Maryland Residential Electricity Choice

Maryland is a unique restructured electricity market.  Real options exist for Maryland consumers, and significant savings opportunities are available.  Residential Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) customers can reduce their electricity generation bill by 14% by switching to a competitive supplier.  However, only 72,000 out of 5 million people in the state have chosen an alternative supplier.

How has Maryland reached this point in time where so much opportunity exists in a competitive market, yet so few people have participated?

The answer to the question is a combination of bad timing with the market and inpatient government officials.  Maryland, like other states who have deregulated their electricity markets, set capped rates for all of their customers when the restructuring act was passed.  This caused Maryland electric customers to enjoy low rates from 2000-2007 while energy prices were constantly rising.  In 2007, when these capped prices expired, many Maryland residents saw their electric rates shoot up by 50%.  The 50% increase was a result of Maryland Utilities pre-buying their power requirements for default service customers (those customers who did not choose a competitive supplier).  This is where the bad timing came in.  Electricity prices were at an all time high during the 2007-2008 period.  This made it difficult for alternative suppliers to offer competitive rates.

To make things worse, state officials started to call for the state to re-regulate the market stating that deregulation was not working.  Governor O’Malley backed the call for re-regulation which in turn kept electric providers from entering the market.  There is a significant investment required for electric providers to enter a new market or for a new entity to become a licensed retial electric provider.  It doesn’t make sense for a business to enter a trade that is not supported by the local government.

Fast forward to 2010 and Maryland customers are finally starting to see the benefits of electricity deregulation.  The call for re-regulation was shot down, and wholesale electricity rates have come way down from their highs.  In addition, default customers are paying rates that in many cases were established in 2008 during a time of high energy prices.  This is why residents are able to see savings of 14% on their electric bill versus their default price to compare rates.
Current BG&E Competitive Rates (Updated Daily):


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert February 28, 2010 at 2:04 am

Great article, I really enjoyed it. I subscribed to the Electricity Watch Power Club, and hope to see some great low offers in my inbox. Keep us updated please.

Alice M March 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I wish they would just go back to how it used to be, my prices have gotten so much higher over the last few year.

Elektrik March 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

I to Struggled with HIGH electric bills so I feel your stress. I used to be a Prisoner to HIGH electric bills with rates going up and up with no end at
site. I heard from a friend of a device (surgexpro) that could help? I was very doubtful. But With me losing work plus and having a family. To top it off
living in a state (FL)that needs A/C 24 / 7. I was STUCK. I was not going to make my family suffer for this. So i broke down and bought the device
I really didn’t have and still don’t have money to throw invest in new products and upgrades. So I being desperate you will do ANYTHING to take care of your family.
I took a personal stand I installed this product I was not sure of it working. I have long had this product since analog meters and fell into the dawn of a SMART meter.
But not to brag my bills have stayed the same as the rising rates have not effected me. I will say; Yes we do save and have changed a little but not to the point where
is was living uncomfortable. Do it for yourself hell do it for your family! Check it out SURGEXPRO. It is not for all. But all i know is I save enough to keep cellphone and cable.
Good luck and Be strong we are going to get threw this we are AMERICANS.

ElectricityWatch Team March 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm

You can also lower your bills by shopping for an alternative provider who will offer a lower rate versus the default “price to compare”. I know this is a new concept for many, but it is something that will be as common as choosing a cable provider or mobile phone service in the future. The quicker you act on this concept, the sooner you will be able to save on your electricity bills.

Feel free to join our electricity power watch club to the right to start getting offers.

Nick Mautino April 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

My company has teamed up with Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) to help people lock-in their electric bills at a lower rate. Long story short, energy has become “deregulated” and you don’t have to buy your electricity from your current Electric Company. You now have the opportunity of shopping your electricity cost… not all the taxes, fees and other stuff on your bill, just the “usage charge”. If the usage or delivery charge is lower somewhere else, you are allowed to have that electricity sent to your house. Nothing changes for you except your rate charge for your usage. Through our current marketing agreement with WGES, we are saving our family and friends between 10%-20% on the usage cost of their electricity bill. Your utility company stays the same, your billing stays the same, and you don’t need to notify anyone or do anything to make this happen. It takes about 3 minutes, and I have done it and I am trying to sign up as many friends, families, and clients that I can. Someone did it today who lives in Montgomery County and he’s going to save about $1300 a year. That is some serious savings.

WGES has given us a “special promotional code” for the time being that gives us an even better rate then if you did it without our code…. It is APS-304. You can go directly to the WGES website… or our website listed below. My promotional code must be used to get the lower rate.

Promotional Code is APS-304

The only thing you need is your current account number from your existing bill. If you do not have ot our site lists the phone number to call.

Chris the fact man August 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

This article is a very telling one but you fail to see why events played out as they did.
This was setup by the O’Malley for Governor Campaign it had nothing to do with the people of Maryland.
BG&E gave 1.2 million dollars in cash and in-kind to the O’Malley election committee in return he would support the re-regulation act and stop energy competition in the state. This was only to help him get elected he did not care if the re-regulation happened or not he does not pay energy bills! As the Mayor of Baltimore then as the governor the people of the state pay his energy bills. Politician as a hole have good intentions for the people they serve but sometimes we get those like O’Malley who cares more about their political future then about the residents they are suppose to represent.
If you are going to have discussions about the Energy problems in the state you may wish to look into the perks the people who make the laws receive before you do, you may be surprised and understand why they make the decisions they do about your life. My best suggestion to all is get involved with your local political organization and vote but after you learn the real truth about the people pretending to represent you! Knowledge is more powerful than any politician when you find out the facts about them they tend to leave office quickly.
Chris the fact man

Joseph37 August 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Not bad comments Chris the Fact Man, but it is kind of ironic that you call yourself the fact man when the majority of your comments are assumptions.

Meanwhile the article that you slightly riducle by saying statements like “you fail to see why events played out the way they did” seems to be nothing but factual stating events that took place in the energy market supported by real numbers that explains why Maryland customers have been slow to switch to a competitive provider.

I am not affiliated with this site, but as a writer know how frusterating it can be when your work is ridiculed for the wrong reasons. Again, your comments are not bad, but have no justification in replacing the material in the article.

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