Climate-Friendly Electricity Cheaper Than BGE’s Dirty Power

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Switch your home's electricity to Clearview and pay 8.5 cents vs. BGE's 9.2 cents per kWh.

Marylanders are lucky. We have a choice about what type of electricity powers our homes – polluting coal-fired or 100 percent renewable. And switching from BGE’s standard coal-fired power to Clearview’s renewable product saves about $77* in one year. 

It’s mind-boggling to compare the many electricity suppliers and plans, so each month we do the work for you in our Maryland Climate-Friendly Electricity Guide. Designed for residential customers, get the details you need on how to switch your home’s electricity supplier, and which company offers the lowest price in June 2016.  

Six reasons to choose climate-friendly electricity:

1. Coal and nuclear fuel our power plants. 

2. Marylanders are lucky, we can choose clean energy suppliers.

3. Renewable is actually cheaper. Rate winners listed below. 

4. It’s #1 change to make. Cuts carbon footprint by 25 percent.

5. It’s simple to switch online. 

6. It’s the right thing to do.

Why can Marylanders choose electricity suppliers?

Maryland deregulated energy suppliers in 1999. Let’s say you live in Baltimore: this means that while BGE still owns and services the power lines that bring electricity into your home, competing firms can buy electricity from different power suppliers, and sell it directly to consumers (and businesses).

When you switch suppliers, nothing changes. You still get the same BGE bill, but you will see an additional line item calculating your kilowatt usage multiplied by your contract’s one year locked-in price.

Over 25 percent of BGE’s 1.1 million customers have chosen an alternate supplier. Your default electricity supplier is BGE standard, coal-fired electricity. Why pay more for coal?

How does wind energy get delivered to my home?

It doesn’t. The emission-free wind energy is fed into our Mid-Atlantic PJM electricity grid. Your utility then sends electricity from the grid to your home. The PJM grid provides electricity for 61 million people. A mix of companies feed in electricity that’s generated by: coal (40 percent), nuclear (35 percent), natural gas (21 percent), and renewables – wind, solar, hydro power (4 percent). 

Switching your home’s electricity supplier to a climate-friendly option tells your utility what type of electricity to purchase on your behalf.  Maryland has determined that state utilities must buy 20 percent renewable by 2020; today we’re at 7 percent. Increased consumer renewable demand means more renewable supply helping to speed up the conversion from fossil fuels to renewables. 

Still have questions? They’re answered here.

How to switch:

Grab your utility bill and find your Electric Choice ID number on back of bill. Pick your supplier from chart below. Visit their web site. Choose residential products, 100 percent renewable, 12 month fixed rate. Switch online in 3 minutes.

Some advice:

I’m not connected with any supplier, and I don’t profit from suggesting switching to climate-friendly electricity. I touch base each month with Maryland’s Office of People’s Counsel representative who reviews each supplier and their Terms and Conditions.  Maryland Office of People’s Counsel updates the alternative supplier rate charts each month.  

DO NOT choose a variable rate product. You run the risk of rates going sky high again as they did during the 2014 Polar Vortex cold snap.

Renew each year: Switching means you enter into a 1-year contract to buy electricity at a certain price. If you cancel early, there may be a termination fees. Mark your anniversary in your calendar, and keep an eye for a renewal letter in your mail.  To switch next year, visit this guide next year for best rates.  Or, bargain hard with your current provider. Each supplier is licensed with Maryland, vetted by the Public Service Commission. Even if your supplier flops, your supplier will automatically switch back to your utility’s standard rates.

June 2016 climate-friendly electricity supplier winners 

Top 2 ranked by kilowatt price in cents. 1-year fixed rate. No monthly fees.

BGE  Price Chart for June 2016

Standard Rate to compare is 9.2 cents through 5/31/16

                             Clearview 8.5

                     Direct Energy   9.2  (18 months)

                       Constellation 9.3 * (2-year contract – great deal)

Pepco Price Chart for June 2016

Standard Rate to compare is 8.7 through 9/30/17

                              Clearview 8.8

                     Direct Energy   8.9

Potomac Edison Price Chart for June 2016 

Standard Rate to compare is 6.6

                      Direct Energy     6.8 

                      Clearview            6.2 (only 6-month contract!)

Delmarva Price Chart for June 2016

Standard Rate to compare   8.6 cents

                        Direct Energy 8.3 (18-month contract)

                       Clearview          9.0

Choptank and SMECO do not offer a fixed rate 1-year climate-friendly option

* According to BGE, the average residential user uses 11,100 kWh of electricity per year. Saving $.007 with Clearview per kWh for BGE customer multiplied by 11,100 kWh equals $77 savings for a one-year fixed rate contract.

Laurel Peltier
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Laurel Peltier

Laurel writes the environmental GreenLaurel column every other Thursday in the Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of UVA's MBA program, she spends her time with her family and making "all things green" interesting.
Laurel Peltier
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