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    Maryland's electricity deregulation policy continues to bring greater competition into the market, dramatically expanding the number of electricity providers in the state.

    According to the Maryland Public Service Commission, there are more than 460 electricity providers currently registered in Maryland across all the state's service areas. Some are not currently looking for new customers and some are restricted to commercial or industrial customers, but the number has grown substantially in recent years.

    As recently as September, Champion Energy Services reported that it gained approval to sell electricity in the Old Line State. The Houston-based electricity provider was founded in 2002 in the wake of deregulation in Texas, but has only recently begun to the expand into the northeast.

    The electricity provider entered New Jersey in late February and filed with the MPUC soon afterward in March, but was only granted a license at the beginning of September.

    Champion is a notable addition, having achieved the highest customer service ratings for Texas electricity providers from J.D. Power and Associates for two years in a row.

    These kinds of options could help encourage the small but growing number of Maryland residents who have chosen to switch electricity providers. As of the end of September, the MPUC reports that only around 19 percent of residential customers had chosen to make that switch.