How to trim utility costs, even in Maryland


I had the opportunity recently to speak with's CEO Franc Arbride about home utilities and how we might trim these expenses. He describes his site as "a comparison shopping engine for utilities and other home services," which allows the user to input his address and receive detailed comparisons of terms offered by competing utilities.

I called Arbride after reading a WhiteFence report that showed the huge difference in utility bills from city to city.

Who pays the most? This is one crown that I doubt that those of you in Baltimore, Maryland will enjoy wearing, but the average bill, according to, in the summer quarter of 2009 was $390.44.

The same report should put a smile on the faces of those of you in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Denver and San Francisco. L.A. was the least expensive at $192.97, less than half of those in Baltimore. Fortunately for the East Coaster, the cost of housing is skewed in the opposite direction.