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

Now is the time to contract Electricity and Gas

EMEX

Prices for electricity and natural gas are nearing record lows, making this a great time for customers to purchase their power ahead of time.

This is due to several factors, including a warmer-than-average weather outlook for spring, a surplus of natural gas supply and a pull-back in power prices.

Here’s what you need to know.

Warmer Weather Is Reducing Demand

For those living in the snow-covered regions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, it seems hard to believe this winter has been relatively mild compared to last year and warmer-than-average temperatures are on the way. It’s true that last November was the coldest since 2000 and the eighth coldest nationally since 1950. However, this was followed by a warmer pattern in late November and early December. While certain regions have clearly had cold snaps throughout the winter, they haven’t been as widespread and long-lasting as the cold we experienced during last year’s Polar Vortex.

This means demand has fallen compared to last year, contributing to lower prices.

Now that the worst appears to be over and spring is just a few weeks away, the National Weather Service is forecasting a warm spring for the West, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions and a warmer-than-average summer along both coasts.

Natural Gas Surplus Keeps Prices Low

Withdrawals from natural gas storage continue to be well below what we experienced last year. In 11 of the last 13 weeks, natural gas withdrawals were smaller than last year. We saw a brief uptick in January, but recovering production and inconsistent demand for heating kept more natural gas in storage. Unless temperatures remain cold through March, we’re on pace to end the season with a surplus.

By contrast, last year’s heating season ended with a deficit in natural gas supply. The elimination of that deficit cut natural gas prices on the NYMEX almost in half. This historical correlation between the gas storage surplus and deficit and the NYMEX 12-month strip, as well as estimates of end-of-season storage, suggest prices could fall even lower this spring.

Gas Consumption Will Reach An All-Time High

With natural gas prices this low, we can expect power companies to use more natural gas and reduce their reliance on coal. We’ve seen an upward trend in natural gas consumption by power companies for the past decade, but now it’s on track to reach record levels, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Gas demand in the power sector is 6 percent higher than in 2014 and 16 percent above the five-year average level. More power companies are retiring aging coal plants and replacing them with natural gas units.

We can also expect to see a greater reliance on natural gas in the West, as less available water creates a decreased reliance on hydropower. In late January, snowpack levels were only about 25-40 percent of what they are normally are, and a weakening El Nino looks to be bringing less rain, which could create a drought in early spring.  During a good water year, hydropower can contribute to up to 30 percent of the power generation mix in the summer, which isn’t likely to happen this year.

As power companies consume more gas and production tapers off in 2015, we should expect to see natural gas prices eventually bottom out.

Now Is the Time To Buy

As natural gas prices continue to fall, long-term power prices, too, are within 1-2 percent of all-time lows. Since the start of the winter, prices have been down an average of $5.49 per mWh.

Taking advantage of these low prices now by purchasing a portion of your energy in advance can help offset the rising costs of capacity and transmission, which are occurring as power companies retire aging plants and build new infrastructure.

BCC offers a variety of energy pricing options, including the ability to lock in prices over the term of your contract, make smaller purchases over time based on market fluctuations or use a combination of these strategies.

Our energy management experts can help you identify the right solution to meet your needs. We also offer a variety of energy management tools that allow you to monitor prices and make smarter purchases based on the market.

Learn more about how you can be a proactive energy consumer with our pricing options and energy management tools—contact us today.

Delmarva Power & Light Files New SOS Rates

For the three month period beginning September 1, Delmarva has claimed the following:

Delmarva-MD SOS Energy Rate 9/1/13 – 11/30/13 (¢/kWh)

Small General Service- Secondary Service "SGS-S":
All hours:  8.0380

Large General Service - Secondary "LGS-S"
On Peak:    8.0380
Off Peak:   8.0380

General Service- Primary "GS-P"
On Peak:    8.0380
Off Peak:   8.0380

Charges above are for generation only, and do not reflect bypassable transmission or reconciliation.

Original source can be found here.

Pepco Files New SOS Rates

Pepco-MD Generation Service Charge 9/1/13 – 11/30/13 (¢/kWh)

Schedule MGT LV II

On Peak:        8.420

Intermediate:   7.788

Off Peak:       7.520

 

Schedule MGT 3A II

On Peak:        8.303

Intermediate:   7.680

Off Peak:       7.416

Charges above are for generation only, and do not reflect bypassable transmission or reconciliation.

 

 

The original source can be found here.

Baltimore Gas & Electric files new SOS electricity rates

Baltimore Gas & Electric has filed with the Maryland PSC new SOS rates for the period October 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014 for residential and Type I customers, and the period June 1, 2013 to August 31, 2013 for Type II customers.

The BGE generation rate, excluding transmission and Rider 8 (reconciliation) will be as follows, in cents per kWh:

Sched. G - Type II SOS, 6/1/13 - 8/31/13
   9.181

Sched. GS - Type II SOS, 6/1/13 - 8/31/13
On-Peak        13.322
Inter.-Peak     8.290
Off-Peak        6.709

Scheds. GL, P & T - Type II SOS, 6/1/13 - 8/31/13
On-Peak        12.849
Inter.-Peak     7.932
Off-Peak        6.656
Schedule R, 10/1/13 - 5/31/14 8.924 Schedule RL, 10/1/13 - 5/31/14 On-Peak 11.014 Inter.-Peak 9.884 Off-Peak 7.624 Scheds. G/GU - Type I SOS, 10/1/13 - 5/31/14 8.101 Sched. GS - Type I SOS, 10/1/13 - 5/31/14 On-Peak 9.961 Inter.-Peak 8.942 Off-Peak 6.974

BGE says energy prices will rise for electricity customers

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said Thursday that electricity prices will rise for customers who don’t use an outside power supplier, the first jump in energy prices in four years.

That rise in costs, running from June through next May, 2014, comes on top of a distribution-rate increase approved in February.

BGE attributed the electricity price increase to rising natural-gas prices, among other factors.

“We fully understand that cost increases are never welcomed,” said Robert L. Gould, a BGE spokesman. “But we really encourage our customers to help offset the increase.”

One strategy: Shop for another energy supplier.

BGE said nearly 40 percent of its electric customers use third-party companies for their power supply.

The price of natural gas, one of the fuels used to create electricity, plunged in recent years but is on the rise. It cost electric utilities about 16 percent more for natural gas in February than it did the previous year, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The industry’s cost for coal and petroleum dropped modestly during that period.

BGE said customers’ energy costs will be nearly 8 percent lower from June through next May than they were in the 2009-2010 period, thanks to drops in the intervening years. The new price is 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour, compared with 15.8 cents four years earlier.

Pepco files Maryland new Type II Standard Offer Service Rate

Electric MeterPepco has filed with the Maryland PSC new Type II SOS rates for the three-month period beginning September 1, 2012.

Customers who do not shop for supply from an alternate electric provider in Maryland receive Standard Offer Service, or SOS, from their utility. How SOS is priced depends on a customer’s class and size.

Large business and industrial customers (those above 600 kW) receive hourly prices from the PJM wholesale market. These prices vary with the spot wholesale market price of electricity, which is extremely volatile. Thus, most large customers have contracted with a competitive energy provider to avoid these hourly prices, and receive rate stability.

Medium-sized business customers (25 kW to 600 kW) receive an SOS price that changes quarterly, and are known as Type II customers. All the electricity supply to serve these utility SOS customers is bought every three months, meaning prices often vary widely during the year. Customers can avoid these price fluctuations by contracting with a alternative electric provider.

SOS prices for residential and small commercial customers (under 25 kW) change every six months. Supply for this class, known as Type I, has been “laddered” to shield customers from exposure to the wholesale market at any one time. The supply needs for these customers are split into quarters, and 25% of supply is procured every six months for a period of two years — meaning the SOS price is a revolving mix of old and current supply contracts. While intended to shield small customers from the price volatility witnessed by larger customers, this “laddering” can also raise prices through risk premiums. The SOS price also does not fall as quickly when the wholesale market price falls, because only a small part of SOS supply is being bought in the current market. Customers can take advantage of falling prices faster by choosing a competitive energy provider that offers lower rates when market prices fall.

Pepco-MD Generation Service Charge 9/1/12 – 11/30/12 (¢/kWh)

Schedule MGT LV II
On Peak: 6.143
Intermediate: 6.143
Off Peak: 6.143

Schedule MGT 3A II
On Peak: 6.059
Intermediate: 6.059
Off Peak: 6.059

As of this writing, the above prices are lower than alternative fixed price contracts that begin in September.  Since these SOS rates are only for three months, all market indicators tell us that on December 1, 2012, customers on the SOS rate will find their prices rising. Contracting for a longer term will protect customers from price volatility.

Pepco and Delmarva file for electricity rate increases

Pepco — whose service territory includes much of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well as Washington, D.C. — has a BBB+ rating, as does Delmarva, which serves Delaware and most of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Kamerick said.

Pepco Holdings has a BBB rating, and Kamerick said company executives “have had some pretty tough conversations” with ratings agencies.

Pepco is seeking a 4 percent rate increase, which it said will raise the average residential customer’s monthly bill by $5.56.

Delmarva is seeking a 5.6 percent increase, which the company said will raise the average residential customer’s monthly bill by $7.29.

Why long term electricity contracts in PJM service area make sense

The inexperienced electricity buyer looks just at the price and goes with the lowest price. In today’s market (April 2012), shorter term contracts have the lowest price. But taking this approach can be short sighted. Why is that the case? First off, when you want to get a new contract in a year, your price will likely be a lot higher. As long as you know that, fine.  But there is more to understand.

In the PJM service area, one component of your fixed price are future capacity rates and trends. We are encouraging our customers to consider the longest term possible, up to a 24 month term, up to the period ending May 2015, to blend low energy prices against higher capacity rates. Locking in a longer term will protect you from the capacity price increases, which are a known number. So even if the energy cost is the same, the electricity prices will rise because of the rising capacity charges.  The higher capacity charge from next year is averaged into the present cost, which is one reason a longer term contract costs a bit more.  But when you look at your total cost over the 24-month period versus what they would be otherwise, based on the direction of the economy, you will win big overall and protect your budget.

PJM Capacity Cost Component

· June 2012/May 2013 $131.48 Per MWH
· June 2013/May 2014 $227.11 Per MWH
· June 2014/May 2015 $136.50 Per MWH
· June 2015/May 2016 Unknown at this time

· Capacity rates (set three years in advance by PJM) have increased to over $227 level for your next capacity rate contract term

· Recovering economy should keep capacity rates at least to the 2014/2015 level when PJM conducts next auction in May ‘12

· EPA’s plan for MAT (Mercury Air Toxin) rules have driven several generators to close 50’s vintage power plants due to high compliance cost coal plants exerting upward pressure on next auction. Less coal generation means higher prices, but cleaner air. Another reason to lock in a longer term contract.

Capacity charges are typically calculated based on the difference between a customer’s peak energy use during a billing period and their nominal use (normal or hour-to-hour use) during the same period. If the customer expects to have substantially more power available to them than they actually use, then a demand charge is applied to cover this difference.

Demand charges are not a means of gouging customers by charging for unused energy. Instead they are a means of insuring that customers can have larger-than-normal supplies of energy available to them at a moment’s notice.

Keep this information in mind when deciding what contract length you want. Take a long term view and next year you’ll be smiling at the decision you made. Consider the slight increase that you will pay in the short term your price for insurance against rising prices. Insurance costs money. Would you go without fire insurance because it costs money and you have never experienced a fire?

Regulatory Information by State

Connecticut
RESA Seeks to Re-open Record in Connecticut Supplier-Agency Docket
The Retail Energy Supply Association has petitioned the Connecticut PURA to reopen the record in Docket 10-06-24, regarding the definition of “agent” and supplier responsibility for agents, claiming that PURA, “did not provide an opportunity for a full and fair hearing on the issues involving all potentially interested stakeholders.”

RESA further requested that the Authority postpone the deadline for the submission of written exceptions, which is today, until such time as it has issued a ruling on the motion. No ruling had been made as of publication time. Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111011c.html

Connecticut Light & Power Sees Increase in Migration Growth during September
Connecticut Light & Power has posted migration statistics for the month of September 2011.

The growth in total migration for non-residential accounts from the end of August to the end of September was 3,811 accounts, up from growth of 2,526 accounts during August, and 3,290 accounts during July. Monthly migration growth earlier in the year had been 4,092 accounts during June, 3,541 accounts during May, 4,720 accounts during April, 7,619 accounts during March, and 11,314 accounts during February. Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111014b.html

Delaware
Delaware Staff Recommend Rulemaking on Variable Rate Contracts
Delaware PSC Staff have recommended that the Commission consider reopening Regulation Docket 49 to revise the electric supplier rules to address the potential for residential and small commercial customers to mistakenly commit to variable rates for long terms.

The recommendation came during consideration of the electric supplier application of People’s Power & Gas, LLC, which was granted in an order. The PSC’s order granting the license did not speak to Staff’s recommendation, nor has an order re-opening the rulemaking yet been published. Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111021d.html

Maryland
Pepco, Delmarva Ask Maryland PSC to Consider Utility-Owned Generation
Pepco and Delmarva Power have informed the Maryland PSC that they may petition for reconsideration of PSC’s decision to issue an RFP for up to 1,500 MW of new generation under long-term contracts, stating that the PSC should consider utility-built generation to meet any identified capacity needs.

In a letter to the PSC, the Pepco Holdings utilities said that it was unclear if the Commission’s notice issuing the RFP constituted final action subject to judicial review. The utilities sought guidance from PSC on this issue, and reserved the right to file a formal petition for reconsideration if no clarification on the review ability of the RFP notice is provided. Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111007c.html

Electric Suppliers May Begin Using Maryland PSC Price Portal by End of Month
The Maryland PSC has established a secure online portal to allow electricity suppliers with active offers available in the state to upload information required by recent legislation.

Electricity suppliers may begin using the portal effective October 28, 2011. Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111017d.html

Pennsylvania
Pa. PUC Sets Hearing on “Intermediate” Retail Competition Work Plan
The Pennsylvania PUC has scheduled an en banc hearing on November 10 regarding its Investigation of Pennsylvania’s Retail Electricity Markets, specifically to inform its consideration of the “intermediate” work plan to promote competition (I-2011-2237952).

The intermediate track of the PUC’s investigation is focused on near-term changes to support retail choice without large-scale market design modification (such as modifying or eliminating default service, which is under the “long-term” track). Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111007a.html

PECO Posts New Estimates of Jan. 1, 2012 Price to Compare
PECO has posted estimated Price to Compare information for the period January 1, 2012 through March 31, 2012.

The estimated prices are projections based on current data, and may change due to changes in migration or other factors. Read more here.

Energy Choice Matters. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20111011a.html

Understanding Load Factor

What is Load Factor?

Load factor is an expression of how much energy was used in a time period, versus how much energy would have been used, if the power had been left on during a period of peak demand.  It is a useful indicator for
describing the consumption characteristics of electricity over a period of time. Customers whose facilities are metered for demand can readily determine the load factor for any given month. Facilities billed at highest peak demand during the billing period should avoid periods of increased demand whenever possible.

How to Calculate Load Factor

The load factor percentage is derived by dividing the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed in a designated period by the product of the maximum demand in kilowatts (kW) and the number of hours in the period. In the example below, the monthly kWh consumption is 36,000 and the peak demand is 100 kW. There were 30 days in the billing period.

Load Factor = 36,000kWh/(100kW x 30 days x 24 hours/day

Load Factor = 36,000 kWh/72,000kWh

Load Factor = 50%

This load factor indicates the monthly energy consumption of 36,000 kWh used by the customer was 50% of the total energy available (72,000 kWh) for use at the 100 kW level.

Why is Load Factor Important?

Electricity Distribution Companies must meet the customers’ peak demand at all times. The demand rate structure automatically rewards customers for improving their load factor. Since load factor is an expression of how much energy was actually used compared to the peak demand, customers can use the same amount of electricity from one month to the next and still cause their average cost per kilowatt-hour to drop as much as 40% simply by reducing the peak demand. For instance, a 25% load factor in the summer would yield an average cost per kWh of 13.2 cents, while an 80% load factor would yield an average cost per kWh of 7.9 cents. Remember, this is comparing two months in which the customer used the same amount of electricity (kWh) with different peak demands.

How to Improve Load Factor

Lowering the facility’s peak demand is the primary step to improving load factor and will reduce the amount paid monthly for electricity.

To determine the potential for improving load factor, analyze billing records to identify the seasons during which the peak demand is the greatest. In general, the greatest demand for electricity occurs on hot days in the summer. While this implies that a large electric load is dedicated to space cooling, it is not necessarily true for every facility. It is always best to observe operations at the facility to determine what equipment may be causing the peak demand. Once the contributing equipment loads have been identified, determine what can be done to sequence or schedule events or processes in order to minimize the simultaneous operation of high wattage equipment.

With a variable index price, what is my price???

The market price charge equals the weighted average of the Real Time Locational Marginal Prices (“LMP”) for the zone you are located in for each calendar month. LMPs are hourly wholesale prices in dollars per megawatt-hour (MWh). Wholesale prices are converted to retail prices by adding distribution losses of 4.48% and dividing by 1000 to convert to dollars per kilowatt-hour (kWh).  To this number you add the “adder” that the electicity supplier charges.

If you are interested in source data for market price charges, you can access New England wholesale LMP data on the ISO-NE websiteVisit our resources page for links to the Independent System Operator (ISO) for your particular location:

At the destination page:

  • In Step 1, select “Load Zone.”
  • In Step 2, select your Load Zone.
  • In Step 3, select the start and end dates you wish to receive .
  • Click “Download CSV” (comma separated values) and save the file locally. You can open the file with any text editor or spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel.

In the data file, the LMP data can be found in the eighth column, which is labeled “Real Time LMP.” The twelfth column, labeled “Real Time Status“, indicates the Status of the real time pricing (“preliminary” or “final”). The monthly price will be calculated and posted after the end of each month, when all LMP data for the prior are final.  This is the number that will be used as the monthly LMP price.

Please note that a single query is limited to 45 days worth of data and that hourly pricing data is only available for the past 12 months.