Deregulation of the energy industry enables individual consumers in Maryland and the District of Columbia to purchase electricity and natural gas from third-party suppliers at potentially lower rates than they are able to get from their local area utilities.
Generally, a third-party supplier (or retail supplier) will offer individual consumers rates that are marginally lower than the rates of local area utilities (e.g., 5 - 7%). However, when individuals pool their purchasing power through an energy purchasing cooperative, many suppliers offer significantly lower rates based on the anticipated electricity sales volume (i.e., selling in bulk). Members of residential energy purchasing co-ops can save 10 - 20% on energy costs, while members of commercial energy purchasing co-ops typically save 15 - 25%.» Residential Energy Cooperatives
» Commercial Energy Purchasing Cooperatives