As I wrote yesterday about the lack of residential energy choice participation by rate payers in DC I alluded to the reasons why the market has not yet taken off as it has in Maryland. Particularly when a resident or a business owner can actually buy 100% wind power at a lower cost per kwh than Pepco is currently offering. Part of the challenge is education for the consumers. Trying to get someone on the phone at Pepco to explain energy choice to you in not an easy task, perhaps not even Pepco’s job. The DC Public Service Commission has great information on their web site, but the commission is overwhelmed with work and despite the great people working at the commission, there is only so much you can get done in a day.
The other advantage Maryland has over DC is something called Purchase of Receivables or POR. POR is simply the utility (Pepco DC) taking over the financial responsibility of collecting and owning the accounts that go bad. Part of the reasoning behind this POR program is the fact that third party suppliers can not shut down your electricity if you don’t pay your bill, but the regulated utility can. This POR process does eliminate the majority of the risk from the supplier stand point, not all of the risk. On the consumer side, POR allows rate payers who have has credit issues for what ever reason beefit from lower rates and perhaps help the consumer on his or her way back to financial solvency.
Since POR was introduced in Maryland the number of residential third party suppliers has more than tripled and the benefactors of this are the rate payers who are enjoying the benefits of energy choice. Perhaps it is time for DC to roll out POR, Pepco Maryland is doing it! Meanwhile if you are a DC resident with a Pepco bill, grab your staement and click here to get lower rates for your electricity supply! My Lower Rate
Next up for discussion is how the business community in DC can benefit from energy choice.