“Special Fixed Rate Offer,” said the notice that arrived in Maryland mailboxes recently. “Compare Electricity Prices¢ per kwh.” The wording made it sound like a bargain, but it’s actually one of the most expensive electricity deals in the state, according to the Maryland Public Service Commission website. Deregulation of the energy industry, giving customers alternatives to the old line utilities, was supposed to foster competition and lower prices for consumers. But it doesn’t always work out that way.
There was a time when electricity was electricity. Like so many other places around America, in Houston, electricity didn’t mean “cheap electricity”. But you moved into your home and you called the utility and they turned on the power and the bill came in and you paid it every month. Oh, sure, you might grumble at the amount but then you’d go around and yell at the kids for leaving the lights on and the TV blaring with nobody in the room or maybe you’d look into buying more energy-efficient appliances. When it came down to it, the Bill was the Bill. Either you paid the bill or you ate dry packet meals, had cold showers, and watched TV by peering through the neighbor’s window after dark (preferably once they’d turned the TV on). What’s that? You want cheap electricity? Sure thing: call Switch Energy any time during regular business hours.
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