Winter Weather Tips for Your Commercial Building

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Right now, New England is seeing one of the coldest winters in recent history.  Based on the latest data this winter temperatures are supposed to be colder all over the US compared to last winter. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is expecting that due in large part to colder temperatures natural gas costs are set to increase by 12%, heating oil by 17% propane by 18% and electricity by 8%.

One major problems for businesses is keep their buildings warm during sever winter periods. It is recommended that facility managers and building owners conduct an energy audit to assist in determining how energy efficient their buildings are. This can be done by the business its self or by contacting the local utility or energy auditor.

The top three areas of concern for commercial buildings are lighting, space heating and space cooling. Looking first at lighting, which is one of the largest consumers of energy there are many things that can be done. Sensors can be installed to turn off or dim lights when a room is not occupied. Another option is building automation, which allows for centralized control of a lighting, heating, ventilation and other systems through a building management system. Lastly, high-end trimming or light level tuning can help set a maximum level of lighting that is less than 100% for spaces that don’t need as much lighting.

Space heating is the second largest consumer of energy for commercial businesses. HVACs help to control the temperature, humidity and air quality account for about 40% of energy usage according to the US Small Business Administration It is recommended to do a winter tune up in which the furnace filters and heating coils are cleaned and/or replaced, if necessary.

Other ways to reduce costs include reducing the outside airflow rate. It is often found that most buildings are bring in more outside air than is necessary. Checking the boiler system to ensure it operating on high fire settings and does not need any tune-ups. Adjusting power management settings on electronic devices to regulate plug load. Using a digital control system for humidistats and pneumatic thermostats will allow for higher discharge air temperature set points and can save money on cooling energy use. Along with replacing hot water storage tanks with tankless natural gas or electric water heaters that will use less energy.

All these suggestions will help improve the overall energy usage of your commercial business, but there is another factor to consider as well. And that is the price that is being paid for energy. What if your business could combine the savings from the above-mentioned methods and pay less for the energy itself? With help from Better Cost Control your business could contract fixed price energy that would not be susceptible to the volatile energy market. Imagine knowing what you would pay on energy for the next 3 years or even the next year. It is possible to even get a lower price than you are paying now. For a complimentary quote feel free to click here.

Better Cost Control has been in business since 2002 and work with a handful of suppliers so we can get you the best price for your business. Give us a try with no obligation to you or your business. Take control of your energy costs and have peace of mind that your energy costs will not increase for the duration of the contract. Reach out today to see how we can help!

U.S. Energy Information Administration Short-Term Energy Outlook Report

The U.S. Energy Information Administration published their “Short-Term Energy Outlook” on December 12th, 2017. In the report they outline the current market conditions and what can be expected in the near future. Discussed in the report are the conditions that most effect electricity pricing and where prices look like they are heading.

When looking at the electricity market, one must also look at natural gas since this is where a good portion of electricity is generated from. This year production of natural gas is estimated to be about 73.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), which is a slight increase from the previous year and projected to be 6.1 Bcf/d lower than the 2018 levels. The U.S. benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price is expected to increase due to growth in exports and domestic consumption. This increase in price has resulted in electricity generation from natural gas to drop and generation from renewable energy source to increase.


Another important source of electricity is coal. It is estimated that coal generated electricity will be about the same as last year at 31%. Due to lower exports and no growth in coal consumption, production of coal is set to fall 771 million short tons in 2018. EIA projects exports of coal will total 74 MMst in 2018 compared to 89 MMst in 2017. In 2018 generation shares for natural gas and coal will be relatively the same as this year, but renewable energy sources should see an increase to 10% from about 8% in 2016.



At Better Cost Control, we stay up to date on the latest market trends and we can obtain prices from numerous suppliers. Our long-term fixed price contracts allow for peace of mind in a market full of ambiguity. We work hard so commercial businesses don’t have to. Contact us today to see how much we can save your business and lock in a low fixed rate contract.


Click Here for the full report.

Comparison Shopping in PA is Hopefully Going To Get Better

What are you really paying for your electricity per kWh?

The supplier may list a price per kWh, but does it include all the additional, often hidden, fees?

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has initiated a “rulemaking” process that would force suppliers to list the total price per kWh including any additional fees. The PUC is trying to combat the misrepresentation seen in the electricity-shopping market. Just last month the site was claiming PECO customers could save as much as 44% annually, but failed to mention this did not include the enrollment fee and that the rate was only guaranteed for three months. The website has since been changed to say, “potential savings”, but this is just one example of how hard it is for consumers to know whether the price they are given is the full amount they will actually pay.

With all this uncertainty, comparison shopping becomes harder and harder to do on your own. Businesses especially often do not have the proper time and resources to devote to it. But there is an answer. Finding a reputable broker to contract your electricity with will allow you to have an expert compare prices for you and give you the piece of mind that for the duration of your contract, prices will not increase. This allows commercial customers to get back to what really matters, their business!

Better Cost Control has been in business since 2002 and have helped numerous businesses control their costs. We compare rates for you and don’t work with any one supplier, so we can get your business the best price possible and help control your budget.

For a no-obligation commercial quote please reach out to Better Cost Control or Click Here!



Ameren Illinois Customer to Decrease in their Electricity Rates

Ameren Illinois customers will notice a decrease in their electricity bill. Beginning in January residential customers will see a savings of $1.70 per month. This is the second consecutive year Ameren has filed for a rate decrease. Due to grid modernization initiatives, Ameren has been able to save its customers about $45 million in the past 6 years.

“We made a commitment to our customers and state regulators to build a stronger and more reliable electric distribution system and keep rates stable,” said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president, Ameren Illinois. “The plan approved today demonstrates that prudent cost management and solid project execution can help our customers save.”

While the decrease in rates for Ameren customers is good example of how utilities can effectively reduce rates, many other utilities are requesting rate increases and customers are paying more and more each year. Commercial customers do have a choice; however, they can opt to control their costs by signing a fixed price contract. Although the market prices can change if a commercial customer signs a fixed price contract their rate will stay the same for the duration of the contract, which could save them money each month. This also allows businesses to budget for their energy expenses and predict what they will spend for the duration of the contract term. For more information, click here.


Supplier Spotlight: American Electric Power

American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP) is a public utility holding company that engages in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers.  AEP is one of the 80 companies in the “Electric Utilities” industry. Compared to its competitors, AEP has lower earnings, but higher gross revenue. Their service area consists of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.  Most of AEP’s shares are owned by institutional investors, which indicates that it is poised for long-term growth. In a Week Herald article AEP is said to beat its competitors on 8 of 15 factors including profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations and risk.

AEP is just one of the suppliers we currently work with to help our customers stabilize their electricity and natural gas costs. Third party suppliers allow customers in deregulated states to compare pricing from multiple sources. Looking at your utility bill you can often find a Price To Compare. This price will tell customers how much the utility is charging for energy generation and if you find a supplier with a lower cost then you will save money. Everyone enjoys saving money, but the ability to stabilize energy costs is often very advantageous for commercial energy customers as well. Signing a low rate fixed price contract can give businesses the best of both worlds.

Working with Better Cost Control will allow business customers to shop the market without having to do any of the leg work. All they need to do is send us their most current utility bill and we will get pricing from a number of suppliers to see if they could be saving money or if there would be a better rate to lock in now to avoid market volatility later.  We offer complimentary no obligation quotes, so feel free to reach out to us to see how we could help your company. Click here to find out more.