We are starting the New Year with good news. From December 21, 2012 to January 3, 2013 natural gas and electricity prices fell. For this 14-day report period the average 12-month price for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) fell 5.6% and the 12-month average price for peak power on the PJM fell 4.4%.
Almost everyone attributes this price drop to the new weather forecast released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAH). The forecast for the next 6-14 days calls for warmer-than-normal temperatures east of the Mississippi.
This warm weather forecast, along with the fact that December 2012 was 23% warmer than normal, placed downward pressure on energy prices last month.
For the near term all eyes are focused on the weather. The traditional heating season runs from November 1 to March 31. However, the two coldest months of the year are on the way. For now it looks like January will be warmer than normal, which will be beneficial to your energy budgets. Stay tuned.
Pepco Marylandand other Maryland utilities have announced and published commercial rates for the winter quarter effective December 2012 through February 2013. From just a quick glance at the rates if you have a type 2 meter you will see a jump of 19% in your supply rate. The type 1 rate now published through the end of September 2013 jumped over 10% pushing over 9 cents a kilo Watt hour. Seems that the downward trend in electricity pricing may have reversed itself with the trend definitely pushing rates higher.
September electricity and natural gas pricing has continued to beat the utility SOS (Standard offer Service) pricing in most markets. Giving companies that pay directly for their utilities an opportunity to lower their energy costs and deploy those savings to other areas in their business. Recently a restaurant client reduced their cost of electricity by a penny per kilo Watt hour using Electric Advisors as the conduit, saving over $8,000.00 over the next 12 months. According to the owner, close to 50% of the money not being spent on energy is going to be used to beef up their social media outreach as part of a larger campaign to fill more seats more often. What would you business do with another $4,000.00 in marketing spend?
From Pennsylvania and Delaware, to Washington, DC and Maryland, residential electricity account holders are making the switch to lower cost electricity and saving sometimes thousands of dollars over the current supply cost of the local utility. The process is easy from start to finish, in most cases all you need in your hand is a copy of your electric bill, unless you are the rare individual who remembers the account number! Click to see the current residential rates.
From one of our clients in Annapolis, MD “my cost dropped 20%, why didn’t I do this sooner!” to West Chester, PA “Like you said, I grabbed my bill and I was done with the process in less than three minutes” to a beach rental on the Delaware coast “This makes profitability on my rentals a bit easier to obtain”.
So if you live in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Bethany, Friendship Heights, Columbia, Ocean City, Adams Morgan, Bethesda, or anywhere in between, start saving today and tell a friend how easy it was to put money back in your pocket.
You have undoubtedly heard about the large amounts of natural gas reserves that have been found in the United States and in Canada. Some are saying that the US could be largely free of the need to import oil from the middle east by 2020. Also the large natural gas reserves will continue to bring down our electricity prices which should lead to a re-shoring of American manufacturing jobs. What are your thoughts?
According to a survey done by Accenture, two-thirds of consumers said they would probably or certainly consider buying an electric vehicle or plug in hybrid. More than 7,000 people from 13 countries took part in the survey. The survey also showed that in China, 96% of respondents said the would probably or certainly consider buying an electric vehicle in the next three years. And you? Let us know what you think.
It’s a bit funny, and yet kind of sad at the same time.
When we’re out and about, describing how we can lower electricity rates and fix natural-gas rates for both residential and commercial bills, a lot of people say:
Oh, good! We can now get rid of Pepco / BGE / (insert name of hated utility here)!
That sentiment is especially felt in the aftermath of bad storms; like our most current one this week, when hundreds of thousands of people lose power and really trash-talk the utilities.
Well … we don’t actually “take over” for Pepco, BGE, and so on. Here’s why:
Who says Friday the 13th has to be a “bad” or “unlucky” day?
EA’s residential electricity rates — both for our standard package and our various green packages — are now even lower. The rate drop comes as residential electricity rates charged by most of the local utilities in our service area are set to decrease in the coming months, as their winter rates kick in.
Our rate decrease is not only good news for your bill down the road, you may be able to take advantage of an even-larger difference in rates in the very short-term.
Here’s the standard offer service (SOS) winter rates for several of utilities we serve for their “R” classifications (unless otherwise indicated), when they take effect, and our NEW rates for our Standard (5% green) package that are guaranteed for one (1) year. All rates are per kilowatt hour:
Utility Their Winter Rate¹ Effective Date
EA’s 1-Year Rate (as of
Allegheny Power 7.869¢ 10/01/2010 7.50¢ BGE 10.083¢ 10/01/2010 9.30¢ Pepco (DC) 10.925¢ 11/01/2010 9.00¢² Pepco (MD) 10.35¢ 10/01/2010 9.30¢ PPL Electric (PA) 10.448¢ (most rate classes);
9.098¢ (RTS rate class)
¹ Generation plus transmission (also called “supply” in BGE territory)
² Two-year price guarantee available as well
³ Rate is good through the customer’s 06/2011 meter reading
The above rates for all territories except PPL are the actual generation and transmission rates, and will remain in effect through next May. The rates indicated for PPL are the “Price to Compare” (PTC) rates, as PPL’s rate structure is too difficult in nature to quote a standard figure. Here’s how PPL defines and computes its PTC. Also, PPL’s rate is for the 2010 calendar year, so we’re not yet sure what 2011 will bring.
We couldn’t find what Delmarva Power in Delaware and Maryland will charge this winter; when we do, we’ll update this post with those figures. We can give you a quick breakdown of Delmarva’s PTC rates, versus our new rates:
Utility Their Price to Compare Effective Date EA’s 1-Year Rate (as of
Delmarva Power (Delaware) 11.89¢ 06/01/2010 9.90¢¹
Delmarva Power (Maryland) 10.12¢
¹ Two-year price guarantee available as well
We can’t say for certain that the Maryland October 10.28¢ figure will apply for all of the winter months, or if the Delaware figure will extend through all of winter, because we can’t figure out how or when they’ll actually change. But as you can see, our rates are lower than Delmarva Power in both states. For your information, though, here’s how Delmarva Power computes the PTC in Maryland and Delaware.
In addition, if you choose to lower your rates with us right now, you may be able to take advantage of the current wider disparity in rates. If you are a Pepco DC customer, you are probably in the best position in this scenario. Our new rate for Pepco DC customers is 21.68% lower than Pepco’s current standard rate of 11.814¢. That percentage will go down to 17.62% when Pepco’s winter rate kicks in come November.
Here’s the thing about taking advantage of the wider range: Usually your local utility needs at least one full billing cycle to do what’s needed on its end to switch you over. Your meter read date has a lot to do with it, too. All of that means you probably won’t see the disparity for long — perhaps just one month. As we said, Pepco DC customers are in the best shape to take advantage, because their rate switch happens in November. We want to be clear on one point, though: If your billing cycle and meter read dates fall just right, you may miss out entirely.
Please keep in mind that you can only get the rate indicated for your utility; in other words, you can’t get Allegheny pricing if your utility is Pepco Maryland. Believe me … everyone wants Allegheny pricing (even me). Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
And remember that when you choose to lower your rates with Electric Advisors, we don’t charge you anything for our services. You just continue to pay your utility bills, which will have lower rates. Plus, your lights won’t flicker, you won’t have to install new meters or wiring, etc. The entire process is totally seamless, and is handled by your local utility (again, at no cost to you).
Electric Advisors is an agent for Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) in the residential market.
Bureaucrats in Annapolis have slammed the brakes on a proposal that would have seen the widespread implementation of smart-grid technology in the Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) service area. The proposal had a price tag of as much as $835 million.
BGE wanted to install more than 1.3 million smart electricity meters and 730,000 smart gas meters for its customer base. It had planned on using a $136 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help shore up the start-up costs for the ambitious project.
Through the use of these smart meters, BGE wanted to have those meters communicate with its back office, in an effort to vary electricity rates during the months of June through September based on the time of day and day of the week during which the electricity is used.
BGE said that its customers would have saved money by reducing the amount of energy they used during peak periods.
But regulators in Annapolis said BGE’s specific proposal was “untenable,” even though they said they believe in the overall concept of smart-grid technology.
You can download their decision, all 54 mind-numbing pages of it. While there is some good stuff in there, here’s the main highlight of the decision:
The Proposal asks BGE’s ratepayers to take significant financial and technological risks and adapt to categorical changes in rate design, all in exchange for savings that are largely indirect, highly contingent and a long way off. We are not persuaded that this bargain is cost-effective or serves the public interest, at least not in its current form.
While the Commission said it would entertain future submissions from BGE, its harsh wording in the decision indicates that BGE will have to think long and hard before coming back to Annapolis with a new plan.
There’s much more about this at BrighterEnergy.org. Their piece makes for interesting reading. And it demonstrates that smart-grid technology may be farther off than those in the utilities industry want to admit.
By Bob Woods, VP of Business Development; Electric Advisors, Inc.