I was reading The Sun’s article "BGE blames extreme cold, other factors for higher bills" in which Baltimore Gas and Electric blamed the extreme cold along with other factors such as videogames and plasma televisions for higher electric bills this winter.
When they testified this week at a PSC hearing, BGE came armed with a Powerpoint presentation:
Case # 9175, Comments of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
“ Just One Example… So-Called ‘Vampire’ Electricity Consumption.”
Vampires! I know my Wii is a time vampire but is it also sucking up my electric like a vampire sucks your blood?
The report lists the “power usage of common household technology products.” For example, BGE’s report says that leaving a PlaysStation 3 turned on 24/7 for a year would use $248.28 worth of electric. Your plasma television playing dvd’s would add $232.10 to your yearly total. Your computer monitor would add $95.75. The list goes on.
BGE took their data from this article: “Computers' energy costs: How much energy is being sucked up by the technology around your home? And what can you do about it?” The article appeared in Choice Computer Magazine: Trusted information for Australian consumers.
Ummm… we’re Baltimore consumers. The only Australia we know of is called the Outback Steakhouse. Where’s my Bloomin’ Onion? And oh, by the way, an Australian dollar isn’t the same as a U.S. dollar. Google tells me one Australian dollar = 0.6387 U.S. dollars. 64 cents.
So BGE overstated these “vampire” electricity costs by over 56%!
That PlayStation 3 left running non-stop for a year would waste $158.57 of electric, not $248.28. Your plasma television playing Atomic TV on a non-stop loop would probably suffer burn-in but would only increase your bill by $148.24, not $232.10.
It’s quite disturbing that BGE didn’t bother to double check the data they used as partial justification for higher electric bills. It seems that they were scouring the web looking for the highest figures to plug into their report. Some inter-webbers are already calling bullshit on the Choice Computer report – does anyone really leave their videogame on forever or play a dvd non-stop for a year?
So why have are our electric bills increased yet again so much and why is BGE using faulty data to explain these increases?