Overview of Electricity Competition
Retail electricity suppliers compete to sell you electricity and electricity supply services. Retail electricity suppliers sell directly to customers, using the local utility’s distribution system to deliver the electricity. You will likely receive one bill from your local electric utility, also known as your electric distribution company (EDC) containing charges for both the delivery service and the electric supply. If you receive one bill from your utility, you will pay the utility for both the delivery service and the electric supply, and the utility, in turn, pays your retail electricity supplier. You do not have to choose a new retail electricity supplier. If you do not choose a retail electricity supplier, you will continue to receive your electricity supply from your utility with no action on your part needed. If you do choose a retail electricity supplier, the same wires will bring electricity into your home and you will still contact your utility if the power goes out. Your utility will continue to respond to any emergency involving electric service. You can decide to choose a retail electricity supplier in the future if you decide that is a better decision for you. All retail electricity suppliers, brokers and marketers must have a license from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC). Retail electricity suppliers use various means of communicating with customers and may contact you in person, by mail, by telephone, or over the Internet. You need to know that:
- The utility customer (the person whose name is on the bill) must agree to the contract.
- A retail electricity supplier cannot switch your service without your permission.
- Retail electricity suppliers do not work for your utility. Your utility may have an affiliated company that uses the utility name or logo and sells competitive electricity, or other services. This is permitted under Maryland law. Affiliated retail electricity suppliers cannot claim that they work for the utility or that customers will receive better service because the retail electricity supplier is affiliated with the utility.
The information provided on this website is designed to:
- Educate you about electricity competition and give you the tools to get informed about your options.
- Provide you with the information you need if you decide to choose a new retail electricity supplier.