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The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has ruled that the old “Price to Compare” formula, a weighted average of summer and non-summer rates, is no longer helpful, because customers need to use more than one number for an accurate comparison to offers from other suppliers.
Beginning no later than Aug. 1, utilities will have to publish several pieces of information on monthly bills, including current and known future standard utility service rates, along with the dates they are effective. For example, summer rates run from June 1 through Sept. 30 each year, while non-summer rates cover October through May.

The problems mounted this spring when suppliers were sending out offers that looked like they would provide big savings compared to rates at Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. or Potomac Electric Power Co., but the utilities’ rates only ran through May 31. Falling market rates led to lower rates for all of the utilities and many of the utilities had lower non-summer electricity prices than the suppliers. Under the PSC’s order, the utilities also will continue to offer the price to compare with the effective dates on bills, although at the recommendation of the Office of the People’s Counsel, the term “price to compare” will no longer appear on bills. (The Daily Record, 6/24/2010)