Maryland’s largest energy utility company, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), delivers power and gas to close to 1.3 million customers throughout the Baltimore metroplex. While these customers pay regulated fees and rates for the delivery of the energy through the regulated distribution channels, they have the opportunity to compare prices offered by competitive energy suppliers. The energy prices that competitive suppliers offer can be compared directly to BGE price to compare rates, which are the default prices that customers who do not choose a competitive plan pay for electricity and natural gas. By comparing BGE prices and suppliers, customers can find rate plans that are below the default prices which will result in lower monthly BGE energy bills.
Data from the Maryland Public Service Commission reveals that at the end of January 2017 only 24.4% of BGE residential electricity customers were purchasing their electricity from a competitive supplier, despite there being multiple offers yielding double digit savings versus the BGE price to compare rate. The 75.6% default paying customers can easily reduce their electric bill by taking the time to compare the lowest BGE competitive prices. Recently competitive suppliers have been able to lower their price offerings which is expected to result in more comparison shoppers throughout the BGE service area.
In addition to electricity choice, BGE gas customers can also compare competitive prices offered by suppliers. Most gas suppliers also offer electricity service, however not all electricity suppliers offer gas service. While the BGE gas price to compare changes on a monthly basis, the electricity price to compare is set for a year in advance. This makes marketing and selling electricity service to new customer easier for the competitive suppliers operating in the BGE region.
With more than 850,000 BGE electricity customers currently on the default rate, and thus paying as much as 20% more for their power supply than necessary, competitive suppliers are launching new marketing programs in hopes of acquiring new customers. BGE residential customers can compare prices from a variety of suppliers by using the energy rate comparison tools offered at ElectricRate.com. The comparison tools allow consumers to easily compare the prices, term length, early termination fees, amount of savings, and other incentives that the plans contain side by side.