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Did You Switch to WGES? Your Rates Will Be Higher than BG&E

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I’ve since been told it will be 10% off whatever the rate BG&E charges, in this case only a 15% hike. So… the contents of the article below appear to be wrong.

Much thanks to risk for looking into this. For everyone who signed up with WGES, before the recent developments, in order to get 10% off what they thought would be a 72% rate hike by BG&E – you want to cancel and go back to having BG&E being your provider. BG&E’s rates will only increase 15% by July 1st and won’t reach full market rates until January 2008… the 10% off that you get is 10% off market rates, or 72% of what they are now (on average).

I erroneously thought you’d get 10% off whatever BG&E charged (since their site states “10% OFF New BGE Summer Generation Rates”) but you are will be charged full market rates.

risk called up WGES, what I should’ve done but was simply too eager to accept my own common sense interpretation (otherwise known as being lazy), and a representative confirmed that you’d be getting 10% off the market rates. I’m going to break my contract asap.

jim, I just called WGE, the CSR told me the 10% off is off from the market price (aka 72% hike price)… She also told me that given the new solution, WGE could let the customer switch back to BGE, aka break the one-year contract, without penalty. I probably will check with WGE late 2008 :)

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21 Responses to “Did You Switch to WGES? Your Rates Will Be Higher than BG&E”

  1. Darrell says:

    What a friggin mess this whole thing has become!! The government has really let this get outta hand here in Maryland.

    Does Maryland currently have really low rates for Power? Yes.
    Are they the lowest in the country? No.
    After the 71% hike that BGE wants, will they be the highest in the country? No.
    Is a 71% hike at one time unreasonable? Yes.

    The rates BGE wants to charge are really not unreasonable rates, but it is pretty unreasonable to ask people to suck up the extra costs all of a sudden. Fact of the matter is that people get used to spending a certain amount on their BGE bill each month. Be it $30 or $300. A 71% hike on a $30 bill won’t kill anyone, but for the average home in MD which spends closer to $300 a month on Energy bills, it will be really tough for them to find an extra $230 a month at the drop of a hat!

    My parents up in Massachusetts pay more than I would pay if that 71% hike went through, but they are used to it. Taxachusetts rates have historically been high.

    So really the government needs to look at the big picture and propose a break-in plan to increase the rates to the rates BGE wants to charge. I think they have finally settled on that, but people are still up in arms about it. The government just needs to step in here and seal the deal, end the debates and put this baby to rest. I’m done with watching a 5 minute spot on the news EVERY BROADCAST about the energy hike!!! Gov, do your job!

  2. Chris says:

    I signed up for the WGES discount 14 days ago. After reading your post today I called to cancel the service. Unfortunately the cancellation process was not very easy for me.

    The initial CSR rep instructed me that I would have to pay a cancellation fee, and this led to a very long conversation with her, and then her supervisor, and eventually a 3rd tier supervisor.

    To summarize, I was repeatedly told 3 things

    1) WGES “usually” give 10 days for internet customers to cancel without a fee. I eventually asked if it’s usually 10 days does that imply that you occasionally give 14 days? This was met with a terse NO.
    2) WGES told me that – regardless of what BGE charges – WGES would offer a discount to BGE. At first they said, “maybe we’ll discount,” then later “we’ll try to discount” then finally, “we guarantee a discount.”
    3) If I ever received a bill that was higher than a BGE bill then I could cancel without penalty at that time.

    In response to 3, I told them I would accept this if I received – in writing – that I would be released without penalty if I did not receive the 10% summer and 3% winter discounts. While they were happy to say this to me over the phone, they refused to either email or mail me this statement. I pressed them for their reasoning on this, and eventually (after a cumulative 30-45 minutes of wasted time), they agreed to let me go without a fee. However, they told me that I would never be allowed back into their discount program again.

    In summary, while the WGES representatives were very friendly, I never felt comfortable with the information they shared. I felt there was very little they could guarantee me, and I felt much safer sticking with BGE.

  3. risk says:

    chris, thanks for sharing your experiences. I would suggest more share your experiences with WGES CSRs regarding the discount. look like they’re not offering consistent message here (maybe they’re confused as we are)

  4. jfdill says:

    According to the Maryland Attorney General website, BGE is essentially going to give you a loan with 5% interest for you to pay them back for the 72% that you would have been paying. So, in the long term, you will in fact end up paying 10% more plus 5% interest than with WGES. Read more here http://www.oag.state.md.us/ratehike.htm

  5. jim says:

    jfdill: That website doesn’t have the latest information, “Updates: A special session of the General Assembly likely will be called in the near future to address the BGE rate increase. Please check this website for updates.” on the site indicates that it doesn’t reflect the actual special sessions results (which I noted above).

    Also, WGES may not be 10% off the 72% price, they say it’s off whatever BG&E charges… we’ll see.

  6. DPM says:

    I was all set to switch to WGES until I saw these entries – is there anywhere where I can get definite answers re the 10% discount (wether or not it’s off the 72% rise, etc.) It looks like WGES is offering this discount for 1 year, so there’s no need to rush into anything.

  7. Beth says:

    I just switched to WGES today. The discount is off of the new BGE rate increase of 15%!
    I verifed this with two phone calls before I switched. You will, however, still pay the 10 years worth of fees to BGE, but you will pay that no matter what. I really no longer want to do business with Constellation Energy.

  8. Darrell Mak says:

    If I understand it, BG&E’s 15% increase will automatically include a deferral of the remaining rate increase (which will eventually be paid back over time). If you go with WGES, won’t you just be paying the full blow of the 72% hike upfront and avoiding any deferrals? darrellmak@yahoo.com

  9. Darrell Mak says:

    I just received my first electric bill with WGES, and WGES’s rates are NOT higher than BG&E’s, as the original poster warned; in fact, it comes out pretty close to the 10% discount that WGES had been advertised all along.

    My summer BG&E rate was 11.871 cents/kWh (the electric generation charge only). My summer WGES rate was 10.715 cents/kWh.

    The rate stabilization deferral applies regardless of who your electricity provider is, so you will not be paying the full rate increase all at once.

  10. Fould, Charleston says:

    Maryland, and Delaware, the vacation is not over yet. Your utility generation rates will recieve a minimal decrease for Winter generation. If you have not yet enrolled in a choice program you will still see an impact on your power bills. On a commercial level, your rates are still higher than ever. On a residential level, you are not yet seeing the burden. You are being temporarily credited with a deferred price. By 2008 you will be getting the full slap. Unfortunatley in the meen time starting Jan 2007 you will begin to pay an extra 2-4 dollars a month for ten years. If you choose a supplier like WGES, you can still make out with a better price. Currently, if I am not mistaken, a winter price of only .087 cents per kwh is available through Wges. I spoke to a rep recently who informed me that prices will be coming down just a bit, however not back to normal. The rate he offered is still substancially lower than utility SOS rates. If you do not believe me call 18667963795 ask for Mr. Villani at x5879. This man knows his stuff and will not mislead you. I signed up my home and my four business locations and I am saving over a utility, when before I simply had no choice. When my new business opens up in May next year I will be certain to call Mr. Villani, up and except his professional recommendation when it comes to my energy procurement.

  11. WGES Rep says:

    OK, obviously, you guys dont understand the WGES program of ENERGY CHOICE!! Ok, let me explain, if you all look at your BGE bill for the past 6 months, you will see that even if you USE the same amount of energy, your bill is never the same and as long as you let BGE control YOU, your bill will never be reasonable!! NOw, if a WGES rep told you that your bill will cheaper, they mislead you all…. BGE has fluxuating rates causing y BILL TO BE HIGHER AND LOWER AND BACK AND FORTH so, WGES offers PRICE PROTECTION, under the new laws, You lock into a fixed rate and in turn, your yearly average of your bill paymnts will be lower, notice I said average!!! I have been a subcontractor for WGES for 2 years, and sice the change has been made availible in MD I have been a customer, for myself, MY BILLS MAKE MORE SENSE NOW!!! NO ONE CAN FORCE YOU TO SAVE MONEY………..YOU GUYS ARE RICH, SO BLOW YA DOUGH!!!!

  12. Charles Rogers says:

    The date of WGES comment says 1/27. Is that 2008 or 2009. If it is 2009, what is your current experience with WGES? Are they honest or is this a bait and switch outfit? If they are straight forward, I am very interested, but I am not the least interested in being scammed with dishonesty or a lawyer standing behind them with a mask and gun. How does one determine their veracity, except by longitudinal experience, especially since they are not regulated? Please provide a method of contact for further discussion. You may contact me at: clr22182(at)juno.com
    Thank you,
    Charles Rogers

  13. Enrique says:

    I signed up with WGES for both electricity and natural gas service this year after utility rates moderated due to the economic slump. Rates for both electricity and natural gas shot up by a wide margin in 2008. Electricity in the summer of 2008 was as high as .17 cents per kwh and natural gas was close to $1.50 per therm in the summer (due to hurricane fears in the Gulf of Mexico). I locked into a 1 year natural gas contract at .73 per therm and a 2 year electricity contract at .103 cents per kwh. These prices are well above the prices back in the 1990s when summer electricity rates rarely went above .08 cents per kwh and natural gas prices were around .30 cents per therm. WGES has a floating rate option for natural gas, but none for electricity now. But, I didn’t want to chance another big spike in rates, so I ignored the market rate choice even if it was currently lower than the fixed yearly choices.
    I am not sure how Clean Currents is related to WGES. I did have a electricity (50% wind energy) contract that ended with them this year. Their renewal 2 year rate was a half cent more per kwh than the standard WGES offer, so I went with the cheaper rate. The CSR was trying to get me to renew with Clean Currents again (being lazy to change my account information), but I insisted that I wanted the cheaper rate. I run several air compressors 24/7 so a small rate drop does result in savings for me. Unfortunately, deregulation has resulted in higher rather than lower prices in Maryland.

    By the way, the price to compare on the BGE electricity bill is the AVERAGE price of the overall yearly per kwh charge that BGE charges over 1 year. So in the winter, the price can drop to .08 per kwh during non-peak periods while in the summer it can go up to .16 during peak periods. This overall composite average rate is misleading. It assumes that your electricity use (overall number of kwh) is the same throughout the year. For nearly everyone, that is never the case since you use MUCH more electricity in the summer than in the winter. So, your actual SOS yearly “average” rate is skewed towards the higher summer rate side as a result.

  14. omnatio says:

    Avoid WGES at all costs. They charge you $480 when you change to another supplier, even if your 2 year contract ends, claiming an auto renewal. They try to charge you for terminating a contract you never agreed to!

  15. ladylaughs says:

    I just called re omnation’s post about the $480 charge to cancel. The post is partially incorrect. After your contract ends, WGES sends you a ‘renewal notice’ – to cancel you have to ACTIVELY call to cancel, otherwise they assume you’re renewing. Just to clarify.

  16. Enrique says:

    All utility suppliers assume that you will renew at the contract expiration unless you contact them to cancel. All suppliers are supposed to send you a notice when your contract period is about to end and tell you about the new terms. I got an offer in the mail for electricity service from BGE Home (not directly tied to BGE utility). The kwH charge is as low as 9.5 cents for a 2 year contract. I am locked into a 2 year electricity contract with WGES which began in Nov. 2009, so the cancellation fee would negate the benefit of switching plans.

  17. Enrique says:

    Correction to my previous post. The energy supplier is Constellation Energy (the parent company of BGE) and not BGE Home. BGE Home is a contractor repair company.

  18. Aleta says:

    I just finished a year long mess with Washington Gas. I know BGE can be expensive but at least you know what you’re getting. Using a 3rd party supplier leaves you – the customer totally at risk. Just really ask questions – is their a penalty if you cancel? If you cancel tomorrow how long does it really take to get them off their bill? Is it one cycle or 2. Then make sure that BGE doesn’t return the bill back so that WGE starts comeing to you for their bill and then you left paying 2 bills. Better yet – i just wouldn’t do business ever again with them. BGE may be bad but this company is far worse to deal with.


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