Despite Bge's Lower Prices, Competitor Still Wise Choice


April 26, 2009|By JAY HANCOCK | JAY HANCOCK,

Readers want to know: Now that regulators say BGE's standard household electricity price will be lower for the 2009-2010 winter than it was for the 2008-2009 winter, does it still make sense to switch to a competing offer from Washington Gas Energy Services?

Yes. Last winter's default BGE price (about 12 cents per kilowatt hour, not counting delivery) was the highest ever for that season, so being slightly lower for next winter is no big deal. WGES (888-884-9437) will sell you juice for up to three years at 10.8 cents, so it's still the superior offer at least for the next 12 months.

BGE bought its last allotment of electricity for October through May a few days ago. Neither BGE nor the Public Service Commission will say exactly what the price will be for that period. But they do say the average residential price for the whole 12 months - including summertime rates - will be slightly higher than in the previous 12 months.

That's really all you need to know. Prices for this summer will be 12.7 cents; paying WGES 10.8 cents instead will save more than $30 a month for a typical house for June through September.

The WGES savings starting in October will be less, but they still should be decent.

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