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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, use these links:
Contact OPC at OPC@maryland.gov or call 410-767-8150 or 800-207-4055.
Increased demand and the war in Ukraine mean prices for many fuels remain volatile. Just how these global forces will impact the price you pay at home for natural gas or electricity this summer depends on the service you have selected. While heating season is behind us, air conditioning season is ahead—now is as good a time as any to review your bill, weatherize your home and develop a plan to conserve energy where you can.
If you have standard offer service (or “SOS”), which utilities provide to customers who have not chosen a competitive electricity supplier (known as a “retail supplier”), the price most of you will pay for electricity this summer was approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission based on wholesale supply contracts procured some time ago, prior to the recent spike in energy prices. Baltimore Gas & Electric Company, Potomac Electric Power Company and Delmarva Power & Light Company each is therefore scheduled to slightly reduce its charge to standard offer service customers for each kilowatt hour of electricity beginning June 1, 2022, while Potomac Edison’s standard offer service rates will increase slightly. If you obtain natural gas through your utility—such as BGE or Washington Gas—changes in natural gas market prices still will impact you if you use gas for cooking or water heating, as the utility generally passes through to you its costs for buying the gas commodity. The gas commodity charge is a “per therm” charge that is set monthly depending on the market. The energy charge on your electric bill and the gas commodity charge on your gas bill are separate charges from the distribution charges, which go to pay the utility’s cost of delivering service.
If you have chosen a retail supplier for electricity or natural gas, pay close attention to what the price is and consider locking in a rate now. 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 $.0774 per kilowatt hour likely will be higher than the price charged by your utility beginning June 1, 2022. For natural gas, anything over $1.05 per therm for BGE or $1.08 per therm for Washington Gas is likely higher than the price charged by your utility.
For more information on retail supplier charges, see OPC’s message on shopping for gas and electricity at https://opc.maryland.gov/Consumer-Corner/Retail-Suppliers.
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 7/27/22 -- Transparency and Oversight Needed on Federal Grants, Not Deference to Utilities, People’s Counsel Says
Press Release 6/21/22 -- People’s Counsel: Utilities’ Proposal to End Pandemic Protections for Residential Customers Should Be Rejected
Press Release 6/1/22 -- Siding with OPC, FERC Finds NRG Failed to Show $315 Million in Plant Costs Are Lawful
Press Release 5/6/22 -- Maryland People’s Counsel Protests NRG’s FERC Request to Foist Its Power Plant Costs on Utility Customers
Press Release 5/5/22 -- People's Counsel Seeks Transparency on Utility Efforts to Obtain Federal Infrastructure Funding
FAQ on FirstEnergy: Who is FirstEnergy? What effect does the FirstEnergy scandal have on Maryland residents? Your questions answered.
Press Release 4/1/22 -- Proposal to Integrate Distributed Energy Resources in Regional Market Flawed, OPC Tells Federal Agency
Letter to the Editor, Baltimore Sun, 3/23/22 -- BGE gas delivery prices are rising
Press Release 3/17/22 -- Washington Gas Fined $1.1 Million for Customer Service Issues Following OPC Complaint
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
HEARINGS PAGE for updates and information
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