Did you get this notice?

January 5, 2016 Written by  Comments Print
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Did you get this notice?


 Did you get this notice?

I did. I even got two of them. “What could this be but junk?” I said. But the word RESPONSIBLE in bold letters made me take a second look just to be safe. I’m a rule follower.

This is what was revealed upon carefully, or not so carefully, tearing off the side tabs:

notice revealed

Here was a letter saying that I am now responsible for choosing the source of my electrical power supply and that Pepco would switch the source of my electricity to clean sources if I “returned the clean energy option form.” The ACTION REQUIRED BY date made me nervous.

Now being a professional in the energy industry, I knew two things:

  • Maryland is a deregulated state in terms of energy suppliers, meaning you technically don’t have to get energy made by BGE, Pepco, SMECO, or DelMarVa Power if you don’t want to. It can be made by a different company and then still delivered to you by the big guys because they own and maintain the power lines.

  • This has been the case since 1999.

The way this notice, not letter, was worded however, made it seem like Pepco themselves were offering to provide me with clean power. But why would they be doing that now in 2015 all of a sudden? And why so insistently?

“Maybe they have to offer a clean energy option now due to some new legislation,” I thought. Look at the picture below and check out all the cases Pepco is mentioned. Was I was walking around uninformed, setting myself up to look stupid next time I talked to one of my customers?

highlights of notice

My theory/fear was reinforced by the enclosed Frequently Asked Questions:

frequently asked questions on notice

So I started reading the fine print.

 fine print on notice

Let’s play where’s Waldo with the fine print...can you see what sentence gave me my Aha! moment?

fine print in notice

Ok phew. This was not a letter from Pepco. Turns out Clean Energy Option is the name of a third party energy supplier company! That’s tricky. It’s not really Pepco giving me the option for they themselves to produce energy from renewable sources.

Now I knew what I was dealing with. Clean Energy Option was sending me promotional mail to get me to switch and pay them to produce my electricity instead of Pepco (even though my bill would still come from Pepco since they deliver and monitor the power lines in my area).

I started considering it - I want to help the environment and slow down climate change. Could this be a good tactic for me since I am a renter and do not own any roof space to put up solar panels of my own?

Want to know how I evaluated this offer? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog.


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