Atlantic City Electric Basic Generation Service Rates Approved

Below are the rates for the period noted.

Atlantic City Electric: Price to Compare starting June 1, 2015:

MGS-S: Monthly General Service Secondary 10.75
MGS-P: Monthly General Service Primary 9.04
AGS-S: Annual General Service Secondary 9.16
AGS-P: Annual General Service Primary 9.17
DDC: Direct Distribution Control 8.04
SPL/CSL: Street Lighting 5.93

 

Now is the time to contract Electricity and Gas

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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.

New charges for PSEG customers in New Jersey

PSEG filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) an amended tariff that contained PSEG’s annual update to the formula rate for Network Integration Transmission Service (NITS).  The formula rate increased due to the cost of several approved future transmission projects in the service territory.

Additionally, the rate for the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP), another transmission related charge, decreased due to the completion of a number of baseline transmission projects in the region.  The changes to PSEG’s tariff were approved by FERC and very recently approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  They are effective retroactively to January 1, 2013. Pursuant to the contract terms, the Net NITS Adjustment will be applied to your monthly electricity usage as a Pass-Through Charge for the duration of your Agreement. The net impact of these adjustments is an increase in your Pass-Through Charges as follows:

Net NITS Adjustment = (New NITS rate plus New RTEP rate) minus (Previous NITS rate plus Previous RTEP rate)

Starting on your March invoice and continuing thereafter, this adjustment will be shown as a separate line charge called “NITS Rate Adjustment”.

New Jersey Electric Rates to Change

The NJ State Board of Public Utilities on Thursday approved the results of state’s annual electricity auction. It sets the wholesale electricity prices that the state’s electric utilities will pay and pass through to all New Jersey customers.

For three of the state’s four utilities, including Jersey Central Power & Light and Atlantic City Electric, there will be a  decrease in supply rates on June 1.  Rates for for PSE&G will be essentially the same.

Average JCP&L ratepayers will see a decrease of 3 percent; Atlantic City Electric customers will see a decrease of 5.35 percent and PSE&G customers will see their average rates increase by .05 percent.

The price of wholesale natural gas, which powers electric plants, is lower than in 2010. Since 2009, average energy costs for  small and medium-sized businesses have fallen about 30 percent, the BPU said.

But whether prices continue to fall in future years is unknown. “We have seen relative price stability in the last couple of years,” Hanna said. “What is going to happen in the future with natural gas prices is very difficult to predict.”  This is why fixed price contracts provide the opportunity to lock in long term fixed prices to protect from increases.

The value of both electricity auctions was about $7 billion, which represents approximately 8,700 megawatts of electric generating capacity.

Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) Price to Compare Information

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When comparing whether or not to contract your electricity supply, you should always understand that the Price to Compare is for a limited period of time. For JCP&L, there is a summer rate and winter rate.  When you obtain a fixed price competitive contract, your price will not change for the entire contract period, whether that period is 12 months, 18 month, 24 or 36 months.  You are obtaining price insurance. Be sure you know whether the competitive price includes SUT or not, so you have an accurate comparison!  Also consider Green Energy or RECs.

To see the Price to Compare for 2013, click these links:

JCP&L Price to Compare, including SUT.

JCP&L Price to Compare, excluding SUT.

If you would like a commercial electricity price quotation, contact us!

PJM Electricity Interconnection Organization’s capacity locked in at price of $136 per MW

PJM’s capacity auction secured a record amount of new generation, demand response and energy efficiency resources for the 2015/2016 delivery year to keep the grid reliable as dozens of coal plants retire and are converted to natural gas.

The auction, known as the Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) auction, procured 164,561 megawatts (MW) of capacity resources at a base price of $136 per MW, compared to the price last year of $125.00 per MW.

Capacity prices were higher than last year’s because of the retirement of existing coal-fired generation, due to environmental regulations, which go into effect in 2015.

PJM serves 60 million people in 13 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and the District of Columbia. Capacity prices were higher in northern Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic region.

For the Mid-Atlantic, PJM said capacity will cost $167 per megawatt.

The Mid-Atlantic region includes utilities served by Pepco Holdings Inc’s Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and Pepco; Exelon Corp’s Baltimore Gas and Electric and PECO; FirstEnergy’s Jersey Central Power and Light, Metropolitan Edison and Pennsylvania Electric; PPL Corp’s PPL Electric Utilities, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc’s Public Service Electric and Gas; and Consolidated Edison Inc’s Rockland Electric.

In FirstEnergy Corp’s northern Ohio territory, PJM said the capacity price will be $357 per megawatt due to the high number of power plant outages in that area.   With the exception of the AEP territory, Capacity is a fairly small component of the retail price of electricity, and the cost of capacity at the retail level tends to be averaged out over several years.

 

New Jersey Electricity Power Shopping Rises 9% in March

The NJ Board of Public Utilities reported a 9% increase in competitive shopping between February and March.  That number represented 43,742 more shoppers across the four IOU territories in the state and included both residential and C&I accounts.  That number is 43,750 more customers than the previous month.

Competitive Suppliers ended March with 523,799 accounts out of the 3,859,063 utility customers eligible to shop for power, giving them a 13.57% of the overall market.  That share rose 9.21% or 1.145 percentage points in the two-months being reported.  The use of electricity brokers and consultants makes the evaluation of supplier options much easier for businesses.  Part of the challenge is the time involved in contacting the many suppliers, comparing prices, which must be done on the same day, and evaluating the complex contracts.  Licensed brokers like Better Cost Control, being independent of suppliers, makes the process easy.

The Commercial and Industrial class statewide added 3,782 accounts for a 3.34% increase ending at 117,085 out of 505,281 eligible.  That 23.17% share of the market was up 3.43% or 0.769 percentage points in March from January.

On an annual basis, the Commercial and Industrial class statewide saw its shoppers grow 33.36%, adding 29,286 in the period.  With more than double the closest territory, the PSE&G territory saw the most new C&I shoppers at 16,710 for a 36.77% boost in accounts. The JCP&L territory saw the next largest C&I shopper growth year-over-year, adding 8,047 for a 29.18% boost.  That was followed by Atlantic City with 3,874 new C&I shoppers for a 28.09% increase.

Contact Better Cost Control at 617-332-7767 x150 to explore your competitive electricity options and speak with a licensed energy broker.

New Jersey Borough Reduces Their Electricity Costs by $43,000

Eatontown  Borough officials expect to save approximately $43,000 by switching to a third-party electrical supplier this year.

The Borough Council passed a resolution during a special meeting on April 25 awarding a bid to a competitive supplier, to replace Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) as the electrical supplier for the municipality.

“JCP&Lwill still deliver the power, it will still come through their lines and they will maintain those lines. Liberty Power will be generating the actual power that we will be buying,” George Jackson said in an interview onApril 27.

“Basically the only difference that will be seen on our bill from JCP&L is it will show that the provider is Liberty Power.”

The borough changed the provider after learning it would provide a cost savings to the borough, he said.

“When you go through a third-party supplier they can offer a lower rate, which was the case here,” Jackson said.

The borough will pay an estimated $75,000 a year for electricity, a $43,000 decrease from the $119,000 it was paying JCP&L.

“We were paying 11 cents per kilowatt hourwith JCP&L,” he said. “Nowwe are getting it at 7.29 cents.”

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?

New Jersey Electric Rates to Decrease June 1

The results of recent electric auctions for New Jersey has been published.  Effective June 1:

Atlantic City Electric customers will see a 2.84% rate decrease thanks to this auction.

Public Service Electric & Gas customers will see a 3.6% rate decrease.

But the biggest rate decrease related to this auction goes to customers of JCP&L who will see a rate decrease exceeding 6% once the new rates kick in on June 1st.

Please note that these rates are for a short time period.  Fixed price competitive electricity contracts will protect your price levels for the long term.

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.