New PTC Default Service Electric Rate for PennPower

PennPower has published new price to compare (PTC) default service electric rates for the period of December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. The published commercial rate is $0.07433/kWh.

As of today a commercial customer can lock in a price as low as $0.07259/kWh for 36 months. This rate is not only lower than the utility’s PTC default service electric rate but also is fixed and guaranteed for 12 times the period of time. A client wishing to obtain a contract to budget and have some price protection but is unsure of locking in for a 36 month period has the option to choose other term lengths. As another example, the fixed price for a 12 month term for a commercial customer may be as low as $0.07405/kWh, which is lower than PennPower default service electric rate and is fixed for four times the length of time the utility rate is guaranteed.

Do not play the waiting risk game. Take control of your costs, and provide your company with the peace of mind of price protection and budget certainty. Contact Better Cost Control to find out what rate your business is eligible to receive.

 

Here is a link to the filings: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/customer_choice/pennsylvania/pennsylvania_tariffs.html#WPPFilings

New PTC Default Service Electric Rate for Pennelec

Pennelec has published new price to compare (PTC) default service electric rates for the period of December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. The published commercial rate is $0.07576/kWh.

As of today a commercial customer can lock in a price as low as $0.06728/kWh for 36 months. This rate is not only 11% lower than the utility’s PTC default service electric rate but also is fixed and guaranteed for 12 times the period of time. A client wishing to obtain a contract to budget and have some price protection but is unsure of locking in for a 36 month period has the option to choose other term lengths. As another example, the fixed price for a 12 month term for a commercial customer may be as low as $0.06908/kWh, which is 9% lower than Pennelec default service electric rate and is fixed for four times the length of time the utility rate is guaranteed.

Do not play the waiting risk game. Take control of your costs, and provide your company with the peace of mind of price protection and budget certainty. Contact Better Cost Control to find out what rate your business is eligible to receive.

 

Here is a link to the filings: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/customer_choice/pennsylvania/pennsylvania_tariffs.html#WPPFilings

New PTC Default Service Electric Rate for Met-Ed

Met-Ed has published new price to compare (PTC) default service electric rates for the period of December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. The published commercial rate is $0.07433/kWh.

As of today a commercial customer can lock in a price as low as $0.06585/kWh for 36 months. This rate is not only 15% lower than the utility’s PTC default service electric rate  but also is fixed and guaranteed for 12 times the period of time. A client wishing to obtain a contract to budget and have some price protection but is unsure of locking in for a 36 month period has the option to choose other term lengths. As another example, the fixed price for a 12 month term for a commercial customer may be as low as $0.06794/kWh, which is 13% lower than Met-Ed default service electric rate and is fixed for four times the length of time the utility rate is guaranteed.

Do not play the waiting risk game. Take control of your costs, and provide your company with the peace of mind of price protection and budget certainty. Contact Better Cost Control to find out what rate your business is eligible to receive.

 

Here is a link to the filings: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/customer_choice/pennsylvania/pennsylvania_tariffs.html#WPPFilings

New PTC Default Service Electric Rate for West Penn Power

West Penn Power has published new price to compare (PTC) default service electric rates for the period of December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. The published commercial rate is $0.07947/kWh.

As of today a commercial customer can lock in a price as low as $0.06190/kWh for 36 months. This rate is not only 22% lower than the utility’s PTC default service electric rate but also is fixed and guaranteed for 12 times the period of time. A client wishing to obtain a contract to budget and have some price protection but is unsure of locking in for a 36 month period has the option to choose other term lengths. As another example, the fixed price for a 12 month term for a commercial customer may be as low as $0.6462/kWh, which is 19% lower than WPP default service electric rate and is fixed for four times the length of time the utility rate is guaranteed.

Do not play the waiting risk game. Take control of your costs, and provide your company with the peace of mind of price protection and budget certainty. Contact Better Cost Control to find out what rate your business is eligible to receive.

 

Here is a link to the filings: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/customer_choice/pennsylvania/pennsylvania_tariffs.html#WPPFilings

Massachusetts Default Electric Service Rates as high as 25¢/kWh

National Grid has filed with the Massachusetts DPU default electric service rates for the period beginning November 1, 2014. Be prepared for winter rate increases. Weather and energy experts predict this winter to be as tough as last winter.

The fixed default electric service rate for commercial (G-1) customers is 15.138¢/kWh for November 2014 through April 2015

The fixed default electric service rates for industrial (G-2 & G-3) clients range from 17.3-17.9¢/kWh for November 2014 through January 2015.

January shows as the highest cost month so far at almost 25 cents for some users. Provide your company with price protection through a fixed price contract. As of now, industrial clients can lock in a 12 month contract with a November start date of a rate closer to 12¢/kWh. Do not play the risky wait and see game. Once the cold weather really moves in there will be a strong impact on the market.

The rates remain subject to DPU approval

 

Additional rates are below:

National Grid Massachusetts Basic Service Rates    ¢/kWh

 

Commercial (G-1, Streetlights)

 

Fixed Rate:

Nov-Apr       15.138

 

Monthly Rate Option

Nov 2014       9.856

Dec 2014      15.891

Jan 2015      20.893

Feb 2015      20.315

Mar 2015      12.840

Apr 2015       9.251

 

 

Industrial NEMA (G-2, G-3)

 

Fixed Rate:

Nov-Jan       17.829

 

Monthly Rate Option

Nov 2014       9.273

Dec 2014      18.499

Jan 2015      24.901

 

 

Industrial SEMA (G-2, G-3)

 

Fixed Rate:

Nov-Jan       17.321

 

Monthly Rate Option

Nov 2014       9.207

Dec 2014      18.074

Jan 2015      23.916

 

 

Industrial WCMA (G-2, G-3)

 

Fixed Rate:

Nov-Jan       17.395

 

Monthly Rate Option

Nov 2014       9.163

Dec 2014      18.022

Jan 2015      24.218

 

All rates include the Basic Service Administrative Cost Adjustment Factor

 

Contact BCC as soon as possible to find out what pricing is available to protect your company’s budget. Do your best to stay ahead of the cold.

PECO announces new Price to Compare

PECO in Pennsylvania has announced its new price to compare for September 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014. The new rates show an increase of 8.9% for small commercial and industrial customers and an increase of 9.5% for medium commercial and industrial clients. For large commercial and industrial clients, pricing from the utility is based on the hourly price plus a fixed adder which changes monthly. Though the adder is due to go down a bit the cost of the actual supply is predicted to increase, in which case these clients would see increases as well. Based on today’s rates locking in now would result in a lower price than the published price to compare and guarantee a price for longer period of time than just a couple of months.

First Energy post new PA electric utility rates

These newly posted electric utility rates may initially appear to be strong compared to what is being currently being offered by alternate suppliers. However, don’t be fooled. Long term fixed pricing from alternate suppliers fixes your rate for an extended period of time. The PTC (price to compare) from these utilities only fixes rates for two months. All the intel we have received lately indicates that this will be another cold long winter. If consumers wait to contract for winter months until after the low PTCs expire they may be in for a sticker shock when the next set of rates is announced.

Savvy clients may pay a bit of a higher rate right now but will lock in for an extended period of time before rates increase in the expensive winter months. Price protection is vital to maintain budget certainty and to protect your business against the price hikes that are certain to come with another tough winter season. Many will tell you that the reason to contract is to save money. Though that is often a pleasant side effect, it is cannot be guaranteed. The real purpose of contracting is to in essence obtain an insurance policy for your energy needs.

Educated consumers understand the benefits to knowing what costs will be through a fixed price contract long before receiving a bill. This greatly aids in planning and running a successful business. If a business owner feels strongly that pricing will go down a variable rate can allow components of pricing to be fixed while allowing the majority of the supply cost to float. This allows one to take control of part of the costs while not being out of the “market game.” This still provides a greater level of protection than simply remaining on the default electric utility rates.

 

Links to new electric utility rates for PA:

https://www.firstenergycorp.com/customer_choice/pennsylvania/pennsylvania_tariffs.html

 

West Penn Power: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/dam/customer/Customer%20Choice/Files/PA/tariffs/WPP-WPP-PSU-Supp-241-182-7-15-14.pdf

Price to Compare: $0.06016  Sept 1 to Nov 30

 

PennPower: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/dam/customer/Customer%20Choice/Files/PA/tariffs/Penn-Power-Supp-116-7-15-14.pdf

Price to Compare: $0.07277  Sept 1 to Nov 30

 

Met-Ed: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/dam/customer/Customer%20Choice/Files/PA/tariffs/Met-Ed-Supp-62-7-15-14.pdf

Price to Compare: $0.06715  Sept 1 to Nov 30

 

Penelec: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/dam/customer/Customer%20Choice/Files/PA/tariffs/Penelec-Supp-62-7-15-14.pdf

Price to Compare: $0.07414  Sept 1 to Nov 30

 

 

Electric Rate Violation Cases in PA

Consumers take care when entering the world of deregulation and shopping electric rates. Taking advantage of the options of deregulations is not all about price and working with a licensed, experienced broker can save you from future headaches.

Five retail electric suppliers in PA are at risk of license suspension or revocation due to alleged deceptive practices and other violations. Complaints filed with the PUC by the Pennsylvania Attorney General and Office of Consumer Advocate are against Blue Pilot Energy LLC; Energy Services Providers Inc. d/b/a Pennsylvania Gas & Electric (USG&E); Hiko Energy LLC; IDT Energy Inc. (who has denied the allegations); and Respond Power LLC. The violations of certain PUC codes include: deceiving or untrue savings guarantees especially versus the PTC, disclosure language inadequately stating the terms of potential price variability, prices charged were inconsistent with suppliers’ disclosure statements, violation of the state’s Telemarketer Registration Act, customers unable to reach suppliers to address complaints, in addition to other allegations specific to one or more suppliers. The PA AG is pursuing license suspension or revocation and refunds to customers.

The PUC has previously ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to enforce violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law though the AG broadly alleges they occurred in this case.

A case involving alleged slamming, Do Not Call violations, and other marketing violations against ResCom Energy LLC has reached a proposed settlement with the PA PUC. Under the terms, ResCom Energy LLC would be required to pay $59,000.

These previous examples are of actual violations. What needs to be kept in mind is that the PA PUC may not regulate the rates charged by electric generation suppliers. In reaction to a customer complaint against Blue Pilot Energy LLC, a judge concludes the Commission has no jurisdiction over suppliers regarding that an EGS has charged it an “unreasonable, unjust or illegal” rate for electric generation service. After an initial three-month period, the customer’s electric rate increased from about 8¢ to 39.99¢. Though a shocking increase in rate to the customer, the ALJ’s decision was in favor of Blue Pilot as no violations of PUC code or law are alleged or sustained.

“Since the Commission lacks the authority to regulate rates charged for electric generation service, it lacks the authority to order a refund or credit to the Complainant,” the ALJ said.

The recent AG complaints against several other suppliers are based not specifically around high rate amounts but rather allegedly in violation because they are marketed as being “competitive.”

The “competitiveness” cannot be measured solely again the default service rates. So the AG included an analysis finding that EGS rates based on PJM spot prices should not have exceeded 23¢.

Regarding the specific customer complaint against Blue Pilot, the disclosure statement and agreement indicated that the initial price would be for a period of 90 days. Consumers must be very careful and read the contract terms and fine print of their agreements. This is why having an expert in the field advise you is of utmost importance

“After ninety days the disclosure statement and agreement provides that the price could vary on a month to month basis due to several factors, including the cost of wholesale electric market prices. The disclosure statement and agreement contains no cap on the amount by which the rate could increase,” the ALJ said, concluding that the 39¢ rate was therefore not in violation of any disclosure statement received by the customer.

Make sure you have a high volume broker with deep experience such as Better Cost Control guide you through the buying process to avoid any surprises. We work for you not the energy suppliers and are experts at navigating potential energy suppliers. Do not get blinded by seemingly very attractive rates.

NJ Sues Competitive Electric/Gas Suppliers 

Three third-party energy suppliers – Palmco Power NJ, LLC & Palmco Energy NJ, LLC; HIKO Energy LLC; and Keil & Sons, Inc., d/b/a Systrum Energy have all had suits filed against them by The New Jersey Attorney General, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). At this time Systrum Energy is no longer servicing clients, based on information provided by the State.

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman alleged these companies made false promises of savings on monthly electric and/or natural gas bills to attract consumers. The clients ultimately were locked into paying exorbitant bills to these electric/gas suppliers. Palmco and HIKO were also accused of slamming (when a shopper is switched to an electric/gas supplier without that customers’ authorization or awareness). The three companies have accrued a total of 1,463 consumer complaints (at the time of this article) through the Division of Consumer Affairs, the BPU, and the Better Business Bureau. At present the State is working to retrieve compensation for the customers impacted.

Hoffman clearly stated these behaviors were isolated to the electric/gas suppliers in question and in no way should reflect on the deregulated market as a whole. The state hopes to send a message to the ESCOs (energy supply companies) in the field that questionable business practices will not be tolerated. New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Dianne Solomon said “While today’s announced allegations against a few energy suppliers should send a clear message to the energy supply industry, consumers should understand that there is still a robust market of alternative energy suppliers to be considered that may offer savings on electric and gas bills.”

These are examples of why the consumer needs to be cautious when navigating the energy industry and having a knowledgeable and ethical consultant is of utmost importance. There are many electric/gas suppliers or brokers offering rates that seem too good to be true. As always if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. As experts in the field for over 12 years, our sole focus is to navigate the sea of sharks and find the best fit for our clients based on price and contract terms.

Links to New Jersey Suits

 Palmco

 Hiko

 Systrum

Maine new Standard Offer Rates for CMP and BHE

The Maine PUC has set the Standard Offer rates for commercial and industrial classes at Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro Electric for the month of May 2014.

At CMP, the May Standard Offer energy price was set at $0.053164/kWh, reflecting all components billed on a kWh basis, including line losses and adders. The total Standard Offer rate will include this energy price plus a capacity charge of $4.1656/kW-month

At Bangor Hydro, the May Standard Offer energy price was set at $0.053724/kWh, reflecting all components billed on a kWh basis, including line losses and adders. The total Standard Offer rate will include this energy price plus a capacity charge of $4.8590/kW-month

Price Risk Reduced for Electricity and Natural Gas

The recent spike in natural gas and electricity prices have caused many energy consumers to stop and wonder what, if anything, they can do to protect their budgets against future price volatility. The good news is that if you’re a business or government energy consumer, you have multiple options for managing price risk depending on how involved you want to be. Although options exist for both electricity and natural gas supply, this article will focus on physical natural gas supply options for price risk management.

A hands-off approach to price risk management

For those of you who want a more ‘hands-off’ approach, you should look into a ‘supplier-managed’ procurement program. Let’s be honest, most of us are not energy market experts. Even if we understand the fundamentals of energy supply and demand and how they affect energy cost, we don’t have time to watch and analyze the energy markets all day, much less every day. The problem is that energy markets can start to move at any time and react to any number of market influencers. For customers that choose to enroll in a supplier-managed program, a team of energy market experts watch the energy markets and manage a pool of customers’ physical natural gas purchases. This managed pool-approach mitigates the impact of volatile market movement and also takes advantage of market drops so customers can achieve a managed budget.

Managed Natural Gas Buying

A systematic approach based on data & staged purchasing

Another option for managing physical natural gas price risk during volatile energy markets is to employ a systematic approach. Using algorithms that incorporate mathematical price targets and overlays, a systematic program can also give you a ‘managed’ energy purchasing plan based on data -not emotions and guesswork. By purchasing on a schedule, a systematic approach can mitigate the budgetary effects of spiking energy prices and has proven to be a smart alternative to pure ‘spot’ strategies during volatile markets. And, for those of you who want to mitigate price risk AND take advantage of market prices, you can employ a systematic approach for a portion of your usage and keep the remaining portion of your energy demand on a spot or market-based pool price. A sample strategy would be to enroll 50% in a program like Constellation’s systematic Minimize Volatile Pricing (MVP) program and 50% in Constellation’s Pool Price. The combination can give you a solid blend of risk management and the 50% Pool Pricing gives you the flexibility to lock in additional gas to meet any potential budget or risk management needs.  These same techniques apply to electricity strategies.

NATURAL GAS PRICE RISK MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Managed Procurement Program: The Hands Off-Solution  

The Managed Procurement Program (the Program) is designed to reduce price volatility associated with purchasing physical natural gas in a volatile and unpredictable market, which is especially useful if you have a limited ability to monitor market prices. Market experts use a diversified mix of weighted pricing alternatives and risk management tools to determine the program price that includes fixed-price purchases, cap-price solutions and monthly and daily indexes. By selecting blended pricing alternatives the program limits high-price exposure while maximizing low-price potential.

Minimize Volatile Pricing (MVP): A Systematic Approach

The MVP program allows customers to take advantage of a proven systematic price-locking program that attempts to reduce physical natural gas price volatility through staged purchases. Take emotion out of your purchasing decisions and flatten out price spikes to control your energy spending.  A series of mathematical price targets and overlays is used to determine the timing of locking in purchases. The program can be used in conjunction with various price-locking and/or spot market strategies to create a diversified energy procurement plan.

To request more information on natural gas supply options click here.

Why you should contract electricity and gas now

fixed price contract

 

 

 

Should I contract my electricity and gas now?  With winter is coming to an end, the Polar Vortex is a memory and you might be considering your electricity and natural gas supply options. First, you will find that prices are higher than they were last year at this time.  This means that you cannot expect to get a lower price, or even a similar price, as you did last year at this time.

There are compelling reasons to contract your energy now.  Among them:

Long-term value
·         The NYMEX and power forward curves are backward dated as long-term prices are at a discount for many markets
·         If you look at percentile analysis, you will still see significant value compared to history for many markets

2.      Change in risk-reward assessment
·         The recent winter price volatility changes the risk outlook for future winters (and summers).
·         Although a repeat of the extreme cold may be unlikely, the supply challenges in the market are the same and could be repeated.  And could even be worse due to the retirement of numerous generation facilities.
·         So waiting may not necessarily result in a reward.

3.      Bullish long-term fundamentals for gas & power point to rising energy prices
·         All of the following factors for rising prices remain: coal plant retirements, EPA regulations, LNG exports, Mexican exports, industrial demand growth

4.      Storage deficit and gas generation
·         Storage inventories are at their lowest levels since 2003 and injections must exceed historical averages by more than 4 Bcf per day to erase the current deficit.
·         This has potential to absorb prolific shale gas production increases during 2014.
·         If additional supply goes to storage, then prices must remain high to keep non-gas (coal) plants running.  If not, gas will be consumed by generators rather than going into storage.

5.      Shift in market focus as winter ends
·         The market has been focused on 2014, but focus may shift to long-term as we exit the winter that could increase volatility for 2015 and beyond.

Contact us to discuss your electricity and natural gas supply options.  We watch the market and are in a good position to advise your customers to make the best electricity and natural gas contract solution for your requirements.