Manage My Account”


  2. Click on “PeakRewards” under “My Programs”


  3. Click on the Thermostat you wish to adjust


  4. To adjust an existing thermostat schedule, select “Schedule” then “Edit”


  5. A new window will open allowing for direct input of times an temperatures of existing schedule. Adjust to desired settings and click “Save”


  6. To create a NEW schedule, click “Create” and follow prompts in pop-up screens





  7. Assign your new schedule a unique name, click “Save” when completed. The new schedule will now appear in your user schedules screen with the option to “Send Now.” All previously created schedules can be stored and “Sent” to your thermostat at your discretion.

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69. Can I send my thermostat schedule when BGE is cycling my air conditioner?

No — during an emergency event, and the remainder of the day when this event is called, the following tools will be temporarily unavailable via PeakRewards Online Access:

  • The “Override (Opt-out)” link will be removed
  • The “Set Thermostat Schedules” feature will be disabled
  • The “Temporarily Adjust Settings” feature will be disabled

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70. What’s the difference between a Temporary and Permanent Hold?

A Permanent Hold allows you to maintain the thermostat at one temperature setting until you manually cancel the Permanent Hold. A Temporary Hold allows you to maintain the thermostat at one temperature setting until the next scheduled period (Wake, Leave, Return, or Sleep). Once the next scheduled period arrives, the thermostat resumes its normal thermostat schedule.

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71. Is there a smart phone app available to access my PeakRewards thermostat remotely?

Currently, we do not have a smart phone app available for download. However, you can manage your PeakRewards thermostat settings directly from your smart phone by visiting: www.BGE.com/myaccount. You should bookmark this site and save the link on your smart phone for future use. Although the Online Access tool has been optimized for user experience, the display of this feature can vary depending on the smart phone and browser.

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72. I’ve just submitted a thermostat hold from the PeakRewards Online Access page; however, I don’t see the changes reflected on my thermostat.

It may take up to 15 minutes for the changes to take effect. When you send the thermostat schedule, a signal is sent out from the PeakRewards Online Access screen. If you don’t see the thermostat changes after fifteen minutes, resend your thermostat schedule again.

BGE is not responsible for the thermostat settings and schedules, which are chosen by the customer.

BGE cannot guarantee the information transmitted will change the setting due to atmospheric conditions and/or weak signaling strength in certain areas.

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73. Will BGE change settings on the thermostat without my consent?

No. Under no circumstance will BGE alter any thermostat settings without your express authorization.

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74. How will I know when BGE is cycling the thermostat?

On the PeakRewards Online Access home page, you will see a message, like the following, displayed for example:

Residential A/C Thermostat 75% Cycling
Currently Cycling

Additionally, you will see the word “SAVINGS” displayed in the thermostat window during a BGE cycling event. “SAVINGS” will disappear from your thermostat after the cycling event is over.

switch

A red light will be displayed on the outdoor switch during the activation of a BGE cycling event, indicating that the outdoor switch is adjusting compressor activity. A green light will indicate that the outdoor switch has power and is connected to the network but is not currently affecting compressor activity.

All customers are cycled up to 50% during non-emergency events and you may choose to override participation during this type of event up to two times per summer. You cannot change your cycling level, override your participation, or exit the program during an emergency event or during the transition out of an emergency event. You will be cycled up to your chosen cycling level — 50%, 75% or 100%.

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75. I am a Maryland-licensed HVAC contractor. How can I participate in the PeakRewards Trade Ally program?

Interested HVAC contractors should first complete the participation agreement and return it via email to: PeakRewardsHVAC@honeywell.com, fax it to 410.574.4736, or mail it to:
PeakRewards Trade Ally Program, 6935 Golden Ring Road, Baltimore MD 21237.

Once the agreement is completed, HVAC contractors will receive a vendor participation code, confirmation email and an invitation to an orientation session. Orientation sessions provide an overview of the PeakRewards A/C program, device installation, referral credit process and Trade Ally opportunities.

HVAC contractors are encouraged to call the PeakRewards Trade Ally hotline: 410.682.8268 or email: PeakRewardsHVAC@honeywell.com with any questions about the program.

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76. Can a Trade Ally receive credit for commercial referrals?

No. The PeakRewards program is available to BGE residential customers only.

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77. What do I do if I encounter a Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat during a new HVAC system installation?

You should reprogram the thermostat as you do the Honeywell VisionPRO. For technical questions, call the Trade Ally hotline: 410.682.8268 or email PeakRewardsHVAC@honeywell.com.

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78. The customer has asked that I disconnect the LCR 4700 outdoor air conditioner switch, what should I do to inform BGE of the disconnect? What should I do with the switch?

Use the BGE Trade Ally Referral form with customer signature and email it to PeakRewardsHVAC@honeywell.com or fax it to 410.574.4736 to receive a $10 disconnect notification fee. Also, call the PeakRewards Trade Ally hotline: 410.682.8268 and let them know that you have a device to be picked up.

Leave the switch near the outdoor unit be picked up by a BGE technician . Do not dispose of it or take it with you.

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79. The customer has asked that I disconnect the Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat. What should I do to inform BGE of the removal? What should I do with the thermostat?

Use the BGE Trade Ally Referral form with customer signature and email it to PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com or fax it to 410.574.4736 to receive a $10 disconnect notification fee. Also, call the PeakRewards Trade Ally hotline at 410.682.8268 and let them know that you have a device to be picked up.

Leave the thermostat with the homeowner to be picked up by a BGE technician. Do not dispose of it or take it with you.

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80. I found a disconnected PeakRewards outdoor air conditioner switch during a recent service call. What should I do?

If you are a PeakRewards Trade Ally, to ensure that the customer’s credits continue, please reconnect the switch and submit a BGE Trade Ally Referral form with customer signature to PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com, or fax it to 410.574.4736, to receive a $50 reconnect notification fee.

If the customer wants to be removed from the PeakRewards program use the BGE Trade Ally Referral form with customer signature and email it to PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com or fax it to 410.574.4736 to receive a $10 disconnect notification fee. Also, call the PeakRewards Trade Ally hotline: 410.682.8268 and let them know that you have a device to be picked up.

Leave the switch near the outdoor unit be picked up by a BGE technician. Do not dispose of it or take it with you.

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81. I have found a removed Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat during a recent service call. What should I do?

If you are a PeakRewards Trade Ally, to ensure that the customer’s credits continue, please reinstall the PeakRewards thermostat and submit a BGE Trade Ally Referral form with customer signature to PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com, or fax it to 410.574.4736, to receive $50 reconnect notification fee.

If the customer wants to be removed from the PeakRewards program, use the BGE Trade Ally Referral form with customer signature and email it to PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com or fax it to 410.574.4736 to receive a $10 disconnect notification fee. Also, call the PeakRewards Trade Ally hotline at 410.682.8268 and let them know that you have a device to be picked up.

Leave the thermostat with the homeowner to be picked up by a BGE technician. Do not dispose of it or take it with you.

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82. I have received several calls during a hot summer day that appear to be related to BGE cycling. What should I have my dispatcher and service representatives do to minimize the impact to our technicians?

To minimize impact to your technicians, you should ask the customer if they are a PeakRewards participant. If so, please advise your customer that there may be a BGE cycling event underway, which could last for several hours. To confirm that a cycling event is underway, customers can call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) or check online if they are signed up for Online Access.

If the customer has a thermostat, they will know that they are being cycled when they see the word “SAVINGS” appear in the upper portion of the display. Switch customers will know that they are being cycled if they see a red LED light showing on their outdoor switch.

When an emergency or non-emergency event is initiated, an email or text notification to all PeakRewards Trade Allies will be sent within 30 minutes of the onset of the event. The notification provides basic cycling tips that can be referenced to answer customer concerns and questions. To update or confirm the email address or phone number of your company that the notice will be sent to, please contact the PeakRewards hotline at 410.682.8268 or email PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com.

Note: standard data charges will apply for text messaging.

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83. How can I change the backlight or other “operational” settings within the Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat?

Setup is the same as on a Honeywell VisionPRO. However, if you are unfamiliar with the installer setup functions or have further questions, please contact the PeakRewards hotline at 410.682.8268 or email PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com.

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84. I’ve encountered PeakRewards thermostats showing blank screens. What problem does the blank screen usually indicate?

When the PeakRewards Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat has a blank screen, it is usually indicative of an issue with the 24 volts power supply to the thermostat. This condition is often related to an open high limit switch in a gas or oil furnace, which will usually reset after a few minutes, at which time the display should return. This problem can be intermittent. Any power interruption to the heating system will also result in a blank display.

Check the furnace to ensure it is clean and operating properly. If you suspect an issue with the thermostat itself, please contact the PeakRewards hotline at 410.682.8268 or email PeakRewardsHVAC@Honeywell.com.

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85. I am a renter and I am interested in signing up for the PeakRewards program. Am I able to do so if my community is not currently participating?

The apartment unit must have central air conditioning in good working order and consent from the property owner (or manager) is required in order to participate in the program. Once you have obtained permission, call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) to schedule an installation, select your cycling level (50%, 75% or 100%), and start receiving your summer bill credits ($50, $75 or $100 each summer). If you are the first* tenant in the unit with the device installed, you will be eligible for the first-year signing bonus (a matching credit of $50, $75 or $100).

Property managers are encouraged to contact our Multifamily team at 410.682.8226 to learn more about the program and how their entire community can benefit by participating.

*All tenants thereafter are not eligible to receive the first-year signing bonus. Tenants can also choose to opt-out of the program while keeping the thermostat; however, the summer bill credits will no longer be applied.

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86. I am a Property Owner, what are the benefits of PeakRewards and how do I enroll my property?

Property owners or managers will receive:

  • New programmable thermostats with a high retail value and the latest technology, professionally installed at no additional cost to you or your tenants
  • Collection and recycling of existing mercury thermostats (if applicable)
  • Welcome kits for your tenants with program information to help them save money on their BGE bills
  • Marketing and collateral to aid in promoting the added advantage of PeakRewards at your property

Landlords and property owners/managers can enroll their rental units in the program by calling the PeakRewards Multifamily team at 410.682.8226. The Multifamily team will schedule an on-site community meeting and thermostat installations. Once the thermostats are installed, the team will support you in promoting the money-saving benefits of PeakRewards at your property.

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87. I am a Property Owner with ACN (Automatic Name Change) accounts set up for my units; can I participate in the PeakRewards program?

As a landlord property owner/manager there are a number of benefits to participating in the program. However, ACN accounts are not eligible to receive the PeakRewards credits when the bill reverts back into the landlord’s name upon tenant move-out. This policy was implemented to avoid paying credits on vacant homes. The PeakRewards payment is for active residential accounts in the program.

For BGE’s rental property policy for PeakRewards accounts, click here.

For more information on ACN accounts, click here.

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88. What choices does the PeakRewards Multifamily program offer me?

The PeakRewards Multifamily program gives tenants/renters of community properties summer credits on their BGE bill, *a matching first-year bonus, cycling choices, and a professionally installed Honeywell programmable thermostat. The apartment unit must have central air conditioning in good working order and consent from the property owner (or manager) is required in order to participate in the program.

* A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will be defaulted to a 50% cycling level. A new move-in customer will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

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89. Why are the Energy Saver Switch bill credits reduced and being eliminated?

The Legacy Energy Saver Switch program is being phased out and replaced with the new PeakRewards Air Conditioning A/C program. The new program will give you higher bill credits and matching bonus—you can get up to $200 in your first year of participation. If you do not upgrade and have a PeakRewards device installed by May 31, 2012 you will no longer receive monthly summer bill credits from the BGE Energy Saver Switch program.

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90. Do I have to contact BGE to upgrade to PeakRewards if I am a participant in the BGE Energy Savers Switch Program (Rider 5)?

Yes, in order to upgrade, you can call the PeakRewards customer service center at: 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) or sign up at BGESmartEnergy.com/PeakRewards. If you do not upgrade and have a PeakRewards device installed by May 31, 2012 you will no longer receive monthly summer bill credits from the BGE Energy Saver Switch program.

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91. Will I receive my bill credits this summer if I upgrade to PeakRewards?

Yes, once you upgrade you can get up to $200 in summer credits during your first year of participation. For more information, call the PeakRewards customer hotline at: 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) or visit BGESmartEnergy.com/PeakRewards.

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92. What does the new program offer?
  • Higher Bill Credits — Choose from $12.50, $18.75 or $25.00 per month for the months of June through September. Plus, you will receive a matching bonus*, which doubles your credits during your first year of participation.
  • New Equipment Choices — Choose a programmable thermostat or outdoor air conditioner switch, professionally installed at your home at no out-of-pocket expense (thermostat and installation valued at $290).
  • Cycling Choices — Participate in the program at a cycling level that suits your lifestyle. Learn more at BGESavings.com/faqs or call the PeakRewards customer hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325).
  • Online Access — Once you get the PeakRewards thermostat installed, you can control its cooling and heating settings through the internet. PeakRewards Online Access* also allows switch and thermostat customers the ability to view cycling event information.

* In order to use PeakRewards Online Access, you must be a BGE residential customer and enrolled in PeakRewards.

Participation Level First Year Bonus
Per Month**
Summer Credits*** Per Month:
June, July, August, September
First Year Total
(Credits Plus Bonus)
50% $12.50 $12.50 / month $100
75% $18.75 $18.75 / month $150
100% $25.00 $25.00 / month $200

** A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits, if they continue to participate in the program, but will not receive the first-year matching bonus. The first-year matching bonus credits are only intended for the initial customer enrollment and device installation.

*** Credits subject to change in future years.

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93. How does cycling work?

During periods of high electricity use in the Mid-Atlantic region, typically during the summer months, a radio signal may be sent to the programmable thermostat or outdoor switch to interrupt the flow of electricity to the compressor on your air conditioner or electric heat pump for a period of time each hour. This is called cycling. Cycling reduces the peak demand for electricity, helping to maintain reliable service and keep down the cost of electricity.

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94. What does “cycling participation level” mean?
A/C Overview Chart

*A customer moving into a home with an existing PeakRewards device will receive ongoing bill credits for their participation in the program. As a “move-in” customer, you are currently enrolled at the 50% cycling level, the lowest level of credits and cycling. However, “move-in” customers are not eligible to receive the first-year bonus credits since the bonus is intended for the initial enrollment and installation of a device at a customer’s home. Credits are subject to change in future years. Terms and Conditions.

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95. What is “peak electric demand”?

Electricity usage fluctuates constantly due to weather conditions, commercial and industrial business hours, and residential electric usage. During summer months, there is greater demand for electricity to cool homes and businesses. “Peak electric demand” refers to the point of highest electricity use over a certain period of time.

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96. What is the difference between this thermostat and other programmable thermostats?

The PeakRewards thermostat has a built-in radio receiver to help BGE reduce electricity demand during periods of peak electricity use.

As a PeakRewards participant, you will have online access to your thermostat or switch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Your thermostat or switch will be linked to your BGE.com account.  You will be able to access PeakRewards Online by logging onto bge.com/myaccount and entering your BGE User ID and Password to sign in.  Visit www.BGEaccess.com for more information on Online Access.

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97. Will I continue to receive bill credits for the Energy Saver Water Heater Switch program in which I have been participating for years?

Yes. Effective June 1, 2009, the bill credits for the Energy Saver Water Heater Switch program were reduced to $3.50 each month from the $5 bill credit you previously received. All customers who receive bill credits for the Energy Saver Water Heater Switch program received a letter and notification of this change.

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98. What is the difference between the Energy Saver Water Heater Switch and the PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program?

The PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program offers:

More Savings — when you participate in the PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program, you will receive combined credits and bonus totaling $50 in your first year. Bill credits of $6.25 for four months [$25] and matching first year bonus of $6.25 for four months [$25] will be reflected on your November, December, January and February bills. You will continue to receive $25 per year for each year that you participate.

Additional optionsyou can override up to two non-emergency events from October through May.

Online Access — you can access your electric water heater switch with PeakRewards Online Access. This new feature will allow you to view your cycling history and override non-emergency cycling events from anywhere you have Internet access.

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99. When can I get a new water heater switch installed for the PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program?

The PeakRewards Electric Water Heater program is now available in certain areas. Contact the PeakRewards customer hotline for more information at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325).

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100. If I need to have maintenance, repair work done or need to replace my unit, do I need to contact BGE?

General maintenance should not require a call to BGE. However, you should inform the contractor that a BGE thermostat, outdoor switch or electric water heater switch is installed. If a contractor needs to disconnect the thermostat or switch for any maintenance or system replacement work, you should call the PeakRewards hotline at 1.888.309.PEAK (7325) for immediate assistance. Tampering with or removal of the PeakRewards device could jeopardize bill credits.

If you notice a slight rise in the indoor temperature during the cooling season, you should check the thermostat message area for the word “SAVINGS,” or the switch to see if the red light is on before calling a contractor to avoid an unnecessary service call. This will advise them that BGE is temporarily cycling your air conditioner. After the cycling event is over, the thermostat will return to normal operation. Likewise, if you notice that your supply of hot water has been reduced; first check your electric water heater switch for a red light to see if your unit is being cycled.

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