Staying Ahead of Winter Energy Costs

As we bid adieu to warm summer days and welcome in the cold winter nights many business owners need to consider their energy costs.

As the season changes so too will factors that affect the price of electricity and gas. Right now, natural gas has kept up with the demand of the market, but with colder temperatures predicted, this may not be true for long. It has been said that this year the northern US will be colder and damper than in the past and the southern US will experience warmer and drier temperatures. While everywhere else has been said to go either way.

Power price projections are also increasing, meaning what business owners pay right now might dramatically change when winter strikes. This volatility could cause some organizations to spend more than they had originally planned and leave them at the whim of the market. Although commercial customers do have options. Those who lock in fixed cost, long-term contract at a lower price now can beat the spike in price and save money on their energy consumption.

At Better Cost Control, we can analyze each individual business’s energy consumption and get them the best price possible. We work with all providers so we do not have any motives except to get your company the best price. In addition, long-term contract terms mean that for the length of the contract business owners do not have to worry about increased market prices. Stop playing the risk game and reach out to Better Cost Control today.

What You Need To Consider About Energy Costs

The simple fact is that purchasing energy for your business can be complicated. With all the competing providers, out there and a constantly changing marketplace it can be hard to know what the best option is for your business. Decision makers need to know how the current prices compare to those in the past as well as the factors that affect future prices. Below we will outline the key points you should consider when purchasing energy.

The first thing to consider is natural gas. As more and more power plants start becoming natural gas reliant the price of energy starts to directly correlate with natural gas prices. This can be good when the prices are low, but once they start rising or have any volatility, so too will your energy costs. This dependence also becomes harder to predict as the issue of supply not meeting demand arises. As of late, the supply has kept up with demand and prices have gotten low for both natural gas and power. With forecasts pointing to reduced prices in the coming years many energy purchasers are taking advantage of extended energy contracts.

Noticing the changes in the power market is also an important factor when shopping for energy. Prices tend to be cheaper in the spring and with the warmer temperatures lasting into September prices are falling less rapidly. In this case, buyers might be more willing to forgo purchasing energy until the spring time, betting on the winter weather. Whether that is a good idea is hard to know. This winter’s weather is one of the hardest factors to predict and could cause major fluctuations in price. The only way to guarantee pricing for your business’s energy consumption is to have a long-term fixed contract, where the price is stable for the whole length of the time.

Lastly, something else to keep in mind is the inventory of natural gas. Although levels are sufficient right now, if demand increases due to poor winter conditions, this may not be the case for long. As the temperatures drop and demand increases business owners need to be sure they have taken the necessary precautions to protect themselves against severe price increases.

After reading all the details that need to be considered when purchasing energy, wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to turn that could help you weigh your options? An organization who does not have any motivations, but to get your business the best price. That is where Better Cost Control can come to the rescue. At Better Cost Control, we know what the market is doing and we stay up to date on the latest prices from all providers. Our long-term fixed price contracts allow for peace of mind in a market full of ambiguity. We work hard so you don’t have to worry. Contact us today to see how much we can save you and lock in a low rate to take the confusion out of energy pricing.

Is It Time To Lock In a Fixed Energy Price?

Eversource released it rate filing for January 1st, 2017 thru June 30th, 2017 for commercial users. Customers who are being billed medium commercial rate codes can choose the published fixed price of $0.10099 per kWh.

As of today, customers billed with a medium commercial rate code can spend as low as $0.094 per kWh for a 6-month term and $0.1002 for a 12-month term. Another advantage is that we also can secure pricing for longer term contracts as well. Imagine not worrying about energy costs for 2 years and knowing exactly how much you would be paying for your commercial energy consumption.

Locking in these lower rates can give commercial business owners peace of mind and lower the risk of paying more than they should. To take control of your costs and gain budget certainty contact Better Cost Control today to see what rate your business is eligible to receive.

Benefits of Fixed Price Energy Costs

Light Bulb Turned on

Massachusetts Electric Company (National Grid) published the pricing for general commercial service rate classes from November 2016 to April 2017. The prices range from $0.07366 per kWh all the way up to $0.10956 per kWh.

As of today, commercial customers can lock in a fixed price of $0.0961 per kWh for a 6-month term. This fixed price will ensure that the amount commercial business owners pay will be consistent for the duration of the contract. We also offer options to sign contracts for longer terms such as a year or even two years, which means commercial customers do not have to worry about their energy costs for the entirety of the contract.

If you think that your business could benefit from fixed energy costs, please feel free to reach out to Better Cost Control. We can find a price that is right for your business that won’t leave you at the mercy of the market.

Is Met-Ed’s PTC Really The Lowest Price?

As of September 1st, 2016, Met-Ed offers commercial customers a price per kilowatt-hour for default service by their electric distribution company. This rate is known as the price to compare (PTC). Met-Ed’s PTC is $0.006957 cents per kWh for most commercial customers.

Met-Ed’s PTC is not a commercial customer’s only option. These customers would be able to lock in a price as low as $0.005131 cents per kWh now for a 36-month term. This fixed rate allows customers to guarantee commercial energy costs for 36 months as well as pay less than Met-Ed’s PTC. If 36 months seems like too long of a commitment, customers can also secure a 12-month term for as low as $0.005276 per kWh.  Either way customers will be saving money and getting the security of not having to rely on an unpredictable market.

If you think your business could benefit from these low rates, please contact Better Cost Control today. We will work with you to find the best price for your needs and alleviate the stress of energy costs.

PennPower PTC May Not Be The Best Option For Your Business

PennPower has available the price to compare (PTC) default service electric rates as of September 1st, 2016. This price is the dollars per kilowatt-hour that will be charged for default service by your electric distribution company. The published price for commercial users is a minimum of $0.07387/kWh.

As of today, a commercial customer can lock in a price as low as $0.06135/kWh for a 36-month term. This fixed rate allows customers to pay less than PennPower’s quoted price and guarantees that price for the duration of the contract. Clients who do not feel comfortable signing up for a longer-term contract also have the option of a 12-month contract. The fixed price for a 12-month term may be as low as $0.06209/kWh. This option is still a great fixed price for commercial users as it is less than the PTC of PennPower.

Locking in these lower rates can give commercial business owners peace of mind and lower the risk of paying more than they should. To take control of your costs and gain budget certainty contact Better Cost Control today to see what rate your business is eligible to receive.

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.

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.

Gas Prices are Near Ten Year Lows

The combination of many things, such as warm temperatures, high gas production, large storage and short positions by speculators—has reduced natural gas prices to near 10-year lows this week as we approach winter. The NYMEX November 2015 natural gas futures contract recently dropped to a low of $1.948/MMBtu, the lowest price on a  prompt month since April 2012.

This is only 4 cents above the 10-year low price of $1.902/MMBtu set on April 20, 2012 and illustrates a 22 percent decrease in gas prices in less than a week. Continued warm weather in the first half of November, combined with additional storage injections, could continue to push down NYMEX prices in the short term until colder weather increases heating demand.

Gas Price LowIf this has  you thinking about how to manage your energy costs for the next few years, you are on the right track.

Gas Storage at Record Highs

NYMEX fundamentals have been pushing prices lower.  Gas storage is at a record level due to warmer than normal temperatures in the Eastern half of the nation.  It is 12% above last year’s levels and 4% above the 5-year average.  NOAA is forecasting a continued warm winter.

Natural Gas Production is High

Production has remained high, despite dropping prices.

Wall Street Speculation

Bearish bets by banks and hedge funds have also had their impact on prices.  These bets could change at any time, though.  If weather becomes colder than expected, market prices could spike quickly.

How to Benefit from Present Prices

Understand that prices likely will not stay this way.  Consider taking advantage of the current market to reduce your price volatility for the coming years, for both electricity and natural gas.

  • Lock in prices for longer terms
  • For larger users, use hedge portions of your volume each month, similar to dollar cost averaging

Contact Better Cost Control to control your company’s energy costs.

PECO Medium Commercial Price to Compare Rises 15%

Electric Meter

PECO has filed electric Prices to Compare for the period beginning December 1, 2015 thru February 29, 2016.

Prices to Compare for commercial customers will be (¢/kWh):

Class            Current PTC     12/1/15 PTC
GS ≤100 kW          9.07           8.77
GS 100-500 kW       7.62           8.83
PD ≤100 kW          8.56           8.26
PD 100-500 kW       7.13           8.32
HT ≤100 kW          8.24           7.94
HT 100-500 kW       6.86           7.99

For comparison, a business contracting a fixed-price competitive supply contract, 
with between 150K and 250K kWH annual usage, will find supply prices today (10/20/2015) \
with a 11/2015 start date  and 12-month term, as follows: 
PN-GSLF (Large General Services): $0.06932
PN-GSMF (Medium General Services): $0.07242
PN-GSSF (Small General Services) : $0.07320

Read the entire PECO PTC filing.

Duquesne Light New Default Service Rates Up 17%

Variable Electric Rate

Duquesne Light filed with the Pennsylvania PUC new default service supply rates for the period beginning December 1, 2015.

The default service supply rate reflects generation supply only; unlike the official Prices to Compare which also reflect transmission and the state GRT adjustment. 

The Small C&I <25 kW (Rate Schedules GS/GM and GMH and Rate Schedule UMS) supply charge will be 6.0133¢/kWh for the period December 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016, versus the current 6.2355¢/kWh.

The Medium C&I 25-300 kW (Rate Schedules GS/GM and GMH and Rate Schedule UMS) supply charge will be 6.6641¢/kWh for the period December 1, 2015 to February 29, 2016, versus the current 5.6764¢/kWh.

Energy Broker Management System

Screen-1Finally, an easy way to manage commissions, renewals & documents!

An affordable energy broker management system to help you earn more money and save time, built by energy brokers for energy brokers.

Assures that you’ve been paid by suppliers for every meter reading, without any gaps or missed months.

Automatically:

  • Allocates every commission payment to the correct sales person or multiple sales person.
  • Tells you when an account hasn’t started paying on time.
  • Saves time during monthly commission reconciliation and payment.
  • Complete audit trail
  • Online reporting to all sales people, no need for printed reports
  • Provides payment reports based on actual receipts

Most energy brokers simply don’t have the management tools to assure they get paid exactly as they should every month, since they depend on Microsoft Excel.

In daily use and enhanced over four years, this online system can now be yours.

Increases trust and motivation with easy access for sales people to view the details of all their accounts, including every meter reading and commission payment.  Automatic alarms and discrepancy emails are sent to the supplier when a meter read interval is skipped on a commission report.

As an added bonus, includes utility databases for the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to assist in confirming usage data and prospecting for business. Fully searchable by company name, street, zip-code and more. Great for prospecting by street or finding multi-location prospects.

What else does the Energy Broker Management System do?

  • Renewal reminders
  • Document management
  • Training
  • RFP functions with automated supplier search by LDC or EDC
  • Alerts for deals not started, commissions missed & renewals approaching
  • Handles commission overrides for referral business or co-brokered deals
  • Reports payments by state to simplify tax filings
  • Reports sales by supplier & sales rep by any time period
  • Commission advances to sales reps with no further payment until advance is repaid by cash flow
  • Optional outsourced commission reporting: receive your commission payment report each month

Affordable monthly pricing based on your business size, so you can afford it!

Learn more by calling Steve Garson at 617-332-7767 x150.

Learn about Energy Broker Management System

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