By Baltimore Business Journal

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. did not expect to set an all-time high for power usage Tuesday but is encouraging customers to limit their electricity consumption to prevent outages.

The utility is closely monitoring usage to ensure there is enough power to meet demand that has spiked as air conditioners are working hard to beat the 100-degree heat in Baltimore and much of the mid-Atlantic.

Electricity conservation measures BGE encourages include:

â¿¢ Raising thermostat levels if health permits;

â¿¢ Closing curtains and blinds to block sunlight;

â¿¢ Using fans to circulate air, because moving air feels cooler;

â¿¢ Delaying the use of appliances like electric stoves, dishwashers and washers and dryers until after 9 p.m.; and,

â¿¢ Turning off nonessential appliances and equipment.

The record for hourly usage in central Maryland is 7,198 megawatts, set Aug. 3, 2006. BGE expected hourly usage to peak Tuesday evening at 6,900 megawatts. One megawatt generally provides enough electricity to power 300 homes, and an average summer day sees a peak hourly usage of 5,500 megawatts.

BGE also said it may use its Peak Rewards program to help limit usage. Customers enrolled in the program allow BGE to cycle their air conditioner compressors on and off to most efficiently use power and ease demand.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010