The Maryland electricity choice market continues to make progress as the number of shopping customers increases as a result of more active electricity suppliers and lower generation rates. With the ability to lower the price of their generation supply rates on their monthly BGE electricity bill, consumers are quickly discovering the benefits of Maryland’s decision to deregulate their electricity market almost a decade ago.

Baltimore electricity consumers who do not choose an alternative energy supplier pay a default rate for their electricity supply service with the Baltimore Gas & Electric company who serves as the electricity delivery company for the area. Over the last year the spread between competitive electricity rates and the default rate, determined through an auction process, has grown apart creating an increase in the amount of savings customers can obtain. Consumers who are immersing themselves in electricity choice are finding that the lowest electric rates in Baltimore offered by competitive companies can reduce their monthly energy supply expenditure by more than fifteen percent. The companies participating in the auctions need to include a premium in their bids to account for customers who will leave default service during the term auctioned for. In contrast, individual shoppers can receive offers from energy companies based on current market conditions set for the customers. The difference in price structures has allowed for the large spread between the default rate and competitive rates.

The Maryland Public Service Commission reported that as of July 2013 29.7% of all BG&E residential customers are purchasing their power supply from a company other than BG&E. The switch rate is the highest in the state among the other three regulated electric utilities with Potomac Edison coming in last with only a 14.7% switch rate. Electricity choice markets around the country have seen a direct correlation between savings potential and active customer participation. While there are a number of reasons to purchase power from a competitive supplier including customer service and renewable options, lower electricity rates continue to be the primary, and often only, reason people look to shop.

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