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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Constellation Electric Offer

by JC Leahy

I almost threw it in the trash.  While I was away on vacation last week, I received a piece of "junk mail" from Constellation Electric in Baltimore, Maryland. They were offering to sell me electricity cheaper than my local electric utility, PEPCO.  The junk mail offered 9.55 cents/ per kWh.  I happen to be on a project to save money, so I pulled out my PEPCO bill for comparison.  Here in Silver Spring, Maryland PEPCO charges me  11.2 to 11.9 cents per kWh, depending on the time of day for "generation services."  In addition PEPCO bills me for "distribution services," and "transmission services."  That was yesterday. Today I read the fine print that came with the junk mail and phoned Constellation Electric to ask questions.

According to the fine print, the catch is that you have to sign up for a 1 or 2 year period.  During this time, Constellation Electric locks in your low rate.  The rate is 9.55 cents per kWh if you sign up for 2 years, and 9.65 cents if you sign up for one year.  If you cancel early, there is a $150 cancellation fee.  But the cancellation fee is waived if your reason for cancellation is that you MOVED or sold your home.  So it seems to me that the cancellation fee provision is no big deal, considering that they will lock in cheap electricity for 2 years.  Furthermore, according to the phone call I made, the low rate includes not only "generation services" but also "transmission services."


PEPCO will continue to send me the same bill with the same account number. Constellation Electric charges will appear on the PEPCO bill.  PEPCO will continue to charge for "transmission services" at exactly the same rate per kWh as they do now.  PEPCO will also collect the same utility taxes that are included on their bill already.  PEPCO will also continue to read your meter and provide emergency services just like they do now. 


I don't see a downside here.  If I sign up for this deal,  I will get the same PEPCO bill as now, but significantly cheaper.  I'm going to do it.  You might want to check it out for yourself.  If you know something good or bad about this, please post a comment below!!

The offer Constellation Electric offer code is 8990053J .  They say it's good until July 23.  Their phone number is 888-219-4239.

Here's a web link:  CONSTELLATION ELECTRIC

NEWS FLASH:  STINK BUG INVASION

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment. I seriously doubt whether PEPCO's rates are heading down any time in the foreseeable future. Based on my situation it looks like the offer will save me approx. $50 per month in the heavy cooling and heating months.

Anonymous said...

Pepco's rates are scheduled to fall. See the write up on this topic at www.avalonenergy.us/blog.

JC Leahy said...

I looked at the avalonenergy link you left, but that article deals mostly with rates for large commercial customers. The article says that PEPCO's generation and transmission rates are currently below market and will be adjusted when rate caps expire at the end of 2010. This sounds to me like PEPCO will be RAISING rates in 2011. Locking in a low rate with Constellation Electric for 2 years still sounds like a money-saving bet to me.

Anonymous said...

You may have read the wrong Avalon blog. There is on on PECO's rates and another on Constellation Electric's offer to PEPCO customers. The link to the second blog entry is:
http://www.avalonenergy.us/blog/archives/2010/07/view

JC Leahy said...

Thanks for the second avalon energy url. I read it. Sounds like PEPCO is going to lower residential rates in the short term and unknown after that. As far as is known the Constellation rates are still lower...but watch out for the automatic renewal at Constellation. I think that pretty well sums it up. My bet is that I will have saved money by making the switch to Constallation.

Rob said...

So JC, I just got the latest advertising mailer from Constellation. I did a search and came across your blog and your dialogue on the subject with Anonymous. What's your verdict now after 3 months with Constellation?

P.S. Neat blog. Have bookmarked you.

Don said...

I just received a new offer for $9.05 (1 yr) or $8.95 (2 yr).

JC Leahy said...

Rob, thus far I'm getting billed by Constellation as promised. I'm saving money every month. It comes on the PEPCO bill and PEPCO doesn't break it out in a way so you can see the savings without getting out your calculator. But the bottom line is I'm saving money.

JC Leahy said...

Ok, Rob here's more detailed feedback about my Constellation experience. This past month I used 2040 kWh of electricity and constellation billed me at a rate of $0.0955 for transmission AND generation services. If I had PEPCO, they would have billed at a rate of between $0.112 and $0.119 per kWh for generation services ONLY -- PLUS something additional for transmission services. In other words, Pepco's bill for the generation services alone would have been around $290 vs. Constellation's $194.82 for transmission AND generation services. I saved at LEAST $100 this month alone by switching to Constellation!!!!

Harish said...

This is a great Blog - just signed up with Constellation! Hope there are no hidden fees!

Leslie said...

I also received offers to sign up with Constellation and after my last hellacious electric bill, I finally decided to do it. It was so easy. Interestingly enough, BGE is owned by Constellation but does business as a separate entity. Anyway, I can't wait to see the savings on my next bill. I could potentially be saving about $30 per month. I will definitely take that. Just wished I had done it sooner because it was so simple.

Anonymous said...

My electric bill has gone up 146% in the last 5 yrs, AEP is privately owned and has had record profits. I hope everything goes private and without regulation, corporations will have ALL our money(not just our tax dollars). BTW, Goldman Sachs is now a FDIC member, they will never fail. Oh yeah the Uber rich also own 90% of all stocks, bonds and mutual funds. They own us, welcome to a new era of slavery.