Eighteen years ago, the state of Maryland deregulated its electricity market with the idea that a free market would give consumers cheaper rates. This has since led to the proliferation of retail electricity suppliers competing for the attention and affection of consumers. With renewable energy production currently on the rise, these suppliers have also been touting what they call “green electricity” plans.
Have consumers made the switch toward these alternative energy plans? Has deregulation delivered on the promise of lowering prices?
Joining Tom in the studio to help us answer these questions is Kent Mottice, Energy Policy Manager at the Maryland Energy Administration, the state agency whose mission is "to promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for the benefit of all Marylanders."
With us on the line from DC is Tim Brennan, a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he teaches Economics and Public Policy. He’s also a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, an organization that conducts economic research on environmental policy. And on the line from Pacifica affiliate KPFT in Houston is Ryan Handy. She covers the regulation of public utilities and the oil and gas industry as energy reporter for the Houston Chronicle.