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
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