Bargain or budget burden? Think twice about those deals!

About a year ago we signed up for our Baltimore Gas and Electric’s Peak Rewards program. We were able to get credits on our bill ($200 the first year, $100 in subsequent years) if we agreed to let the company cycle off our air conditioning during times when energy demand reached a peak. We thought it was a good deal to get a $25 discount each month of the summer in exchange for a little suffering during the heat.

 Fast forward to the heat wave of this week… On Friday, as we expected, the A/C was cycled off at 11:30 and remained off for about 8 1/2 hours. The temperature in the house reached a toasty 91 degrees. With that, we abandoned ship and headed out for dinner and relief in an air conditioned restaurant – to the tune of about $40. So, there goes the $25 credit for this month – plus some!

 We’re sticking with the program. This is the first time we have been uncomfortable enough to have to seek relief so we’re still over $200 ahead since we enrolled – but this is a perfect example of how the quest for a discount can cost you. How many people do you that drive far out of their way to save a few pennies per gallon on gas, or drive across town for a small discount on an item? Discounts are great, but be sure that as you search out a great deal, it’s not costing you more overall!

 PS – While we’re at it, here are some great tips for saving money on energy costs: BGE Blog – Let’s Get Summer Ready!

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