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The Office of People's Counsel is here to help and advocate for you. We represent Maryland residential customers before the Public Service Commission and federal agencies, and we provide you assistance dealing with your utility issues, including affordable and reliable service.
To see what OPC is currently working on, click here for our recent press releases or click here for our media coverage.
Contact OPC at OPC@maryland.gov or call 410-767-8150 or 800-207-4055.
The price for home heating fuels like home heating oil, propane, and natural gas are expected to be higher than normal this winter and could impact your bill. If you use propane or home heating oil, consider filling your tank at the beginning of the heating season to be prepared. OPC encourages you to weatherize your home and conserve usage where you can. Homeowners can also consider supplementing their primary heating system with an energy efficient wood or pellet burning stove. The Maryland Energy Administration provides a grant for eligible stoves. To learn more, click here.
If you have a retail supplier for electricity or natural gas, pay very close attention as to what the price is and consider locking in a rate now, even if it is only just during the winter months. If you are on a variable price contract with a retail supplier, there are few limits on the price that a company can charge. For electricity, anything over $0.085 per kWh is likely higher than the price charged by your utility. For natural gas, anything over $0.65 per therm for BGE or $0.85 per therm for Washington Gas is likely higher than the price charged by your utility.
While this winter is forecasted to be slightly warmer than last year, that does not mean we will not have a cold snap. A cold snap combined with tight supplies can lead to extremely high fuel prices that can be passed on directly to the consumer through a variable price contract. During the "polar vortex" weather events in 2014, some customers with variable price electricity supply contracts were charged prices many times higher than typical-for example, one customer saw his variable price per kWh rise from about $.08 per kWh to nearly $.47 cents per kWh.
To learn more, click here for information from the US Energy Information Administration.
If you are behind on your gas and electric bill, or have received a utility disconnection notice, contact your utility immediately to avoid service disconnection. You are entitled to receive at least a 12-month payment plan. Check out OPC's COVID-19 resource section.
If you need financial assistance to meet your bills, consider applying for the Office of Home Energy Programs. Check to see if you're income eligible.
Scammers may try to take your money if you are behind on your utility bills. See these tips to avoid Utility Scams.
Tips and information for about Shopping Electric and Gas Suppliers
Do you have an unresolved dispute with your utility or energy supplier? You can file a complaint with the MD Public Service Commission (PSC) Consumer Affairs Division. The MD PSC regulates natural gas, electric, local landline telephone and private water companies. The PSC is the licensing agency for retail natural gas and electric suppliers.
Click here for information on the PSC complaint process.
Press Release 11/30/21 -- To Green the Electric Transmission System, Federal Regulators Should Foster Competition, Reject Anti-Competitive Utility Proposals, OPC Says
Press Release 11/23/21 -- OPC Files Complaint Against Washington Gas for Deceptive Green Marketing, Seeks $1 Million in Civil Penalties
Press Release 10/27/21 -- Agreeing With OPC, PSC Denies Potomac Edison’s Request for a $11.2 Million Rate Increase
Press Release 10/18/21 -- In Response to OPC Request, PSC Orders Washington Gas to Address Customer-Service Issues and Proposed Civil Penalty
Press Release 10/5/21 -- Columbia Gas’s Proposed Ninth Rate Increase in Nine Years Driven by Investor Strategy and Should Be Rejected, OPC Says
Commentary 10/2021 -- Public Utilities Fortnightly -- New Maryland Legislation Advances Consumer Interest in Clean Energy
Op-ed 9/27/21 Baltimore Sun -- Gas infrastructure investments: too costly for consumers and environment
When you have a power outage, do you know who to call? Here’s a rundown of all the utility companies in the Maryland region
Need help with your energy bills? The Office of Home Energy Programs' new program year started July 1, 2021. Apply now at bit.ly/3hkij1H
Library of OPC posted documents, Legislative filings, & previous monthly supplier charts
Community Agency Publication Resource Guides
11/30/2021--Case #9635--New Market Solar (CPCN-50MW solar photovoltaic generating facility in Dorchester County) Evening Hearing for Public Comment.
12/1/20/21--Case #9669--Potomac Edison (CPCN-rebuild of the Doubs-Goose Creek Transmission Line in Fredrick and Montogomery Counties Evening Hearing for Public Comment.
12/9/2021--Case #9635--New Market Solar (CPCN-50MW solar photovoltaic generating facility in Dorchester County)
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