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Maryland Electric Shock: BGE Rate Surge Sparks Urgent Search for Savings

People analyzing BGE electricity prices and suppliers

Ah, the electrifying drama of rising electricity prices in Maryland! Brace yourselves, fellow Marylanders, because the electric shock is coming, and it’s no party trick. Maryland’s two largest electricity utilities – BGE and PEPCO – have announce large rate increases for their customers that will take place on October 1, 2023 and carry through the middle of next year. These increases will be felt by all residential customers on the utility default rates, and the majority of small and medium sized businesses throughout the state of Maryland.

BGE, those purveyors of power in and around Baltimore, are about to unleash a shocking 17.81% surge in electric bills for those who dare not venture into the world of electricity options. If you’re the type who lets things slide and haven’t hopped onto a competitive rate plan, October 1, 2023, is when the sparks will fly on your bills.

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Now, don’t go blaming BGE entirely for this jolt to your wallet. This surge, this tempest of tariffs, is exclusively for the folks who’ve stuck to the BGE default supply price. Those who’ve spread their wings and opted for a competitive rate plan by comparing BGE prices and suppliers can sit back and sip their tea, because they won’t be singing the “shock-a-lock-a” blues.

But, before you start thinking of candlelit dinners and camping out, there’s hope on the horizon. You, yes, you can escape this electrical storm and avoid the BGE rate increase with a simple flick of your switch – the metaphorical one, of course. Just take a leisurely stroll through the marketplace of licensed Maryland electricity suppliers. Shop and choose wisely, and you’ll have a new, lower electric rate that’ll dance gracefully onto your bill, replacing BGE’s attempt at highway robbery. Your supply charge rate will remain as steady as a lighthouse in a storm.

BGE Price to Compare Rate Increase

But why is this electric revolution even happening? Well, it’s all about the BGE supply default rate, the price tag for those who’ve decided not to play the Maryland electricity choice game. On October 1, 2023, this rate is set to soar from 9.983¢ per kWh to a dazzling 11.761¢. That’s a 1.778¢ hike that adds up to an electrifying 17.81% surge in the cost of keeping the lights on in Baltimore.

Now, if you’re thinking that saving yourself from this electric ordeal should be as easy as pie, well, it pretty much is. The Maryland Public Service Commission, in its infinite wisdom, released switching data on June 30, 2023. Surprise, surprise – the savings are out there, ripe for the picking.

But here’s the kicker: Out of the 1,206,623 residential customers in BGE’s service area, only 205,751 have embraced the competitive Maryland electricity rate plan magic. That means over a million BGE customers are sitting on the default rate like it’s a ticking time bomb, waiting for their bills to balloon by nearly 18%. A simple solution? Spare a few minutes to compare BGE’s prices and suppliers. It’s like finding the golden ticket, but instead of a chocolate factory, you get to keep your hard-earned cash.

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BGE Gas Choice Provides Alternative to Fluctuating Default Prices

For over a decade energy choice in Maryland has allowed consumers to shop for competitive priced energy contracts for their homes and businesses. While electricity choice participation and familiarity has increased drastically over the last few years, gas choice awareness in Maryland has lagged behind. Due to recent rising default prices in the state’s largest gas utility, BGE, gas choice awareness is poised to finally grow.

BGE, who is both Maryland’s largest electric and gas utility, delivers gas to over 626,000 residential customers and another 43,500 commercial and industrial. As of September 2017, data obtained from the Maryland Public Service Commission website reveals that only 136,000 BGE gas residential customers were active gas choice customers purchasing gas supply from an alternative supplier. Customers who have not elected to shop for competitive gas rates have the ability and option to do so at any time, unlike in other states where there is a limited shopping period each year.

The more than 78% of BGE gas customers who have not switched gas suppliers are paying the BGE gas price to compare. Price to compare prices are a variable rate that change each month and can be volatile leaving customers unable to properly manage their monthly energy expenses. For example, BGE reported that their gas price to compare in February of 2018 was $0.5068 per therm, a 22.44% increase in the February 2017 price to compare. In 2017 BGE gas customers saw a low of $0.3877 in March compared to a high of $0.5503 in May on the price to compare rate. The 42% price difference occurred in just a two month period.

Gas choice provides customers with the ability to lock in their price with a fixed gas rate contract. Competitive gas suppliers offering service to BGE customers will state the rate in therms and length of the fixed rate in their contract. While the rate offered can easily be compared to the BGE gas price to compare, it is important to remember that the gas price to compare changes each month. This is immensely different than the BGE electric price to compare which sometimes is fixed for up to eight months allowing customers to easily compare the savings that the competitive rate will yield. Gas choice is as much, if not more, about providing price security as it is about instant savings.

When choosing a competitive gas plan, BGE customers should confirm that the rate is in fact a fixed gas price. Otherwise, if it is not fixed, the customer is just swiping out one variable rate for another. Below are a number of fixed gas rate offers from gas suppliers who have been licensed to sell gas supply to BGE customers through the Maryland Public Service Commission.


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BGE Commercial Customers Selecting a Competitive Supplier Can Expect Immediate Savings

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) Commercial Customers looking to shop around for competitive electric rates can expect a lower electric bill upon choosing a competitive supplier. The deregulation of the electricity market in Maryland is opening the doors for competitive suppliers to offer lower rates than a BGE commercial customer can expect to receive from the Standard Offer Service. The BGE Standard Offer Service (SOS) is the alternative electricity supplier chosen by BGE that provides standard services to those who have not selected a competitive supplier. The commercial rates provided by the SOS can be set up to a year in advance so BGE customers looking to lock in a fixed rate from a competitive supplier can be shown guaranteed savings.

Current market conditions show a favorable percentage of savings for Maryland electricity commercial customers electing to select a competitive supplier. Depending on load factor and other variables a typical business can expect to save 8-20%. Fixed rate options are often the best choice for companies looking to minimize risk. Some suppliers will offer a low introductory variable rate only to increase the rate the following month. It is important to compare and review the terms and conditions carefully before selecting a competitive supplier. A good database to start comparing supplier’s rates and terms for BGE commercial customers is Electricrate.com.

Deregulating the electricity market in Maryland is proving to be a cost effective way for businesses to save money and approve their bottom line. Electricity rates have a history of being volatile so taking advantage of these low rates while market conditions are favorable may be a wise choice. The number of commercial accounts switching from the SOS to a competitive supplier is expected to grow in the coming years as businesses become more aware of energy choice.

Compare competitive offers below by selecting your utility and monthly electric bill amount. All offers are provided by electricity suppliers who have been licensed by the Maryland Public Utility Commission.

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Competitive PEPCO Suppliers Offer Customers Savings in Maryland

Maryland’s second largest electricity utility is seeing an increase in competitive shopping activity as historically low energy prices are enticing first time shoppers to search for savings. PEPCO Energy delivers power to over 500,000 residential and commercial customers throughout Maryland. While the delivery of power remains a regulated business in the state, Maryland electricity choice allows consumers to shop for competitive power generation offers. Customers who have not shopped pay a default rate through PEPCO Energy for generation supply. Competitive Maryland electricity suppliers are offering fixed electricity rates that are well below the default rate, which results in electric bill savings for those PEPCO customers who take advantage of the choice laws.

The majority of consumers residing in the PEPCO service area are still unaware of their ability to shop the market for competitive electricity rates. Officially the state has been an energy choice state for more than a decade, however it wasn’t until the last few years that competitive electricity suppliers began marketing their services. Prior to this time the competitive companies were unable to offer electricity prices to customers that provided significant savings, if any, against the PEPCO default rate which is officially called the standard offer service (SOS) rate. Falling natural gas prices over the last few years have allowed electricity prices to fall, resulting in enhanced savings opportunities for PEPCO customers living in Maryland.

Lower energy prices and a high SOS PEPCO rate have caught the attention of executives working for competitive electricity companies who are looking for new customers. Initially, as the Maryland electricity choice market started to grow, competitive suppliers focused most of their marketing efforts on the BG&E market which contains nearly double the number of customers as the PEPCO market. WHile BG&E is still attractive for the suppliers, the combination of savings potential and first time shoppers in PEPCO is to enticing to pass up. Meanwhile, as more competitive suppliers enter the market, consumers are benefiting even more as rate offers are being pushed down and their options are expanding.

In order to sell electricity to a PEPCO customer the competitive electricity supplier must be licensed by the Maryland Public Service Commission. For first time shoppers, the rate offered by the competitive supplier replaces the PEPCO standard offer service rate. Electricity choice in the PEPCO service area is providing an easy way for consumers to lower their electric bill. All switches are done electronically, so the customer does not have to stay at home and wait for a technician to come over and do manual work. Below is a list of many of the lowest PEPCO rates currently available, all offers are updated in real time.


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Delmarva Power & Light Customers Have Energy Choice Options in Maryland

Energy choice has expanded in Maryland, resulting in a growth in licensed electricity suppliers offering service to customers. With the increased competition among electricity suppliers, many of these companies are starting to solicit customers in some of Maryland’s smaller markets such as Delmarva Power & Light. Until recently the majority of these electricity suppliers would only focus their attention on BG&E, Maryland’s largest electric utility market. While relatively small at about one-sixth the size of BG&E, Delmarva Power & Light has grabbed the attention of energy marketing executives as they have come to realize that they can offer consumers in the area significant savings versus the utility standard offer service.

Delmarva Power & Light delivers electricity to nearly 175,000 residential customers and another 32,000 businesses of all sizes. As of December of 2014, only 16.2% of residential customers and 31.6% of small business customers were buying their power form a competitive supplier. Delmarva customers who do not choose a competitive energy supplier continue to purchase their power supply from the utility’s standard offer service which is a default rate structure. The standard offer service price is produced through an auction process where Maryland electricity suppliers bid for the right to supply power to a portion of the default customer pool. The outcome of these auctions is largely based on the condition of the wholesale energy markets during the time of the auctions. Due to high volatility in these markets over the last year, the current Delmarva Power & Light standard offer service experienced a steep rise in early June, at a time when wholesale energy prices have fallen over the last several months. The difference in the two price sets have allowed competitive Maryland electricity suppliers to offer residential customers rates that are lower than the Delmarva standard offer service.

The primary reason most people begin their research into competitive power prices is to save money. Locking in a competitive electricity rate that is lower than the current Delmarva standard offer service rate you will guarantee savings on the supply portion of the Delmarva Power & Light electric bill. With current competitive electricity rates yielding as much as 11% versus the standard offer service, the incentive to switch now exists for consumers, and as a result the number of customers buying their power from a competitive supplier is expected to increase significantly in the DP&L area. Find a list of Delmarva Power & Light competitive rates below from electricity suppliers licensed by the state of Maryland. All rates are updated in real time.


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Energy Choice Provides Savings in PEPCO Maryland

Maryland energy choice allows for consumers to shop for competitive electricity and natural gas rates offered by alternative suppliers. The utility companies in the state that customers have grown to become familiar with continue to function as their role as the utility for their specific service area; they continue to deliver power to their customers through the power and gas lines through regulated distribution charges. Until recently the Potomac Electric Power (PEPCO) service area in Maryland had been overlooked by many competitive suppliers as companies focused their marketing efforts on BG&E, the state’s largest utility, as well as other larger service areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The combination of market maturity and volatile energy prices has changed that and put the PEPCO Maryland service area on the map of electricity suppliers looking to attract new customers.

As Maryland’s second largest electric utility, PEPCO provides power to over 550,000 total customers in the state. The residential customer pool in the area was over 500,000 at the end of 2014, giving competitive suppliers over a half million new customers to solicit. Competitive Maryland electricity companies have recently started to focus more attention on acquiring PEPCO customers due to the widening space between the standard offer service rate for electricity and the rate these companies are able to offer. Through Maryland electricity choice customers can shop for a competitive generation and transmission rate, also known as the electricity supply price. If a customer does not choose a competitive plan for their electricity supply than they pay a default rate through PEPCO called the standard offer service.

The standard offer service rate, or price to compare, recently went up due to market conditions in wholesale electricity. PEPCO oversees an auction process to determine the standard offer service price. After the auction for summer 2015 rates was completed, energy prices began to drop allowing competitive suppliers to buy power contracts on the wholesale market and start offering lower prices to PEPCO consumers. Now that competitive electricity suppliers are able to offer fixed rate contracts to PEPCO customers that are well below the PEPCO standard offer service rate, a true incentive exists for both suppliers and customers to participate in the Maryland electricity choice market.

That incentive, of course, is the ability for consumers to find cheaper PEPCO electricity rates and thus pay less money on their monthly electric bills. When a customer chooses a competitive price plan that rate simply replaces the PEPCO standard offer service rate, so the savings are simply and easy to understand. Current PEPCO rates offered by licensed electricity suppliers are shown below.


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BGE Electricity Choice Rates Remain Lower than Price to Compare

Electricity choice continues to provide lower price options for residential customers who receive their power from BGE. The creation of a competitive electricity market has created an abundance of electric rate options that give consumers an alternative to the BGE default price to compare rate. Electric bills in the BGE service area are increasingly being reduced as a result of Maryland electricity choice laws that allow consumers to shop for competitive power rates.

BGE residential customers who do not shop the electricity choice market for lower rates pay a default rate for their power supply through BGE. The default rate is determined through an auction process where competitive electricity suppliers compete for the ability to service a bundle of the default paying customers. An individual customer can take that default rate, labeled the price to compare, and search for a lower competitive electricity rate. Once selected, the competitive rate replaces the default rate on the monthly electric bill, creating savings if the competitive rate is below the BGE default rate.

BGE electricity choice rates have remained lower than the price to compare for all of 2014. This has resulted in an increase in the participating level in Maryland electricity choice. Those customers who have not taken the time to learn about electricity choice are paying more than they have to on their monthly BGE electric bills.


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Best BGE Electricity Prices

Energy choice participation is picking up in the Baltimore Gas & Electric service area as consumers are becoming more aware of legislation that allows them to shop for competitive electric rates. Competitive electricity companies have entered the Maryland electric choice market in hopes of gaining market share by offering low electric rates and alternative green energy options. The infusion of new competitive electricity companies is helping to spread the word about customer choice, but finding the best BGE electricity prices for your home and can be difficult if you don’t know where to start.

One of the easiest ways to find the best BGE electricity rate is to use a electricity price comparison site that allows you to easily look at different offers side by side. Similar to price comparison sites in the travel industry that allows consumers to compare flight and hotel rates with a click of the mouse, electricity comparison sites force energy companies to offer their very best electricity prices. Some other factors that energy customers will look for are the length of the contract, amount of green energy used, enrollment bonus offers, an early termination fees.

Often in a newly deregulated electricity market, consumers are slow to compare and switch electric rates due to them not fully understanding the benefits. The primary reason most people begin their research into finding the best Baltimore & Gas Electricity rate is to save money. Maryland consumers have been quick to adapt to electricity choice as the savings have been significant.

Look for the current best BGE electricity price below.


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BGE Rate Increase Announcement Spurs Power Shopping

Energy choice has been alive in the state of Maryland for almost a decade, but it is only now beginning to sustain a healthy heartbeat. Increased customer awareness concerning competitive power is largely centered around the recent BG&E rate hike announcement. Maryland electricity choice provides a way for BG&E consumers to avoid the rate hike.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BG&E) recently increased their electricity supply default rate and stated that their rates will shoot up another 17% on June 1, 2013 just in time for the high electricity usage summer season. This has caused BG&E default paying customers to start shopping the market for more competitive electric rates. BG&E is the largest electric utility in Maryland and is responsible for providing default service for all Baltimore electricity users.

Default customers are those consumers who have not taken the time to compare electric rates in the competitive market. These customers pay the BG&E price to compare rate, a price that is regulated by the Maryland Public Service Commission and the benchmark for competitive energy companies to offer pricing. Competitive electric rates must contain everything that the BG&E price to compare contains, allowing BG&E customers to compare prices on an even playing field.


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