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Alternative Energy Suppliers Could Help Lower Utility Bills

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A frigid December means some big energy bills this month. But Suzanne Collins talks to a family that has figured out a way to bring down their utility bills.

The Hurley family has a new baby in the house, so saving money is smart and necessary. One of the biggest bills is for electricity in a big Ashburton house.

”When we first moved in the first winter, we had bills averaging $700 a month,” said Cheo Hurley.

Hurley researched buying electricity from an alternate company. After switching, the bills dropped on average more than $100 a month.

“I’m happy I did it,” Hurley said. “I’m just worried when my one-year contract ends that the prices haven’t risen too high.”

The Hurley family’s budget billing amount prior to the switch in July– when the air conditioner was working overtime– amounted to $516.36. This month’s budget billing amount is $361.95.

Instead of paying 11.9 cents a kilowatt-hour, the cost is 9.7 cents.

About 200,000 Marylanders have now switched energy suppliers. That’s two out of every 10 BGE customers.

“You’re still going [to] have your power restored by BGE, all the pipes and wires, still maintained by BGE,” said Rob Gould, BGE spokesperson.

The company is encouraging people to shop around, just like you do for cell phone or Internet service.

There are lots of ads out there. Let’s say you switch. You might think BGE might be upset with you because you’re no longer buying power from them, but a spokesman says absolutely not.

“It’s not something to be fearful,” Gould said. “It’s something customers should be looking for and trying to get the best price in this environment.”

And everyone likes saving money.

The Hurley family still uses BGE Peak Rewards, budget billing and BGE’s appliance service plan.

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