A new survey released by the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) indicates Maryland residential electricity consumers favor policies that promote competition and choice of suppliers in Maryland’s electricity market. The survey found 79 percent of respondents said they want a choice of electricity suppliers to give them more control over the price they pay for electricity versus allowing the state government to set prices through one supplier.

The survey was conducted among 450 randomly selected residential electricity decision makers from across the state of Maryland. Other key findings of the survey include the following:

  • Seventy-three percent of respondents believe competition among electricity suppliers leads to better pricing for consumers.
  • Fifty-seven percent of residential customers state that the price consumers pay for electricity should be set based on market competition between suppliers, not by a government agency.
  • Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said they would modify their behavior to take advantage of lower, off-peak rates if they were able to monitor their usage on a real-time basis.
  • Sixty-five percent of Maryland’s residential consumers believe competitive electricity suppliers have a greater incentive to offer new, innovative products and services to residential customers.

“Competitive markets benefit customers by enabling them to modify their behaviors and reap economic and environmental rewards for smarter, more efficient energy usage,” said Richard Rathvon, president of RESA. “This survey provides important data, showing that Maryland customers want competition. In fact, 73 percent of those polled said they are most likely to support public policies that promote competition in Maryland’s electricity market and consumer choice of suppliers.”

According to Rathvon, RESA intends the survey to be taken into consideration by the Public Service Commission in future utility-structuring decisions.