It is very common for Montgomery County residents to think that their only choices for an energy supplier are Pepco, Potomac Edison, or BGE. In reality you have many more options and freedom of choice.
The state of Maryland began offering their residents the power to choose their own electricity provider in 1999. With this change, comes the ability to choose your retail energy provider, all of whom attempt to offer the most competitive rates and packages for state-wide electricity consumers.
As a consumer, you can not only save on your monthly energy costs by shopping for lower rates, but you can even take advantage of green energy options, and choose to have your electricity come from renewable energy sources.
When searching for a new energy supplier, you should make sure you do your research as my family recently learned.
When I first found out my family and I would be moving to Montgomery County from Orlando, Florida, I knew I would miss the sunshine, but not the electric bill. My electricity bill easily reached well over $300 per month starting in June and lasting into September; and it was not that much lower in the months before and after.
However, when I came to Maryland I discovered a benefit I had never experienced. For the first time, I would be allowed to choose my own utility company. In Florida, residents do not have the option to shop around for utility providers. Instead, one is assigned according to the current address or zip code in which one resides. You can imagine what a benefit it can be for an energy provider to have no competition.
As an energy consumer, being able to select an energy provider allowed me the ability to choose where the source of energy comes from. You can choose non-renewable sources like coal, gas, and nuclear, or renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydro. I could even decide to mix and match sources or select a provider based on price and location of the company.
The pricing for my residence ranges between $0.0729 and $0.089 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which gives me a great price scope to choose what best works for me.
There were two resources I used while trying to make a decision:
Now, my monthly energy bill is not only less than what I have paid in the past, but lower than I would have ever expected. It’s amazing how the needs of the consumer are catered to in such a beneficial manner here in Montgomery County. It certainly makes me wonder why all energy consumers nationwide are not granted the same benefits.
Chad Baisden is a new Montgomery County resident who resides in Gaithersburg with his wife and two wonderful daughters.