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July 2006 Maryland
Electrical Power Rate Increase

July 1st Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) was scheduled to increase our electric power bills by 70% but now 15%. This threatens to make a $100 per month electric bill become a $170 or $115 per month bill. For an older person now finding myself living on a lower income, the summer electric bills that were once $300+ now promise to become $510+or 345+ per month. This can really hurt. Being a nerd, I react in typical nerd fashion conserving electrical energy to the max. This means setting the AC temperature to about 2 to 4 degrees under the prevailing temperature of the day so that the AC system removes the repressive humidity from the air without working overly hard to keep the temperature so low that I end up paying the $345 each month. The high humidity in the air gives us heat stress not so much a higher temperature itself.

Also there were TV ads for a electric dynamic load altering device that was supposed to reduce your electric bills. I checked this out. The engineering was good, but the BGE consumer electric tariff does not lower your rate if you install this device. So if I got it I would spend several hundred dollars and still pay the same high monthly bills. Businesses with higher demand oriented loads can benefit from installing one of these systems because BGE commercial tariffs include added billing for high dynamic load periods.

So how can consumers fight back against this high rate increase? Buy from someone else. The electric power industry is deregulated just as is the telecommunications industry. Soon TV and telephone services will be provided by the Cable Company, the Telephone Company and the Wireless Company. Similarly, electric utilities such as BGE that were regulated by state law. You were required to buy power only from a local utility and only at a price set by the state's Public Service Commission (PSC).Now many states including Maryland permit you to purchase power from companies producing power and pay BGE for delivering the power to your home. This provides competition and customer choice between electric suppliers.

At the BGE web site (www.bge.com) there is a link for Customer Choice that details the choices for power that consumers have today as well as lists the new annual electric power rate per kilowatt hour. My current Winter Schedule R rate is 6.115 cents per kilowatt hour. It jumps July first to 10.515 cents per kilo watt hour. This is about a 71% increase. The annual average rate with BGE then becomes 11.026 cents per kilowatt hour. In Maryland Potomac Gas and Electric and Washington Gas Energy Services can provide power to residential suppliers. PEPCO sells 10% green power for 10.3 cents per kilowatt hour this month as advertised at http://www.powerchoice.com/residential/res_productdetail.cfm?product_id=1496 for a one year period. At WGES the annual average rate is 10.4 cents per kilowatt hour(kWh) -- http://www.wges.com/electricity/res/ebg.php?o=wgprice. The PEPCO price represents is a savings of roughly 7% from the BGE annual rate. A slightly lower rate, but a savings none the less (and every penny counts). Based upon last month's 3,145 kWh used I would save $23 by switching to PEPCO as a provider. Last month was low usage so during the summer my savings would likely double to about $50 per month. This is also a gamble on whether electric prices might increase or decrease. Each month that PEPCO offers a one year contract the price varies. In April the pice was 10.39 cents per kWh and in May the price was 11.17 cents per kWh. The 10.3 cents per kWh will change July 1st again. My analysis here is a rough comparison and does not represent what your actual dollars per month savings might be. However, 7% lower rate is a 7% lower cost on the energy supply side of your bill. With the state mandated 15% increase BG&E is now lower cost.

Just to put this in perspective, a PC uses about 50 watts of power and costs $30 per month to run 24 by 7. Powering off the PC can cut the usage by 80% making it costy $6 per month to run. Now I turn off more PCs and servers to keep my power prices down. At least we have electric power 24 by 7, if we can afford to pay for it. People in Baghdad, Iraq do not.


Link to "Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State"

P. D. Moulton and Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server computer support, and virus & spyware removal. Dial-A-Nerd repairs PC (s), computers, networks, removes viruses & spyware and upgrades slow computers 24 hours a day 7 days a week. DialANerd provides immediate remote access as well as fixed price computer repair, network repair, virus & spyware removal services at its local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair shop. Repair completion is typically 24-hours to 48-hours. Dial A Nerd recovers hard disk data and saves your data. Each hard disk is tested for errors for free. Dial A Nerd makes a fixed disk image, recovers and saves your data for about a 90% of the desktop computer, laptop computer, and netbook PC (s) serviced. Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair business provides fast PC repair, computer repair, desktop computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, and virus & spyware removal services with a warranty. Dial A Nerd works on many PCs including Sony computers, Gateway computers, Hewlett Packard computers, Compaq computers, Toshiba computers, Emachines computers, Clone PCs, and Dell computers in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD). The Dial A Nerd mission is delivering the best quality, affordable cost effective PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, desktop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, virus & spyware removal, home PC repair, printer configuration, PC - desktop computer - laptop computer - netbook computer performance optimization & speed up service. Homes and small businesses with limited IT service and IT support budgets in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) hire Dial A Nerd.


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DialANerd
7146 Rivers Edge Road Columbia, MD 21044 US
Phone: 410-531-5890 Website: dialanerd.com