Winter Weather Tips for Your Commercial Building

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 papowerswitch.com 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!

 

Source: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/puc-wants-new-to-revise-pa-electric-shopping-rules-20171207.html

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.

 

 

Connecticut Electricity Customers Will Have Sticker Shock This January

Customers in Connecticut will be paying a higher rate for their electricity this January and there could be more price increases to come. State regulators announced that Eversource and United Illuminating will be increase their generation rates to make “investments in the electric system”.

Eversource is set to increase its Small C&I Standard Service rates by about 12%. In addition, Eversource is also requesting a three-year, $336.8 million increase that would rise the average consumer’s electricity bill by 6.79 percent. Listed below are their published rates through June 2018.

CL&P Standard Service Rates, Jan 2018 – Jun 2018 (¢/kWh)

Rate 1            9.078

Rate 5            9.078

Rate 7

On-Peak      11.701

Off-Peak      8.201

Rate 18           9.304

Rate 27

On-Peak      11.353

Off-Peak      8.353

Rate 29           9.304

Rate 30           9.304

Rate 35           9.304

Rate 37

On-Peak      11.353

Off-Peak      8.353

Rate 40           9.304

Rate 41 (less than 500 kW)

On-Peak      11.474

Off-Peak      8.474

Rate 55 (less than 500 kW)

On-Peak      11.474

Off-Peak      8.474

Rate 56 (less than 500 kW)

On-Peak      11.474

Off-Peak      8.474

Rate 115          9.304

Rate 116          9.728

Rate 117          9.728

Rate 119          9.314

United Illuminating is also set to increase their rates. Their GS standard service rate will rise from 7.54 cents per kWh to 9.4509 cents per kWh. Listed below are the rates customers can expect to pay.

UI Jan-Jun 2018 Standard Service Rates (¢/kWh)** Rates include Bypassable FMCC **

Rate GS:      9.4509

Rate GST

On-Peak:   11.3776

Off-Peak:   8.3776

Rate LPT

On-Peak:   11.5397

Off-Peak    8.5397

Rate M:       9.8006

Rate U:       9.8006

In times like this, customers can be left wondering what they can do to combat these high rates and take control of their energy expenses. One option is to contract electricity through a low priced fixed rate long term contract. By choosing a fixed price contract for a long-term, customers can avoid facing price increases for the duration of the contract. Budgeting energy expenses will also be easier especially for commercial customers who need to control their costs. If you are interested in locking in a fixed price contract for your business please reach out to us for a complimentary price quote to see what you could save. Click Here!

Eversource MA Customers May Be Paying More in January

Eversource electricity customers in Western Massachusetts might see an increase in their rates starting in January if the state approves the requested rate increase. Although the company claims they will not see any direct profits from the rise in price, customers will notice the extra cost to them.

Rates for commercial customers will be as follows, if approved.

Fixed Price Option: January 1, 2018 – June 30,2018

Small C&I     11.559 cents per kWh

Medium & Large C&I     12.396 cents per kWh

Variable Price Option: January 1, 2018 – June 30,2018

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
Small C&I13.65313.96911.17810.0299.6319.862
Medium & Large C&I13.14313.28310.637N/AN/AN/A

 

Utility rate increases and the volatility of the market in general is enough to make customers wonder what options they have to take control of their costs. The best solution to this time of uncertainty is signing a long term fixed price contract, that will allow consumers to purchase energy at a fixed price for the duration of the contract. This takes out the worry that rates will increase and better allows businesses to budget for upcoming energy expenses.

If you are interested in helping your business fix energy costs and take back control of your expenses, but don’t know where to start feel free to reach out to Better Cost Control. We have been helping companies like yours save on energy procurement since 2002. We know the market and work with many suppliers to get you the best price possible. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary quote with no obligation to your business. Reach out today to help control your costs and gain peace of mind to get back to the important matters- your business.

The Reason Energy Utility Companies are in a Panic

Commercial businesses are often looking for ways to cut costs. One of these costs is energy procurement. Every business needs their lighting and heating, but often are looking for ways to spend as little as possible. Meanwhile, Utility companies are looking to make high profits through selling energy.

Currently utility companies are seeing a flat line in sales and many are starting to worry about commercial customers who are looking to behind-the-meter storage solutions. The only way for utility companies to increase sales levels are to raise the price or the demand charge. By business customers having solar powered batteries to run during specific times their demand charge decreases. This has many utility companies are worried about plummeting profits.

An increase in the price for each kilowatt-hour sold, which needs to be approved by regulators is not ideal for utilities. Conversely the demand charge is a measurement of the highest average 15-minute electrical flow during the billing cycle. If the customer uses a lot of power during a short period of time then these charges will be a larger part of their bill and vice versa. Currently this charge is estimated to be between 30 and 70 of commercial customers’ bills.

According to a recent white paper published by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Clean Energy Group for about 28 percent of commercial customers using solar powered batteries to cut their electricity consumption would be advantageous. This not only would decrease electric usage, but also revenue collected from demand charges.  This shift could decrease a commercial company’s bill by as much as $2,000 a month according to one study of a theoretical Big Box retailer.

With these potential decreases in profits it’s no wonder that Utilities are worried about the future of the energy market, while commercial customers are continuing to look for ways to save costs.

 

You can read more at http://www.theenergycollective.com/djwamsted/2413367/storage-puts-utilities-big-bind-demand-charges

 

National Grid Rhode Island To Raise Electricity Rates

Gold Round Coins

Rhode Island electricity customers may be seeing an increase in their monthly bill if National Grid’s rate increase is approved. National Grid is proposing to raise electricity rates by 53 percent, bringing the rate to 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour. This increase leaves many business owners wondering about future energy costs and looking for ways to ensure they have the proper budgetary plan in place.

Being able to properly budget for energy costs will allow your business to not be subject to the ever-changing market at hand. This is where Better Cost Control can help. Working with Better Cost Control allows businesses the ability to sign a fixed price short to long term contract that allows for easier planning of future energy costs. We work with many suppliers to get our commercial clients the best price. We do the work to understand the prices being offered and not worry about unexpected price increases.

Reach out to us today to see what rates your business qualifies for with a free, no obligation quote.

Source: http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/state/10648373-154/national-grid-requesting-increase-of-53-in-standard-electric-rate.html 

What are FERC Order 745 Costs?

Q And A, Question, Answer, Q, Sign

 

Commercial Customer Question:

Taking a closer look at my most recent energy bill I notice a line item for FERC ORDER 745 costs. Why are these costs being listed on my bill and what are these funds going towards paying?

BCC Answer:

In the beginning of 2016 the Supreme Court voted to uphold FERC Order 745. This law gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to reward Demand Response programs. Demand Response programs work to balance out supply and demand during peak operating times by giving customers a monetary benefit for reducing their energy usage during these times.  This reduction in usage allows for better grid reliability since demand is decreasing. This ruling should help the energy market better regulate energy consumption and lower rates for participating markets. This also means that customers will be seeing a line item for this federally mandated fee on their energy bill for participating markets.

What are Commercial Businesses’ options:

For those business owners who are trying to regulate their energy costs, this is just another variable in their monthly expenses. However, business owners don’t have to leave it all up to chance. Right now, commercial businesses can lock in long term contracts for a fixed energy price that will guarantee the price they pay for their energy consumption and take one variability out of the equation.  Long term contracts allow businesses to better budget and give them peace of mind in an ever-changing market. Reach out to Better Cost Control today if you would like to learn how we could help your commercial business. We have been in the business since 2002 and can offer your company a no obligation quote. Call us today to see what we can save your business.

Penn Power Price to Compare 2017

Penn Power’s Price to Compare as of March 1st, 2017 has been released. Customers that buy electricity for less than the Penn Power Price to Compare can save money on their energy costs. These prices are especially important for commercial businesses, who need to be very conscious of their energy expenses, as it could affect their bottom line. Below is a list of the commercial Penn Power Price to Compare per rate class.

  • General Secondary – Non Demand Metered (GS-Small)
    • 7.41 cents per kWh
  • General Secondary – Volunteer Fire Company
    • 5.884 cents per kWh
  • General Secondary – Medium (GSM)
    • 7.41 cents per kWh

Today (3/17/17), some businesses with “General Secondary- Medium (GSM)” rate class could qualify to pay as low as 6.024 cents per kWh. This price can be locked in for the next 3 years. For those customers who would not want to make a long-term commitment, a year-long contract could be as low as 6.244 cents per kWh. These fixed rates allow businesses to better predict their energy expenses and control their costs.

Based on this potential savings, commercial customers should reach out to Better Cost Control today to see how we could help their business. Start with a free consultation with no obligation to see the benefit of using our services. Businesses who want to reduce their electricity cost can often feel lost and overwhelmed with all the energy options available to them. This is where Better Cost Control can help. We know the market and what to look for when evaluating pricing from various sources. Contact us today to start saving!

Met-Ed Price to Compare 2017

Met-Ed Price to Compare as of March 1st, 2017 has been released. Customers that buy electricity for less than the Met-Ed price to compare can save money on their energy costs. These prices are especially important for commercial businesses, who need to be very conscious of their energy expenses, as it could affect their bottom line. Below is a list of the commercial Met-Ed price to compare per rate class.

  • General Secondary – Non Demand Metered (GS-Small)
    • 6.842 cents per kWh
  • General Secondary – Volunteer Fire Company
    • 6.964 cents per kWh
  • General Secondary – Demand Metered (GS-Medium)
    • 6.842 cents per kWh
  • Municipal Service (MS)
    • 6.842 cents per kWh

 

Today (3/15/17), some businesses with “General Secondary- Demand Metered (GS- Medium)” rate class could qualify to pay as low as 5.763 cents per kWh. This price can be locked in for the next 3 years. For those customers who would not want to make a long-term commitment, a year-long contract could be as low as 6.014 cents per kWh. These fixed rates allow businesses to better predict their energy expenses and control their costs.

 

Based on this potential savings, commercial customers should reach out to Better Cost Control today to see how we could help their business. Start with a free consultation with no obligation to see the benefit of using our services. Businesses who want to reduce their electricity cost can often feel lost and overwhelmed with all the energy options available to them. This is where Better Cost Control can help. We know the market and what to look for when evaluating pricing from various sources. Contact us today to start saving!