Berlin Electric Situation’s Progress Impressive

Berlin Electric Situation’s Progress Impressive

Things have come a long way in Berlin on the electric front.

The perception for many years has been it’s more expensive to live in Berlin than neighboring municipalities. That was in part due to its residential electric rates, which were higher than neighboring areas. It was the reality for many years, but that’s no longer the case.

According to a graphic produced by the Town of Berlin, currently rates based on an average monthly bill of 1,000 kWh usage are $128.74 for users within the municipal limits of Berlin, $138.33 for Choptank Electric Cooperative customers and $151.79 for Delmarva Power & Light users. According to the same chart, Berlin’s rate has decreased 28 percent over a nine-year period.

It may take a while for reality to catch up and dispel the long-time perception, but the facts confirm in-town electric rates in the town are cheaper than rates in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Ocean City.

This was a work in progress for several years and many decisions over the last decade led to this new reality.

Perhaps the most important development came in 2015 when the town inked a power contract with American Municipal Power locking it into a three-year deal that reduced the town’s power costs significantly. The good news is further cost savings are expected beginning next spring.

Town Administrator Laura Allen explained the benefits of this power purchase agreement, saying, “Since we joined AMP, we’re able to take an even more timely approach and faster response to how we purchase power based on changes in the power supply market. AMP has employees watching the market every day, so we’re able to take advantage of price decreases even more quickly than before.”

Keeping the cost of living down is a challenging prospect in today’s economic world, as the price of everything, from health insurance to groceries, seems to be heading up. To have a major monthly expense for most households heading in the opposite direction is a welcome trend change. Credit goes to those in Berlin at the forefront of making these decisions because the savings are significant.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.