Maryland residents are now able to choose who supplies their electricity. (Customers of municipal electric systems and some rural cooperative systems are the exceptions - see "Areas not participating.") Your local utility, now called your electric company, will still deliver the electricity to your home, but you can choose another company to generate the electricity, if other companies are making an offer in your area.
To evaluate the price being offered by an electricity supplier, you will want to compare the supplier's rate to the rate charged by your electric company and any other competitive suppliers that are offering electricity to your area.
Electric companies in Maryland post their rates for residential customers on their web sites. See list of electric company web sites in the column at left. To find out about the rates offered by electricity suppliers in your area you will need to contact those suppliers directly. The Maryland Public Service Commission maintains a list of licensed electricity suppliers at: http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/supplierinfo/electricsupplier_new.cfm.
For more information on electric company choice, please visit:
Maryland Public Service Commision
Maryland Office of the People's Counsel
410-767-8150 or toll-free 1-800-207-4055 • Fax 410-333-3616
www.opc.state.md.us for information on comparison shopping for electricity suppliers
Take your time to check out offers. You may receive offers from electricity suppliers through direct mail, telemarketing, advertising, and over the Internet. Read offers carefully and ask the supplier questions. You may have to commit to a fixed-term contract when you sign up with an electricity supplier. Therefore, be sure you like the terms of the offer. Questions to ask a supplier:
Is the energy price fixed or can it fluctuate month to month? Does it vary by amount used or time of use?
What is the length of the contract? Is there an early termination fee or other fee if you switch to another supplier before the contract period is over? How much notice is required to switch suppliers?
Will the contract automatically renew at the end of the term? How much notice must you give if you don't wish to renew?
How is the electricity generated - coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, etc.? What percentage of the fuel source is renewable, and what are the emissions levels?
Is there a deposit or sign-on fee? A fee for late payments? Any other fees?
Will you be billed by the supplier or by the electric company? Will you receive two separate bills or one combined bill?
Municipal Systems are not participating in electric competition. These community-owned, non-profit systems purchase energy wholesale and pass the savings on to their customers at cost. The municipal systems in Maryland are:
Rural Cooperative Systems: Like municipal systems, these systems already purchase energy wholesale and pass the savings on to their customers at cost. The rural cooperative systems in Maryland which have not implemented choice are:
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TDD: 410-576-6372