Many families needing foreclosure help would benefit from any efforts to lower their bills, and the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) is trying to offer some assistance by giving their website a “consumer-friendly overhaul.” The Baltimore Business Journal reported on January 3, 2012, that a December 29 report from the PSC’s Consumer Education and Choice workgroup said a cost calculator would allow residents to weight their options for electricity suppliers without persuading them one way or another. While the Journal noted that households have been able to buy electricity from a source other than utilities like Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BGE) since the state deregulated its energy market in 1999, a bill signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley last May required the most recent changes.
According to the Journal, nearly 100 companies have been certified to sell power in BGE’s territory of central Maryland and nine of them are currently selling, but there “remains widespread confusion and lack of awareness” when it comes to the freedom consumers now have. The recommendation from the Consumer Education and Choice workgroup would require the PSC website to display a simple side-by-side comparison of those sale offers, including a cost calculator that would allow residents to “compare projected bills as well as contract lengths, any cancellation fees and any renewable energy commitment,” the Journal said.
Many homeowners enter a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy process because of the difficulty paying utilities on top of mortgage and credit card bills. Do you think this effort to help more Marylanders understand their electricity options will have any effect on the number of foreclosures in the state?
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd – Maryland bankruptcy attorney