Save With Shoulder Month Shopping
MD energy customers are no strangers to high electricity bills. Keeping comfortable during the hot summer has burned through budgets for many households across the state. But cheaper electricity rates may be around the corner. You could save if you plan now for fall shoulder month rates in Maryland.
Natural Gas and Electricity Rates
Currently in Maryland, natural gas fuels over one third (37%) of the state’s electricity generation. During hot summer, energy demand for cooling uses more fuel to spin generators. During the winter, however, natural gas also provides 43.9 % of the fuel for heating the state’s homes. So, it’s not surprising that electricity rates are strongly affected by the natural gas market. When demand is high, rates tend to be high as well.
While we can’t predict exact amounts, this means that electricity demand is predictably seasonal. During the winter and summer, more energy is needed for heating and cooling. And that demand drives up electricity rates. But when temperatures are mild in the spring and fall demand diminishes and prices tend to go lower. In Maryland, the spring electricity shoulder months run from the end of March through early May. In fall, they run from and late September through early November. And because they want to attract more customers, energy companies tend to offer lower rates around these times.
For Maryland electricity customers, these months are the best time to shop the cheapest rates are during the shoulder months.
Shop Shoulder Month Rates
The important thing about shopping the shoulder months is not only can you lock in cheap rates before the seasonal price hikes but you can also save more in the future. When you set your future electricity plan contracts to end in time to shop during the shoulder months, you’ll be more likely to find the cheapest rates.
Possible 2022 Shoulder Month Rates
During the summer, we talked about how world events like the war in Ukraine have caused high energy bills. These factors and a hotter-than-normal summer have increased electricity demand, which caused natural gas and electricity prices to rise.
Because we’re in the fall shoulder month period, these rates may fall only slightly. But the expected hotter-than-normal winter may result in less winter heating demands. In fact, EIA’s weekly natural gas update even shows that prices have fallen due to, in part, lower demand. So, there is potential for lower electricity prices for a brief time.
The big pay off could be in the spring due to the expected increase in U.S. natural gas production. So, if you stay vigilant, you might be able to catch cheaper electricity rates around the corner. One way to ensure that is to keep an eye out for cheap plans that either don’t charge early termination fees (ETFs) or have a very low fee. This way you’ll be better able to switch to better deals in the future.
Track Shoulder Month Rates
While we’re in the middle of the fall shoulder months, electricity rates are still high. Though we may not see the best rates right now, there’s a chance to find cheap deals in the spring. The best thing you can do is to get ready. If you’re currently looking for a new plan be sure to find one that has no ETF or at least a very low-priced one.
You can keep up with the news that affects your bills at https://www.mdenergyratings.com. You can also shop for great plans and find ways to save money on lower electricity rates.