States that have deregulated their energy markets have seen an increase in the number of participating electricity shoppers in recent years. Now the nation’s capital city is starting to share in that success as the Washington DC electricity choice market develops rapidly. The unbundling of PEPCO DC in 2001 has allowed consumers to shop for competitive electricity rates from dozens of competitive electricity companies. These competitive suppliers have entered the Washington DC electric choice market in hopes of gaining market share by offering low electric rates, renewable energy plans, and other incentives.
Often in a newly deregulated electricity market, power consumers are slow to compare and switch electric rates due to their lack of knowledge and education surrounding the benefits of energy choice.
Taking the time to compare electricity rates can provide a number of benefits to utility customers. However, first consumers need to trust that switching electricity suppliers is not going to cause a power failure or reduce the quality of the power they are receiving. In order for a energy choice market to succeed, it is important that the local utility supports the program and educates their customers. In Washingtion DC, PEPCO Energy has created an energy choice page on their website to help inform their customers of the benefits of shopping for competitive low electric rates. In addition, the Public Service Commission of Washington DC also provides information on energy choice.
The primary reason most people begin their research into competitive power prices is to save money. If a customer is able to find a competitive electricity rate that is lower than the current PEPCO DC “Price to Compare” rate they have an opportunity to lower their monthly electric bill by selecting the lower rate plan. Customers who do not shop or participate in the energy choice market are given a default rate for their electricity supply from PEPCO DC known as the “Price to Compare”. The PEPCO DC “Price to Compare” default rate changes once a year on the first of June, and stays constant through the end of the following May.
While the PEPCO DC “Price to Compare” rate has remained relatively stable over the last two years, competitive rates have dropped resulting in an increase in the savings potential for new shopping customers living in Washington DC. The drop in wholesale energy prices has lead new competitive suppliers to enter the Washington DC market in an attempt to grab new customers and expand their energy brand. The neighboring state of Maryland has had some success with their energy choice program leading to several suppliers willing to take the small jump into the DC service area.
PEPCO DC delivers power to an estimated 344,000 customers living in Washington DC. As more competitive suppliers have entered the market, the laws of economics has allowed the prices to drop and the number of product offerings to increase. Not only can Washington DC electricity consumers find lower electric rates, but they can also choose to purchase renewable energy plans where the power they consume is derived from clean energy sources such as wind power. Energy choice in Washington DC also has given consumers to the ability to lock in a low fixed rate for as long as three years giving consumers price certainty and peace of mind. Below are current rate options provided by electricity suppliers who are licensed suppliers by the Washington DC Public Service Commission.