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The freedom to choose your energy rates in Maryland is not only available in homes but also to commercial customers. In fact, more than 90% of large businesses in the state have enrolled with alternative suppliers. This competition between energy suppliers to provide lower prices for businesses could be why commercial electric prices in Maryland are lower than the national average this year. If the same competition between suppliers existed for residential customers, prices might also decrease. However, without participation in energy choice, suppliers are not forced to compete for your business. Want to see the available rates? Enter your ZIP code above.
Still, we like that if you choose to re-up with FirstEnergy again at the end of your initial term, you won’t have to worry whether you’re enrolling at an expensive time of year. First, since it offers just two options, constant for years, its prices are set with the long haul in mind. Second, since the electricity grid in Pennsylvania is more taxed during winter than any other season (space heating accounts for 50 percent of household electricity consumption in PA; air conditioning just three percent), signing up in summer means prices won’t be temporarily inflated.
Compare prices on an accredited energy comparison website. Enter your zip code in different comparison websites to compare prices and find companies that will fit your needs. Before you switch your energy provider, research local companies to find the best rates. Some companies will offer fixed rates over a period of time, while other companies will send you a variable rate based on how many kilowatts you use.[4]

Maryland is among 15 states where electricity customers may choose their providers. It's called deregulation, but it might be less confusing to call it energy choice. Customers may select their electricity supplier - providers compete on price, term length, percentage of renewable energy and more. Electricity will continue to be delivered by a utility.
Let's look in National Grid's service area: In the 13473 ZIP code, National Grid charges 6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). ChooseEnergy.com, as of March 19, offered a number of plans from trusted providers that can beat that rate. One two-year plan locks in an energy supply rate of 5.28 cents/kWh. Assuming monthly usage of 595 kWh - the state average, according to the federal Energy Information Administration - a National Grid customer purchasing that plan would save $103 over the term, more than offsetting the three-year delivery rate hike proposed by the utility.
The utility – or local distribution company – owns and operates the way electricity or natural gas is delivered to homes and businesses. The infrastructure that brings energy to homes, businesses and industrial facilities is owned by the traditional utility company. While your local utility reads your usage meter and bills you on a monthly basis, the transmission and distribution charges are set by regulators. 
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