baltimore, county, maryland, energy consulting, energy managementCQI Associates, baltimore, howard, county, maryland, md, dc

FAQ|s

Who can join the Residential Energy Purchasing Cooperative?
If you live in the Alleghany Power, BGE, DELMARVA Power, PEPCO and/or Washington Gas service areas you can join the Residential Energy Cooperative.

What is electricity deregulation?
Unlike the past where the market was dominated by one provider, electricity deregulation has opened the door to Energy Choice.

Energy Choice describes the ability of consumers to select who provides their energy. In a competitive or restructured market like the BGE, PEPCO, Alleghany Power, or DELMARVA service area, the traditional monopoly structure for generating and delivering energy to retail consumers is now opened to choice and competing suppliers.

This happened via a legislative or regulatory initiative and is addressed at the state level. Energy Choice is in its early stages, yet customers are already realizing its benefits — more competitive energy prices, improved customer service and technological and product innovations never considered under regulation.

If I join the CQI ASSOCIATES Residential Energy Co-op, what changes on my end?
By joining our co-op, we instruct your utility for your account to purchase the supply or generation of electricity and/or natural gas from a pre-specified third party supplier at a discounted, fixed rate. Your local utility will still send the power to you. Only the per kWh charge will change. You still pay your local utility on the same billing schedule, you keep your Peak Rewards, and if you have budget billing, it does not change.

What happens at the end of my contract?
Approximately 45 days prior to your contract renewal date, the supplier will mail you a renewal notice via USPS. It will be on WGES letterhead with the CQI ASSOCIATES logo at the top of the page. You will be offered a renewal contract for the next 12 months at a discounted rate. You can either choose to accept this new offer, or reject it and move your third party supply account to another third party supplier.

Is there an early termination fee?
Yes. If you choose to cancel your contract with the supplier within your contract term for any reason other than change of address, a fee will be charged. It will be the greater of $150 or $20 multiplied by the number of months remaining on your contract when you choose to cancel.

Who do I contact if I have a power outage?
You still call your local utility company, such as BGE, PEPCO, Alleghany Power or DELMARVA Power.

How long does it take once I enroll in the co-op for the rate to take effect?
If you were to lock in your rate today, you would be guaranteed today’s published rate for the term of your contract. Your actual contract start date would not occur until the next time your meter is read. These are typically read monthly by your utility. You will see the new rate and supplier reflected on your utility bill after your next meter read date.

What if I’ moving into a new home and need electricity and/or natural gas service? Can I still join the co-op?
Yes, you certainly can join our co-op, but FIRST you must set up service with the local utility provider that services your new address. Call BGE, PEPCO, Alleghany Power, or DELMARVA Power first, and get your account setup. Once you’ve received your first utility bill from them at your new address, feel free to register in our energy co-op. (It takes time for the utility to allow your account to have its supply services switched to a third party. By waiting until you’ve received your first bill, this is ample time for your utility to allow your supply service to be picked up by a third party.)

What if my local utility shuts off my power, can I call CQI ASSOCIATES to get it turned back on?
Neither no.CQI ASSOCIATES, nor any of the suppliers we work with are local utility companies. You would need to first get your power turned back on by your utility.

Does CQI ASSOCIATES Energy Co-op offer a variable Rate, or a fixed rate contract?
CQI ASSOCIATES’s Energy Co-op only offers fixed rate, NON-Variable, NON-Indexed rates for our clients. These fixed rates offer price protection and long-term budget stability for our clients.

What residential electric service territories are deregulated?
The BGE, PEPCO, Alleghany Power, and DELMARVA Service Areas.

What are the goals of the Residential Electricity Purchasing Cooperative?
We want to educate residential customers on electricity deregulation and Energy Choice. Second, we strive to help protect our customers from rising energy costs by actively procuring electricity from energy suppliers that provide them with price protection and long term budget stability. Third, we want to stimulate competition for electricity supply services in the residential electricity marketplace.

What is the goal of the Chamber of Commerce Electricity Purchasing Cooperative Program?
In addition to the goals of the overall program CQI ASSOCIATES wants to provide a value-added service to Chamber of Commerce member organizations, and help the chambers retain existing members and attract new members to join their program. A second goal is to provide a unique program to member organizations that could be offered as an “employee benefit.”

What is the benefit of joining a Purchasing Cooperative?

  • . Leveraging the increased purchasing power of the group over the individual by obtaining competitive pricing
  • . Eliminate the need for the individual to go through the process alone
  • . Share in the costs
  • . Technical support
  • . Our expertise.

If I switch to a licensed electricity supplier will my electricity be interrupted?
No, even if the licensed electricity supply did not deliver, your distribution company is required by law to continue to provide you electric supply.

What is supply service portion of my bill?
"Supply" is the actual electricity commodity that is being consumed. The supply portion of your bill is the portion that is deregulated and open for competition.

What is the distribution service portion or electric delivery service portion of my bill?
“Delivery,” also called Distribution, is the process of delivering electricity to you along a network of power lines called the local distribution system.

Can I be in the Residential Cooperative if I chose to participate in the BGE Rate Stabilization Plan?
Yes.

What is the “customer charge” on my utility bill?
The fixed monthly fee for metering, billing and other services will be charged by your delivery and/or distribution company such as BGE. Please note these rates are regulated and not a part of the Electricity Deregulation.

What is a default supplier or provider of last resort?
The Public Service Commission mandated that your existing distribution companies are required to provide electricity service to all customers who do not select a third party supplier.

Who is my default or supplier of last resort?
The Electricity Distribution Company, such as BGE, PEPCO, Alleghany Power or DELMARVA

What is the price to compare?
The price to compare is the rate you are currently paying with your electricity supplier, which is established by the Public Service Commission (usually noted on your utility invoice).

To be sure the offer provides savings, customers should use the rate their local utility provides and compare that to the rate offered by the electricity supplier.

For example, if the Standard Offer Service Rate is 10.02 cents per kWh from BGE and a supplier offer is 9.3 cents per kWh, then the savings would be .72 cents per kWh. This offer provides economic benefit to the customer.

However, if the supplier’s proposed rate was 10.50 cents per kWh, then the proposed offer would be higher than the BGE Standard Offer Service Rate of 10.02 cents per kWh and does not provide savings.

Please be certain to compare the current and projected price to compare rate posted on your distribution company’s website (not the past year’s price to compare).

What is defined as my service location?
The location address associated with the account number and where the electricity supply is being consumed.

If I have more than one residential account how do I enroll them?
Enroll both locations using our online form.

How much can I save being in the Electricity Purchasing Cooperative?
Members have reported they are saving 6% to 8% per year, or the equivalent to one month of summer billing.

Who is the applicant when signing up to be in the Residential Energy Purchasing Cooperative?
The name that appears on the current Utility Bill is the Applicant.