|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2005
Information, Please Contact:
Office of External Relations
Baltimore, MD – The Public Service Commission recently released the “Status Report on Electricity Procurement and Restructuring in Maryland.” This Report details Maryland’s progress in developing competitive wholesale and retail electric supply markets since the Electric Choice Legislation was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 1999.
Chairman Kenneth Schisler stated, “Retail competition is progressing well for large commercial and industrial customers in Maryland. Although competition is developing more slowly in the residential markets, standard offer service provides the benefits of competition through a robustly competitive wholesale market procurement. ”
Over forty (40%) of all commercial and industrial load is now served by competitive retail suppliers. The number of active retail suppliers is increasing rapidly, and numerous suppliers not affiliated with Maryland utilities are now active in the State’s retail electric market.
Residential choice has progressed more slowly. The main cause of this development is the rising costs for commodities used to generate electricity coinciding with electricity rate freezes. However, standard offer service is a market-priced product available to all residential customers.
The Commission has taken several steps to facilitate and encourage competition including updating regulations, providing enhanced consumer information and actively monitoring wholesale market conditions. The Commission has also proactively taken a leadership role among state commissions in addressing long-term electric generation resource adequacy in the wholesale market.
Chairman Schisler stated, “The Commission is committed to creating the appropriate environment to encourage electric competition in Maryland for both business and residential customers.”