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Aug. 3, 2020
Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state that generates the majority of its electricity from nuclear power, followed by other renewable sources. It currently ranks among the ten states with the lowest energy consumption in the country. However, electricity rates can vary from region to region, across the state. Here’s how the Maryland electricity market works, as well as how you can save on your energy bill, and get the best electricity rates.
Almost all of Maryland’s electricity production is from nuclear energy, coal, natural gas, and other renewable sources. Additionally, the state has made an increase in its Renewable Portfolio Standard with the goal to fulfill 50% of the state’s total energy requirement with renewable energy.
All Maryland residents (business and residential customers) receive an electricity bill that’s divided into two categories – supply and delivery charges.
The supply charges include the cost of electricity generation and are charged by kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month. The charge is different for the multiple electricity supply companies in the state. The primary cost difference is between the Standard Offer Service (SOS) and various retail electric suppliers (RES). Any additional supply charges (if applicable) can be avoided if you opt for one of the retail electric companies.
The delivery services are provided by your utility company of choice. In Maryland, you can choose between Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), Delmarva Power, PEPCO, and First Energy as your local utility company. Delivery costs consist of the distribution charge, transmission charge, the Combined Public Benefits (CPB) charge, customer service charge, and the Competitive Transmission Assessment (CTA) charge.
You can learn more about Maryland’s energy rates here.
The state of Maryland deregulated energy utilities in 1999. Since then, direct energy providers have offered a variety of competitive rates, electricity plans, and utility repair/maintenance services. Currently, suppliers are governed by the local Public Service Commission (PSC).
Maryland residents can choose an independent retail energy company for their home energy needs. However, if a resident does not select an independent supplier, the default utility company for the region automatically commences electric supply as Standard Service.
The Maryland Public Service Commission regulates all energy suppliers. It also regulates and approves the Standard Offer Service provided by your utility company if you don’t choose a supplier.
The MPSC regulates three utility companies in Maryland – Baltimore Gas & Electric, Pepco, and First Energy. If you fail to register your customer choice, you will automatically start receiving utility services at the Standard Offer. The Standard Offer is your ‘Price to Compare.’ Customers can use the Price to Compare to see which supplier offers the best utility rates in their area.
All Maryland residents can choose from the multiple electricity rates and plans offered by the three local suppliers, based on their rates and customer service, among other factors.
The Baltimore region is primarily supplied by BGE, whereas Pepco and First Energy cover the rest of the state. You can search and shop for the best prices, but remember to read the fine print, check for any hidden fees, and/or escalating rates.
Alternatively, you can use Arbor’s free TrueRate Protection service to automatically find and switch to the best Maryland electricity rate in your area.
Arbor scans the market and gives you the best rates you can get in your service area. When your term is expiring, Arbor finds the best rate and switches you again. You always pay the best rate and never have to worry about overpaying for electricity ever again.
You can also use the free savings calculator to find out how much you could save in each case.
Each utility supply company offers different plans, as well as plan lengths and electric rates. You can change your electricity supplier at any time.
Transferring to another supplier is easy. All you have to do is get a copy of your recent electricity bill, find out which company supplies your electricity, and check the cost per energy usage to find out your current rate.
You can use Arbor to find out what the best rate in your area is by using our free savings calculator.
Once you have your supplier and their current rates, you can then compare your current energy supply rate with those offered by other suppliers, and sign up online or over the phone.
Furthermore, different energy suppliers may offer different types of plans.
These are the two plan options you’ll find:
Fixed-Rate Plans: A fixed plan requires you to pay the same rate throughout your plan duration. Fixed-rate plans are highly stable and you can choose from several rate structures. We recommend fixed-rate plans because they minimize risk and provide price certainty. But be careful; when your term expires, your rate becomes variable and can go up without notice. Arbor automatically keeps you on the best fixed-rate plan, so you don’t have to worry about rate hikes at the end of your term.
Variable-Rate Plans: These plans depend on the price fluctuations in the energy market. Your supply costs can change every month, depending on market variation. Variable-rate plans are not stable but can yield low seasonal rates.
You can choose a plan that's better for your current financial state and spending capacity. Many plans may ask for an initial deposit. Any and all plans available through Arbor never require a deposit.
As a Maryland resident, your energy choice options are limited. However, you do have a few competitive options. You have to choose the best supplier by checking which energy plan works best for you, and then compare the rates on that plan with the Price to Compare (or your current supplier’s rate).
You can then check which electric choice offers the most savings on your bill, and decide accordingly.
You can also find out how to understand and pay your electricity bill yourself. However, utility billing can get complicated, which is why people trust Arbor to manage their electric utility services for them. This lets them avoid unnecessary service interruptions and pay the best electricity rate available in Maryland.
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