|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2001
|For More Information, Please Contact:
Chrys Wilson, Manager
Office of External Relations
State Ranked in Top Ten for Second Year in a Row,
Now Fourth in Nation in Electric Restructuring
Baltimore - The Center for the Advancement of Energy Markets recently released the 2nd edition of the Retail Energy Deregulation Index (RED Index) and members of the Maryland Public Service Commission are pleased with the State's efforts that have placed Maryland's restructuring program fourth best nationwide.
Maryland placed fourth out of 24 states and the District of Columbia, in terms of progress made toward the goal of a competitive retail electric market, moving up from seventh last year, behind Pennsylvania, New York and Maine in overall scoring.
Perhaps more importantly, the State made significant progress by scoring an increase of 49 points between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2001, the largest increase of any state. "We're extremely pleased with our 'most improved' status and hope to continue to advance efforts to facilitate additional competition in the State," said Chairman Catherine I. Riley.
Maryland received the highest scores possible in two areas, one in billing, where the supplier has the option to send a consolidated bill, and the other in consumer education. "We are most proud of this ranking," said Chairman Riley. "Our consumer education campaign is an integral part of our success so that we have educated consumers making informed decisions about their electric service."
Maryland also performed well in the area of stranded cost implementation by adding a fixed charge to distribution. The State received praise for its network pricing and interconnection to grid attributes.
In total, the RED Index score measures 22 attributes that the Center sees as the most significant in evaluating the success of the transition from the monopoly model to the choice model in electricity supply.
"A competitive marketplace will take time to develop, but in the meantime, the PSC is committed to making sure that consumers and businesses throughout Maryland are educated and have the information they need to participate in a competitive electric market and make an informed choice," said Chairman Riley.
A comprehensive consumer education outreach program in the State includes extensive use of advertising, news media, a toll free answer center, website, consumer and business guides, and outreach efforts to community groups that provide information to consumers at the grassroots level.
Information on electric choice in Maryland can be requested by calling the Public Service Commission's toll-free answer center at 1-800-800-4491 or by logging on at www.md-electric-info.com.