Metropolitan Edison Announces New Price to Compare for Competitive Electricity Supply

On November 18, 2011, Met-Ed announced its new default service rate schedule:

The Price to Compare Default Service Charge is defined as the cents per kWh rates representing the Company’s costs for providing energy, capacity, including the cost of complying with non-solar AEPS, transmission and ancillary services for Customers who take Default Service.

The Commercial Price to Compare Default Service Rate for December 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012 is: $0.08656/kWh, which is a decrease from the previous period.

Penelec Announces New Default Service Rates

On November 18, 2011, Penelec announced its new default service rate schedule:

Rate GS Small: $0.077 per kWh
Rate GS-Medium: $0.077 per kWh
Rate GS-Large: $0.074 per kWh
Rate GP – General Service: $0.068 per kWh
Rate LP: $0.058 per kWh

The Commercial Price to Compare Default Service Rate for December 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012 is: $0.07580/kWh, which is a decrease from the previous period.

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.

Why you should have Better Cost Control manage your energy procurement

It is our desire to be the #1 electricity and natural gas consulting company in the Northeast. If not in terms of volume, then in terms of professionalism, integrity and best business practices. We are well on our way!

Many of our clients have attempted to negotiate electricity contracts themselves with the list of electric power companies they find online. After spending weeks trying to compare confusing offers and listening to the biased sales pitch of individual electric or gas companies, they have decided to outsource utility negotiations to us. These are our best references.

The greatest challenge in this business is choosing the right Supplier. There are over 60 electricity suppliers and over thirty gas suppliers, choosing the right one for your business is a daunting and time consuming task.

The owner and president of our company has 9 years of energy procurement experience. His main job is to evaluate the Suppliers and determine who the top 10 Suppliers in the industry are. We have them competitively bid on your business.

We have made a significant investment in developing and training a highly skilled staff specializing in electricity and gas deregulation.

As of July, 2011 we have 350,000,000 kWh under our management. We service all sizes of business clients, and take great pride in giving the same level of service to all sizes of clients, from the Fortune 500 client to the “mom and pop” restaurants.

We are in the business of energy procurement for the long-term. Our core values are Integrity and Professionalism. These are things that we have seen a shortage of in our field.

80% of our clients sign an Exclusivity Agreement that states that we are to completely handle all negotiations and correspondence for and behalf of our client. This is a testimony to our professionalism and energy procurement expertise. It is also the best way for a client to be assured of getting the best service.

Our pricing desk utilizes a variety of web based automation tools. This enables a quick Request for Quotation process, timely negotiations, preparation of Bid Comparison and Savings analysis.

Our desire is to completely manage your Energy Procurement, with as little effort from our Client is possible. At the same time, our energy consultants bring significant business to our Suppliers with the least amount of effort on their part. We make a concerted effort to be “easy” to do business with.  This helps you, the customer, to get the best possible prices on your energy.

Reliability Maintained Through the Heat Wave

ISO New England (ISO-NE) started taking emergency actions Friday under its Operating Procedure No 4 — titled “Action during a capacity deficiency”  — as a result of the high power demand triggered by the heat wave late last week.  That move and the associated warnings that went out triggered a slew of calls from reporters, the ISO’s press office told us. National news outlets carried the story Friday including at least one interview with an ISO press officer on a nationally syndicated radio show.

The first level of emergency response in the ISO’s rules is mostly notification requirements that offer no extra power or demand relief — except the step to “begin to allow the depletion of 30-minute reserve.” That one can deliver about 600 MW, said an appendix to OP4.

The next level can deliver about 550 MW, said the appendix, by dispatching “real-time demand resources in the amount and location required.” At 1:30 PM, the ISO implemented Action Three under OP4, requesting voluntary load curtailment of market participant facilities and office complexes.

PJM breaks record

PJM Thursday broke its August 2006 peak record by delivering 158,450 MW and started releasing alerts for Friday at 7:13 AM that day with a heavy load voltage schedule warning.  That was followed by 54 entries on
PJM’s emergency message webpage ending at 10:55 PM Friday, mostly “post contingency local load relief” warnings.  The purpose of those is to give advanced notice to a transmission owner of the potential for manual load dump
in their area only, explained the PJM website.

Other messages included “non-market post contingency local load relief” warnings, the same message but for non-market facilities.

PJM issued at 11:00 AM an emergency mandatory load management with short lead time for Baltimore Gas & Electric.  “Load reduction is expected to be fully implemented within one hour,” of the alert time, said the PJM website, “and should remain off for six hours unless released earlier by PJM.

Others of the 54 entries included NERC-mandated alerts and letting generation owners boost generation above the normal economic limit — for BG&E, Duquesne Light and Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G).

Alerts started back up just after midnight on Saturday with a hot weather alert for the entire RTO, warning the temperature was expected to hit 103°F later that day.  A “heavy load voltage schedule warning was issued
at 7:30 AM and by noon a 60 MW load relief warning was posted for an area of AEP.

The Maryland PSC reminded customers that utilities in the state are not allowed to disconnect service for non-payment during a heat wave.

BG&E, PPL respond

Customers of BG&E were told Friday that members of the firm’s PeakRewards emergency load management program that they were being phased down to the level they had agreed to — 50%, 75% or 100% demand reduction — although they all were cycled to 50% during a transition period, said the firm.

What did they get for that? Participating customers receive bill credits of up to $200 in the first year of participation and up to $100 for each subsequent year, regardless of whether the program is activated.

The program cut peak demand by about 500 MW, said BG&E.

Early figures showed the demand at PPL Electric Utilities (PPL) at 2 PM Friday reached 7,622 MW — breaking the firm’s all-time summer peak of 7,554 MW set Aug 1, 2006 and the all-time winter peak of 7,577 MW set on Feb 5, 2007.  The
firm kept the power on and cited attention to maintenance and inspection, the increasing investments in the grid plus system planning for that.  It plans to spend over $450 million in capital investments this year, mainly to upgrade and expand the grid and address aging infrastructure, the IOU said.

“Investing in reliability means we’re prepared for the hottest days of summer and the frigid cold of winter,” said Gregory Dudkin, senior VP of operations.

The mark set Friday was the sixth day this year peak demand topped 7,000 MW and four of those six days occurred last week.  The others two were June 6 (7,049 MW) and Jan 24 (7,365 MW).

Over the past 10 years, PPL’s average summer peak was 6,949 MW, so Friday’s peak was about 10% higher than the firm’s summer average.

PSE&G has outages

About 6,600 PSE&G customers were without power due to the weather, the New Jersey IOU reported late Saturday morning.  The unofficial peak during this heat wave for the firm was 10,883 MW, set Friday at
about 3:00 PM — shy of the all-time peak of 11,108 MW set in August 2006, said PSE&G.  The utility has additional crews on hand to respond to service interruptions as they occur.  PJM, the regional grid operator, has had adequate power supplies to meet the increased demand.

The utility asked customers to use power wisely and conserve when possible to help the environment and save money.  “Turn off everything you’re not using, including TVs and computers,” said the firm.  The message listed many other actions customers could take including turning air conditioners warmer, using ceiling fans among lots of others.

New York calls DR

Con Edison (ConEd) said Friday it broke its all-time record, reaching 13,189 MW at 4 PM that day, “eclipsing” the all-time record of 13,141 MW set Aug 2, 2006.

DR programs were credited with cutting peak demand by about 500 MW when 3.2 million customers “heeded calls to conserve power.” The utility “saluted” them “and credited them with a key assist in keeping the power flowing reliably.”

The IOU did experience scattered power outages and as of 7 PM Friday the firm had restored power to over 16,500 of the 24,000 customers affected since Thursday.

New York ISO (NYISO) reported Thursday’s peak at 33,454 MW between 4-5 PM, 485 MW below the all-time peak of 33,939 MW set in August 2006.  The peak Thursday was 2 MW above the 2010 peak of 33,452 MW set July 6.

NYISO activated DR programs in the “downstate” region to help manage load between 1-6 PM where over 800 MW of DR is enrolled in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.
DR was called statewide Friday where over 2,000 MW is available, said the ISO.

“While New York’s power system performed well and sufficient resources were available to meet the higher demand, it’s important for all electricity consumers to heed the conservation advice of their local utility,” NYISO CEO Stephen Whitley said.

Meanwhile, New York PSC Chairman Garry Brown Friday asked New Yorkers to conserve energy to help take stress off the power.  “It is critically important for consumers to reduce their energy use at this time.  Equally important is for our state’s residents to stay cool and stay hydrated as hot and humid weather continues to stay with us.  We must all work together to reduce unnecessary electricity usage during this heat wave.”

Wind keeps blowing

Cape Wind took the constrained power situation as an opportunity to point out its offshore wind power project could help supply clean power in such an event.  The wind farm “planned for Nantucket Sound would have been
running at its full capacity of 420 MW yesterday and today Cape Wind would be running above average in power production,” said the firm Friday, citing wind data gathered both days.

“People sometimes think about the ‘dog days’ of summer and wonder if wind turbines will help,” Communications Director Mark Rodgers said in a prepared statement.  The “data shows us that offshore in Nantucket Sound, those
hot summer afternoons tend to be quite windy.”

In average conditions, Cape Wind will meet about 75% of the electricity demand of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, it added.

Pennsylvania Updates Latest Electricity Switching Statistics

If you are located in the state of Pennsylvania and have not yet switched to a competitive electricity, the following statistics may be of interest.  For most customers, the savings by switching to a competitive supplier are remarkable.  Don’t delay!

Percentage of Commercial Customers that Have Switched:

Duquesne: 32.7%

MetEd: 17.1%

PECO: 36.6%

Penn Power: 24.2%

PPL: 47.2%

UGI: 4.8%

West Penn Power: 19.4%

Have you switched?  Call us to learn more!

What are the different PPL commercial and industrial rates?

Demand – What is it? Businesses have electric meters that measure both demand for electricity in kilowatts (KW) and electricity use in kilowatt-hours (KWH). Demand is the amount of electricity your business requires at a given moment. All business customers have a demand component of their electric bill. The demand charge is based on your peak demand as measured over a 15-minute period. For our general service rates, demand charges make up 20 percent to 40 percent of a typical monthly bill. Your demand can be controlled through the use of technology. Since demand is such a high component of your electric bill, it is worth exploring these options

What is a kilowatt-hour?
A kilowatt-hour is a measure of electricity use equal to 1,000 watts used for one hour. The electric meter measures how many kilowatt-hours you use. Electricity use is one component of your electric bill.
What rates are available?
GS-1 – This rate schedule is for single-phase service at secondary voltage (208, 240 and 480 volts ).
GS-3 – This rate schedule is for three-phase service at secondary voltage (208, 240 and 480 volts ).
LP-4 – Requires electric service supplied from available lines of 12,000 volts to 69,000 volts or higher where the customer furnishes and maintains all transformers.
LP-5 – Requires electric service supplied from available lines of 69,000 volts or higher. The customer furnishes and maintains all transformers.
LP-6 – Rate LP-6 has a demand charge minimum of 10,000 kilowatts and requires electric service supplied from available lines of 69,000 volts or higher. The customer furnishes and maintains all transformers.

Opportunities for Sales in Electricity and Natural Gas

In tough economic times, there are always slick salespeople who take advantage of the economy to sell dreams. Today, the dream being sold by Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) companies is the recurring commissions of residential electricity sales.  Sell everyone you know to sell everyone they know and you will make a fortune and retire.  The pitch and the web site are slick.  The opportunity makes sense.  It seems like a no-brainer.  But believe me: It is a dream.  It really doesn’t turn out that way.

If you have sales skills and an interest in building a business in commercial electricity and natural gas sales, that is another story.  You build your own business.  Better Cost Control operates as the licensed broker and performs the back office work.  We provide an online portal for CRM, Contact Management, Commission Tracking and Forecasting, plus automatic reminder emails to you and your customers when contracts are approaching renewal dates, so nothing slips by.

We have relationships with more suppliers than any independent electricity or natural gas broker.  This means we can honestly obtain the lowest prices for our and your customers.  You make recurring commissions.  No secrets.  No meetings.  Just honest people who have been doing this since 2002 and plan on continuing to broker energy for the long term.  We’re honest enough to tell you that no sales job provides easy money.  You need sales skills. You need to work hard. You won’t be selling to your friends, but to businesses. Never pay anyone for the opportunity to sell on their behalf.

If electricity and/or natural gas sales might be in your future, call us at 617-332-7767 x150.  Learn more by visiting: http://bettercostcontrol.com/energy-sales-opportunity/

Better Cost Control now licensed to provide electricity in Pennsylvania

On February 14, 2011, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved the application for Better Cost Control, LLC, d/b/a Ardor Energy to offer or supply electricity or electric generation services as a broker/marketer to residential, small commercial, large commercial, industrial and governement customers within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

We look forward to sharing our expertise in controlling electricity costs with the many electricity customers of the state.  Call us at 617-332-7767 x150 to learn more.