How Good Is The Maryland Electric Choice?
Energy Choice in Maryland
Maryland deregulated its energy sector in 1999 and a couple of decades later, several competitive retailer energy providers compete for the attention of Marylanders with cheaper prices, better customer service, and energy products. Overseeing the deregulated energy market is the Maryland Public Service Commission, whose role is to ensure that your interests as the customer always come first.
Today, nearly all Maryland residents can switch energy suppliers. To help them make the right choice, the state government introduced an online tool called Maryland Electric Choice where customers can compare the standard offer service (Price to Compare) charged by their local utility with the competitive rates offered by other suppliers.
Electricity Plans Available in Maryland
Choosing the right energy plan can be overwhelming – you should understand your usage, your current electricity price and have a rough idea about what types of products are available on the market. The good news is that you don’t have to do the research on your own- we are here to help. Let’s look at the most common energy plans available in the market:
Fixed-Rate Electricity Plans
This plan will lock your price per kWh for the duration of the contract, no matter how much the wholesale energy price varies. It is most often cheaper but usually carries cancellation fees if you decide to exit the contract early.
100% Renewable Plans
How does 100% renewable energy works? Many electricity suppliers offer the choice of an energy plan that is sourced entirely or partially from renewable energy, such as wind or solar. These plans can have either variable- or a fixed rate form.
Electricity Plans With Incentives
In the competitive market, each energy supplier competes for the attention of every customer. That means that apart from great rates, the electricity suppliers often bring in a little extra to close the deal – be it an attractive referral program, complementary energy products, or discounts.
Variable-Rate Electricity Plans
There is no locked-in rate and the price you pay for a unit of electricity might be cheaper one month and more expensive the next month. The plus side is that there is no commitment to stick to it for a fixed period and you can switch anytime.
Understanding Your Electricity Bill
Many people get confused about how the switching process actually works since you start as a customer of your state utility company. It gets even more confusing – your utility company will continue to deliver the electricity to your door (and take your angry phone calls in case your power goes out), but the energy will be sourced by an independent supplier, reflected in the ‘Supply charges’ part of the bill.
It is important to understand these nuances when analyzing your monthly energy bill. Let’s look at the different charges you will find.
Utility Delivery Charges
The delivery charges on your energy bill reflect the costs of reliable transmission and safe distribution of power to your home. According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Energy report, 70% of power transmission lines are 25 years of age or older and in need of hefty investments, meaning that the delivery charges on the utility bills are bound to go up in the coming years.
Energy Supply Charges
The supply charges of your energy bill cover the cost of generating electricity. This could, for example, be the cost of operating a nuclear power plant or the cost of setting up a solar farm or a wind farm. If you live in one of the 18 U.S. energy deregulated states, you can switch energy suppliers to reduce the electricity supply charge portion of your bill. This charge on your bill is expressed as the price per kilowatt-hour of energy.
Electric Rates by Utility Company
How to compare rates? Utility companies have standard offer prices (what you are currently paying if you haven’t switched). All you need to do is to compare your utility company’s standard offer service (SOS) rate for electricity supply with offers from competitive electricity suppliers in the Maryland market.
Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) Electricity Rates
The current approved standard offer service: ¢ 6.8 / kWh.
Delmarva Power Electric Rates
The current approved standard offer service: ¢ 7.63 / kWh.
PEPCO Electric Rates
The current approved standard offer service: ¢ 6.68 / kWh.
Potomac Edison Electric Rates
The current approved standard offer service: ¢ 6.1 / kWh.
What happens When I switch?
Switching gas or electricity suppliers might sound like a big deal, but we promise you – it isn’t. At least with the right information at hand. Our electricity and gas prices comparison online tool will quickly generate a list of available energy offers for your zip code and you can sign up right there and then at no cost to you.
Is The Enrollment Process Difficult?
It is very easy! All you need to do is click on the sign-up button and you are done! This is what happens in the background:
- You, as the customer, enter into a contract with the retail electricity supplier of your choice.
- The retail electricity supplier will notify your utility of your request and the utility will switch you to the new supplier’s service you selected.
- You will begin receiving service from your new supplier within three (3) business days after the utility’s receipt of the enrollment transaction.
Why Is ElectricRate A Better Comparison Site Than Maryland Electric Choice?
Like Maryland Electric Choice, ElectricRate also allows you to compare available electric rates, but our web-based comparison tool also offers additional benefits.
|Switch to your new service in a few clicks - When you enter your zip code on ElectricRate, you will not only see all rates, with the cheapest deals displayed on the top of the list, but you can also sign up immediately with just a few clicks.|
|All the information you need in one place - As customers, we all like excellent customer service and extras. That's why at ElectricRate, we carefully review all major suppliers and compile information about customer support hours, ratings, and extra benefits that they provide, such as attractive referral programs, complementary goods, and value-add services.|
|Get the support you need: Our team at ElectricRate is ready to provide ongoing support to customers, including helping you choose the plan that best fits your lifestyle, notifying you when your plan is about to expire and any additional support you might need. All you need to do is give us a call at 1-888-307-9636 or email [email protected]|
What Is The Average Energy Bill in Maryland?
Electricity in Maryland certainly isn’t a cheap affair. The combination of high average electric rates (11.57 cents per kWh) and high average energy usage results in the average energy bills for Marylanders to be among the highest in the country or approximately $140 / month.
How Do I Choose An Electricity Supplier?
You should take advantage of the electric choice in Maryland if possible. You have several electricity comparison tools available to help you make that decision – the official state government program is one of them. Alternatively, compare MD electric rates on the ElectricRate site to find the best deal.