How Wind Power is Affecting Electricity Prices in Texas

Texas is the leading wind power state in the nation. It reached 15,764 MW of installed capacity in 2015 and doubled its wind capacity since 2009. One MW powers approximately 200 homes in Texas in the summer months but close to 800 homes in the winter months. To put that into perspective, that’s more than double the energy generated by the state with the second-highest wind generation, Iowa.

The growth in wind output has changed the way the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) dispatches gas-fired generation units and can impact off-peak pricing, hour ending 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.  In fact, at night, there have been periods with so much wind power, that one major hub was trading below $0.00/MWh for fifty hours in November of 2015!  This happened again in March, 2016.

Wind Generation by State

When electricity starts selling for nothing, this could result in supply problems if traditional generators cannot sell their power at a profit. With climate change, can anyone guarantee that the steady winds needed for wind generation can be counted on?

Why isn’t the per MWh cost of wind generation impacted in the same way conventional generation is? Prices can go negative because during off-peak hours, the amount of available generation can exceed the demand at that point in time (measured in 15 minute intervals). Unless wind speeds are high enough to require operators to lock the wind blades, output will not be curtailed and traditional generation can be asked to go to minimum generation levels or shut down.

BGE in Maryland Files New SOS Rates

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) has filed new Type I SOS rates for the period October 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017, and Type II SOS rates for the period June 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016.

For mass market customers, the new SOS rates are just slightly lower than both the current rates, and upcoming rates to be in effect from June 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016

BGE’s new SOS supply rates, in cents per kWh, are listed below. These rates reflect the SOS energy rate plus the new transmission rate but do not include transmission or reconciliation.

October 1, 2016 - May 31, 2017 (¢/kWh)

Scheds. G/GU - Type I      8.412

Sched. GS - Type I
 On Peak                  10.268
 Inter.-Peak               8.397
 Off-Peak                  7.662


June 1, 2016 - August 31, 2016

Schedule G - Type II
Generation:         8.049

Schedule GS - Type II
On Peak:           10.836
Intermediate:       7.253
Off Peak:           6.447

Schedules GL, P & T - Type II
On Peak:            9.892
Intermediate:       6.352
Off Peak:           5.527

NY regulators establish regulations to protect electricity customers

The NY Public Service Commission recently ruled that non-utility energy marketers must guarantee cost savings or provide electricity from renewable sources if they sell energy to residential or small commercial customers.

The commission said its new rules for energy service companies, or ESCOs, stem from a broad investigation that discovered what many consumers have complained about for years: Significant over-charging is rampant among some of the marketers.

“We have heard from too many consumers that they were unfairly lulled by aggressive and dishonest ESCO marketing into believing they were getting savings that they did not receive.”

In a recent review of the industry, the PSC determined that some customers are being grossly overcharged.

With this PSC decision, energy service companies that market to residential customers must provide written guarantees that they will charge less than the utility. The exception is for green energy. Energy marketers can charge higher prices for electricity that is at least 30 percent derived from renewable sources. The PSC will review whether exceptions should be made for other residential services sold by energy service companies, such as energy efficiency.

The commission said it will strengthen its process for revoking the eligibility of energy service companies to do business in New York if they are found in violation of state regulations. The PSC is also reviewing other options, such as imposing stiff financial penalties on companies that violate the rules.

United Illuminating Electricity rates to Rise on Jan 1

Solar Energy from Solar PanelsConnecticut regulators have approved new electric rates for the first half of 2016 for customers of The United Illuminating Co. who purchase their power through the utility rather than a competitive supplier.

The so-called standard offer rates approved by the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for the UI Company are more than a penny per kilowatt hour higher than what customers currently are paying. But the newly approved rates for 2016 represent a substantial savings over what standard-offer customers paid over the first six months of 2015.

Under the new rates, which take effect Jan. 1 and run through June 30, UI’s residential generation rate will change from 9.1241 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.7358 cents.

For commercial customers, the rates will be as follows:

  • Rate GS Standard Service rate:
    10.5472 cents/kWh
  • Rate GST Time-of-Use rate:
    12.1275 Peak and
    9.1275/kWh Off-Peak

Generation charges represent about 50 percent of a customer’s monthly electric bill for the typical standard offer customer. The generation charges for standard offer customers represent what it costs the utility companies to procure the electricity and do not include any profit.

About two-thirds of Southern Connecticut’s residential customers receive standard offer generation from UI.

UI customers can reduce their immediate costs and protect themselves from price volatility by obtaining a competitive electricity supply contract.  Contact Better Cost Control today by calling 617-332-7767 x150.

 

Eversource Basic Service Rates Starting Jan 2016

Variable Electric Rate

Eversource (Nstar Electric) has filed new Basic Service rates for the period beginning January 1, 2016. This is the rate that customers that do not have a competitive supply contract will be paying.

Eversource Fixed Rate Small Commercial Customers, for the six month period beginning Jan 1, 2016, will pay a rate  of $0.10570/kWh.

For Eversource Fixed Rate C&I Customers, for the three month period beginning Jan 1, 2016, the rates will be NEMA Zone: $0.10801 and SEMA Zone: $0.10318.

Variable Small Commercial Customers will have monthly rates as follows:

Jan: $0.14106
Feb: $0.14053
March: $0.10089
April: $0.08329
May: $0.07289
June: $0.08462

Large C&I Customers (NEMA)

Jan: $0.11350
Feb: $0.11530
March: $0.09429

Large C&I Customers (SEMA)

Jan: $0.11307
Feb: $0.10593
March: $0.08997

As a comparison, as of the date of this posting, you can obtain a fixed price supply contract at a price of $0.091 to start in January and eliminate all that price volatility.  Contact us at 617-332-7767 x150 to learn more.