So I’m sitting on those hard bleachers at my son’s baseball practice in Forest Hill yesterday talking with another mom about ways to manage a 72 percent utility bill increase scheduled to hit right smack in the hottest part of the summer and she asks if our bills in Maryland are very much higher than those elsewhere in the country. While we devise plans to organize play dates at places where we don’t we don’t have to pay for the air conditioning, I explain that even with the 72 percent increase, we’re paying quite a bit less than some states (see Baltimore Sun’s “Electric Shock” energy rate increase blog). It’s the suddenness and size of the price jump that has us all struggling to cope as legislators unscrew the deregulation price cap that kept costs unnaturally low since they voted to invite competition to a market that wasn’t competitive. I recall my sister-in-law in Pennsylvania complaining about high utility bills more than a year ago. Her’s were in the neighborhood of 72 percent higher than mine. I recall thinking at the time that my house must be really well insulated for my bill to be so much cheaper. Then I come home from baseball and read that a judge intervened and the move could possibly delay the price jump. Sure, it’s all political manuevering in an election year. But, if this price surge kick-off can get pushed out of that high-energy-bill month of July, we’ll all be better able to cope. The judge’s ruling delays BGE’s roll out of its rate increase deferral sign-up. But it appears that at the end of three years, we all end up paying the same amount whether we ante up now or later.