United Illuminating new Default Last Resort Service Pricing

United Illuminating has filed Last Resort Service Rates for default service customers for the period July through September 2013.

The Last Resort Service Generation Services Charge (GSC) rates for the three-month period beginning July 1, 2013 are as follows, in cents per kWh:

Rates GST & LPT*, Above 500 kW
July (all hours):  8.1150
August (all hours):    7.6940
September (all hours):   6.9270

Natural Gas Prices – Rising

New charges for PSEG customers in New Jersey

PSEG filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) an amended tariff that contained PSEG’s annual update to the formula rate for Network Integration Transmission Service (NITS).  The formula rate increased due to the cost of several approved future transmission projects in the service territory.

Additionally, the rate for the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP), another transmission related charge, decreased due to the completion of a number of baseline transmission projects in the region.  The changes to PSEG’s tariff were approved by FERC and very recently approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  They are effective retroactively to January 1, 2013. Pursuant to the contract terms, the Net NITS Adjustment will be applied to your monthly electricity usage as a Pass-Through Charge for the duration of your Agreement. The net impact of these adjustments is an increase in your Pass-Through Charges as follows:

Net NITS Adjustment = (New NITS rate plus New RTEP rate) minus (Previous NITS rate plus Previous RTEP rate)

Starting on your March invoice and continuing thereafter, this adjustment will be shown as a separate line charge called “NITS Rate Adjustment”.

PECO Price to Compare

Transformer-214-x-424PECO’s Price to Compare is the total of the Generation Charge + Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard + Transmission Charge.

For the period January 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013

  • General Service (GS): 9.17¢/kWh
  • Primary – Distribution Power (PD): 8.20¢/kWh

For the period April 1, 2013 through May 31, 2013- ESTIMATED

  • Small General Service (GS): 10.88¢/kWh
  • Medium and Large General Service (GS): 6.84¢/kWh
  • Primary – Distribution Power (PD): 9.89¢/kWh

For Large Commercial and Industrial customers on Hourly Pricing with demand >500KW

  • January: General Service (GS): LMP plus 1.91¢/kWh
  • February: General Service (GS): LMP plus 2.61¢/kWh
  • March: General Service (GS): LMP plus 3.92¢/kWh

Note that the Price to Compare includes an adjustment for the 5.90% GRT (Gross Receipts Tax)

To obtain a fixed price electricity supply quote, contact Better Cost Control.

PJM Capacity Price Forecast

The PJM Interconnection capacity auction parameters released late on Friday show a likely increase in new gas capacity clearing, increased demand response and a weak demand outlook, all of which could lead to lower capacity prices for delivery year 2016/2017, according to market analysts.

PJM’s annual capacity auction for delivery year 2016/2017 will not take place until May, but the auction parameters PJM posted last week are already giving analysts hints on how the results could turn out.

UBS Investment Research said in a Monday report that it predicts the regional transmission organization price will clear at $124/MW-day, down from $136/MW-day last year, with the MAAC zone clearing at $157/MW-day, down from $167.50/MW-day last year.

Barclays also predicted that this year’s capacity auction results will be “somewhat lower” than last year’s auction but it pegged the prices higher than UBS did, with the RTO price expected to be between $100 and $120/MW-day and the MAAC zone clearing between $130 and $150/MW-day, according to Barclays’ Monday report. Barclays also gave a prediction for the PS North Zone, between $160 and $180/MW-day.

Before each capacity auction, PJM calculates each zone’s capacity emergency transfer limit and its capacity emergency transfer objective and publishes that information in the auction parameters. Any zone that has a CETL less than 1.15 times its CETO is modeled as a zone in the upcoming auction, and the ratio level helps predict the potential for constraints within the zone.  CETL is defines as the Capacity Emergency Transfer Objective and  CETL is defined as the Capacity Emergency Transfer Limit.   An electricity broker adviser such as Better Cost Control can benefit larger customer in taking this information into account when procuring electricity.

Both the ATSI and Cleveland zones were projected at about a 140% CETL/CETO ratio, suggesting they will not clear separately, said Julien Dumoulin-Smith, analyst for UBS, in his Monday report. Meanwhile, the PS and PS-North zones were projected at 102% and 120%, respectively, suggesting those zones will clear at a higher level than the RTO-wide price, he said.

The update cemented UBS’ view that prices will show a “modest downward trajectory” in this year’s auction, Dumoulin-Smith said. Recent changes to Environmental Protection Agency demand response rules and potentialnatural gas capacity exemptions from the Minimum Offer Price Rule could play a part in capacity prices decreasing.

“Updated MOPR prices from PJM confirm a modest jump is necessary to make new gas capacity economic, however all new capacity is likely exempted from MOPR,”Dumoulin-Smith said. “Despite potential changes to demand response bidding rules, we see the EPA recent decision to allow the use of backup diesel generators as limited DR as driving another large increase in DR.”

Barclays also cited the EPA backup diesel generator rule, saying it “did not hurt the prospects for demand response.”

PJM is looking at largely flat demand growth, year-on-year. The footprint-wide peak forecast load for 2015/2016 was 163,168 MW, compared the forecast load for 2016/2017 of about 165,425 MW, up slightly more than 1%.

Furthermore, the slight increase in the load forecast isn’t due to a true rise in demand. The East Kentucky Power Cooperative will integrate its system into PJM in June, resulting in its inclusion as the EKPC zone in the upcoming auction. The addition of the EKPC zone added a peak load contribution of 2,213 MW to the footprint-wide forecast peak load for the 2016/2017 delivery year, according to the parameters.

“The parameters supported the weak demand fundamentals for power in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest,” Barclays’ report said.

The weak demand, demand response and energy efficiency as well as net capacity are the drivers in this year’s auction, able to cancel out the impact of a higher net cost of new entry, Barclays said.

Barclays expects to see 2,500 MW of new generation, uprates or imports entered into the auction and 1,200 MW of shutdowns or derates regionwide. UBS said it expects to see 700 MW of retirements. Barclays also predicts the auction will see 1,500 MW of new demand response and energy efficiency, compared to last year’s growth of 814 MW.

The installed reserve margin rose slightly in this year’s auction parameters, compared with last year’s auction, edging up less than 1% on the year to 15.6%. The IRM is the level of capacity reserves needed to satisfy the PJM reliability criterion of no more than one occurrence of load lost in ten years, the parameters said. The reliability requirement is used to establish the target reserve level to be procured in the annual capacity auction.


Illinois Electric Customers Embrace Competitive Electricity Suppliers

Participation in electricity residential consumer choice programs increased faster in Illinois in 2012 than in any other state—an exception among retail electric choice programs that have had mixed success. Under these programs, electricity distribution providers still operate and maintain the infrastructure to deliver the electricity and coordinate billing: these costs constitute the “distribution charge” on a customer’s bill. The third-party suppliers arrange for the supply of electricity, and it is this “commodity” or “energy” part of the bill where customers can potentially gain savings or eliminate price flcutuations. The driver was the introduction in Illinois of a program that allows municipalities and counties to contract in bulk for electricity supply from a variety of potential providers. Third-party power providers leveraged low wholesale power rates during 2012 to offer steep discounts on electricity.

Retail choice programs, which exist in some but not all states, let electric power customers choose among competitive electricity suppliers. Some states show growth in their programs, while participation in others lags, or is favored by industrial and commercial customers rather than residential customers.

Preliminary 2012 data collected through November from a sample of U.S. utilities show that over 1.3 million out of 5 million residential electric customers in Illinois switched their energy supplier from their local Investor-Owned Utility, or IOU, to a third-party power provider between January and November. In December 2012, the City of Chicago’s nearly 1 million residents joined the growing list as Mayor Rahm Emanuel approved a contract with Integrys Energy Services (Chicago’s contract is not included in the chart above).

The chart above shows the dramatic rise participation in retail choice programs with the number of residential customers on delivery-only service, as reported by electricity delivery companies (here, IOUs). The numbers are dominated by Commonwealth Edison customers, whose territory covers most of northern Illinois; Ameren covers most of the remainder of the state. Third-party energy suppliers in Illinois include: Ameren Energy Marketing, Direct Energy Services, First Energy, and Integrys.

In 2009, Illinois joined five other states (Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California) in enacting legislation allowing communities and municipalities to negotiate with power providers on behalf of their citizens, for residential and small commercial customers. Nonetheless, until recently, participation in Illinois retail electric choice programs was low. The situation changed beginning in late 2011 due to a combination of revisions to the Illinois community aggregation law, outreach programs aimed at easing the aggregation process for communities, and a steep drop in wholesale power prices. Third-party power providers were able to immediately offer significantly lower rates than IOUs, whose rates are less responsive to power market fluctuations because of regulatory rules.

In September 2011, Oak Park became the first Illinois municipality to sign a contract, securing 30% savings on electricity commodity costs for its residents. Two months later, other communities passed referenda to participate, and the trend continued to increase through 2012. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) lists467 Illinois communities known to be participating in or pursuing community aggregation programs. Of those that have chosen suppliers as of Jan 14, 2013, the ICC reports the average electricity rate as 4.5 cents per kWh. In comparison, the default rate from the Illinois Power Agency is currently 8.1 cents per kWh. It is scheduled to drop on July 1, 2013, but is expected to remain above 6 cents per kWh.

However, it is possible that this large disparity in costs between regulated IOUs and third-party electricity suppliers could reverse itself—if IOU rates are redrawn preceding a significant increase in wholesale power prices, the third-party suppliers may not be able to undercut IOU rates.

While price is usually cited as a main concern, third party power providers may offer options the IOU does not: for instance, “green power” (buying their electricity from renewable generators) or cleaner power (one option from Integrys excludes electricity from coal-fired power plants). However, consumers purchasing from third-party suppliers cannot be on a time-of-day rate—that option is only offered through the IOU.

The data cited above are collected on the monthly survey Monthly Electric Utility Sales and Revenue Report with State Distributions (Form EIA-826), which collects sales, revenue and customer count data from a subset of all U.S. retail electric market participants. Data collected for Illinois residential customers show participation rates in retail choice programs in November 2012 are 38%, up from 8% in January 2012.

Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) Price to Compare Information


When comparing whether or not to contract your electricity supply, you should always understand that the Price to Compare is for a limited period of time. For JCP&L, there is a summer rate and winter rate.  When you obtain a fixed price competitive contract, your price will not change for the entire contract period, whether that period is 12 months, 18 month, 24 or 36 months.  You are obtaining price insurance. Be sure you know whether the competitive price includes SUT or not, so you have an accurate comparison!  Also consider Green Energy or RECs.

To see the Price to Compare for 2013, click these links:

JCP&L Price to Compare, including SUT.

JCP&L Price to Compare, excluding SUT.

If you would like a commercial electricity price quotation, contact us!

Ohio PUCO accepts results of FirstEnergy auction

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Jan. 23, 2013) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved the results of FirstEnergy’s sixth wholesale auction that will ultimately determine its retail generation service rates through May 2016.

During the 17-round auction, held Jan. 22, 2013, four competitive suppliers submitted winning bids for the opportunity to provide electricity to FirstEnergy customers. The auction resulted in an average clearing price of $0.05917 per kilowatt hour for the delivery period June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2016. The results will be blended with previous auctions, and four upcoming auctions to establish retail generation rates from June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2016.

CRA International served as the independent auction manager, and Boston Pacific Company, a consultant retained by the PUCO, monitored the auction process. The names of the winning bidders will remain confidential for 21 days.

Customers continue to have the opportunity to consider competitive options to meet their electricity needs, including shopping for an alternate supplier or joining a local government aggregation group. More information about how to choose a supplier is available at www.PUCO.ohio.gov. The PUCO’s Apples to Apples rate charts provide customers with a snapshot comparison of current electric supplier price options and contract terms. The PUCO updates the charts on a regular basis and verifies each supplier offer to ensure accuracy.

United Illuminating Announced new GST Time of Day Rate for 2013

United Illuminating (UI), which services Southern Connecticut, published its General Service Time of Day Rate for 2013.

January – December On-Peak Off-Peak

Standard Service Generation 9.6389¢/kWhr 6.6389¢/kWhr

Increasing Use of Natural Gas May Lead to Infrastructure Issues

Natural Gas Pipeline

Inexpensive natural gas is affecting the traditionally favorable cost of coal-fired power plants. With increased shale production, estimates of recoverable domestic gas reserves have surged in recent years.

Natural gas should continue to increase its use in power plants as the EPA creates greenhouse gas regulations for new power generation that will “effectively ban new coal-fired power plants,” ScottMadden said.

“The electric industry is beginning to adjust its generation complement accordingly, as the shale gas boom makes gas-fired power compelling for new generation, at least for the moment,” the firm said.

The nuclear power industry is also facing new concerns as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission moves forward with new requirements move than a year after the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdown in Japan.

The natural gas industry faces its own concerns, however, These concerns range from public pushback over fracking, to the need to address “aging pipes,” according to the consultant’s report.

Potential unknowns facing the natural gas industry include regulation of expanded exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). With so many of its nuclear plants closed post-Fukushima, Japan is seen as a growing market for LNG. Meanwhile, back in the United States, there is the potential for natural gas to play a growing role in transportation fuel for motor vehicles.

Pipeline flow capacity constraints are emerging issues for the natural gas and power sectors. To meet a possible doubling of natural gas demand, an additional 24,000 miles of pipeline could be required in the new future. Gas companies will be major players in this future build-out of transportation infrastructure for power generation.

Natural Gas Prices Rise

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today reported the U.S. natural gas stocks declined by 135 billion cubic feet last week, above an average expected drop of around 127 billion cubic feet. Natural gas futures prices were about 2% higher in advance of the EIA’s report at around $3.26 per million BTUs, and rose to $3.29 immediately following the EIA report.

The EIA reported that U.S. working stocks of natural gas totaled 3.52 trillion cubic feet, about 389 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average of 3.13 trillion cubic feet. Working gas in storage totaled 3.49 trillion cubic feet for the same period a year ago.

Storage levels remain slightly above the top of the five-year range even though the draw on stocks is higher than last week’s draw of 72 billion cubic feet. Gas prices remain about 17% from recent highs around $3.93 per thousand cubic feet.

To obtain a price quotation for electricity or natural gas for your business, call us at 860-436-2768.


Pennelec New Price to Compare

Penelec Price to Compare, Effective December 1, 2012 for three months.

General Secondary – Non Demand Metered (GS-Small) 6.863 cents per kWh

General Secondary – Volunteer Fire Company 7.051 cents per kWh

General Secondary – Volunteer Fire Company Time of Day 7.051 cents per kWh

General Secondary – Demand Metered (GS-Medium) 6.863 cents per kWh

All-Electric School, Church or Hospital (H) 6.863 cents per kWh

Remember: Three month pricing exposes you to more price risk than a fixed price contract.  If you want to control your energy cost, paying a small insurancepremium to eliminate upward price movement may be an attractive option for you.