"Standard Offer Service" costs customers money
The Public Service Commission of Maryland has established an interesting system for regulating electricity costs for consumers, based around the idea of “Standard Offer Service” being provided by utilities at the best possible price “in light of prevailing market conditions” for customers. While this sounds good in theory, the PSCM has actually found that third party suppliers are on average 10% cheaper than Standard Offer Service.
This price difference represents a service overpayment of $150 annually per customer according to the same report (http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/Reports/2010-2019%20Ten%20Year%20Plan.pdf). This significant discrepancy will likely be remedied by increased awareness about fair value pricing in competitive electricity markets.