Energy News

Weekly trends and insights on the Natural Gas and Electricity Markets
Earlier this week, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its ninth edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. This comprehensive analysis is an annual benchmark which outlines the efforts to support energy efficiency of all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The report ranks states on their policy and program initiatives that improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, industries, and transportation systems. The scorecard evaluates states based on six areas including: utility and public benefits, transportation, building energy codes and compliance, combined heat and power...
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Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) recently implemented a new charge for utility customers in their service area. Effective September 1, 2015, this charge called the Reliability Support Services Surcharge (RSSS) will impact the delivery portion of a customer’s electric bill. NYSEG which serves many customers throughout New York State also issued a similar charge back in the spring of 2013. The need for this new charge stems from the occurrence of a number of power generation sources which have, or are expected to, come offline throughout the Northeast. RG&E has continued to...
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There is a regulatory change currently underway for those in the PJM region that will affect the capacity market beginning in June 2016. This market reform is called Capacity Performance, and intended to strengthen reliability of the region’s power supply. Capacity markets are designed to ensure enough supply is available to meet demand during peak summer hours and severe winter weather. The new program will result in higher capacity prices; however customers will benefit from fewer expected outages and price spikes. In PJM, capacity prices are established through an auction three...
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Over the next few days there is a good chance that we may set the peak energy demand for the year due to the expectation of high temperatures.  If possible, we are recommending that customers with interval meters reduce their electricity use, especially during the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday in NYISO,  ISO-NE, and PJM. Peak usage is set during the highest demand hour of the year in NY and NE, and the average of the five highest days in PJM. This determines the...
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Solar, wind, and geothermal are all sources of renewable energy that are frequently talked about. But here’s something you might not hear about all the time- wave power. In addition to surfers and tourists being drawn to the waves in Hawaii, waves are now being tested as a source of electricity through a new Hawaii Wave Power Project. As 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water, researchers are assessing this relatively untapped source of clean, renewable energy that the oceans could offer. Wave length, height, speed, and water density...
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In past blog posts, we’ve touched on the definitions for and impacts of both capacity and RECs on the price of electric. Both components which help to make up the overall price of energy, have increased to a point where they now account for a substantial portion of the total cost. Over the past few months in the New England region specifically, we have seen an increase in the percentage that RECs and capacity contribute to the overall energy price. As you can see from the graphs below, in a six month period from...
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A study conducted by Deloitte in 2012 found, “American businesses have become increasingly focused on energy consumption and its impact on their bottom-lines…more businesses recognize energy management efforts are essential to staying competitive from both a financial and a corporate image perspective.”  With a number of competitive energy options today, energy management involves more than just getting the best “price”, and can also be coined with profitability if managed correctly. Implementing a well thought out energy strategy may include taking a proactive approach to monitoring the market for times that may be optimal...
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On Tuesday April 14th, Power Management was invited to attend an awards ceremony hosted by National Grid recognizing organizations that have provided outstanding energy savings and service to their customers in 2014. Power Management received the Champion Award, which honors the Top Energy Solutions Partner in the region. Our team of energy experts saved our customers in the National Grid Western NY Region over 1.3 million kWh last year. Our achievement can be credited to Power Management’s lighting specialists who design a comprehensive solution for customers, outlining the projected annual...
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One element that helps to determine electric pricing is a facility’s load profile. Utilities are required to have enough energy and equipment available to meet peak demand levels and thus, electricity rates are partially determined by peak demand. For this reason, a graphical representation of a facility’s energy usage over a period of time is evaluated. Load profiles are used to determine how efficiently a business uses their energy. Load profiles are unique to each facility and show the variability in a customers demand. From a cost perspective, the higher...
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Yesterday, Power Management attended the 2015 IREM Vendor Showcase. IREM, known as the Institute of Real Estate Management, is a resource for property managers that serve the multi-family and commercial sectors. The organization provides educational opportunities and related resources to their members. The showcase featured people from the Western New York Chapter 58, which covers 23 counties in upstate NY from Syracuse on West. Power Management had the opportunity to visit with some current clients, and also saw a lot of new faces! We met a lot of great individuals,...
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As an extension of the BuildSmart NY initiative, the cities of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers are among those competing for $20 million in funding for new energy projects. Over the past year, each of these cities in conjunction with the state, have developed individual energy plans to address ways in which they will enhance the overall quality of life through a cleaner environment. In managing these efforts they will reduce energy consumption, strengthen their cities energy infrastructure, and drive investment in clean energy and economic development. The New York Power Authority will...
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As we mentioned in this week’s Energy News Flash the price of electricity on the Day Ahead Market has risen greatly as we continue to experience the coldest temperatures of the season thus far.   Last week we saw Day Ahead electricity prices in the Northeast rise above $200 MWH.  We did not see January prices rise as high as last year; however, February looks like it may be a different story as more bitter cold temperatures are forecasted and the Day Ahead Markets are awake and reacting.   For those of you on...
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Lights ON For the Super Bowl WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2015 | JOANNE SINOPOLI Whether viewing from home, or being fortunate enough to attend the game in person, you may have noticed a difference while viewing this year’s Super Bowl than in years past. And no – we’re not talking about that crazy ending! As the most-watched show in U.S. television history, Super Bowl XLIX displayed an energy technology which was a first for the big game! Although LED lights have been gaining popularity in residential and commercial spaces, it wasn’t until recently that sports...
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Twenty-eight counties in New York State lie above the Marcellus Shale. Unlike our neighbors to the south, New York has yet to directly benefit from hydraulic fracturing of natural gas. The state of NY has a moratorium on fracking which suspends natural gas drilling in the state until safety and environmental impacts are more thoroughly understood.  Likewise, several towns used zoning ordinances to ban fracking as well. A debate which has been the topic of public controversy has once again surfaced here in NY after a much awaited decision last...
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In this week’s Power News Energy Update, we mentioned that the price of natural gas continues to remain soft.  Seeing that we are in the middle of the heating season it might come as a surprise, but now is an ideal time to be looking at locking in future gas and electric pricing.  Prices are almost as low as we’ve seen in the past five years and the storage levels have made a remarkable recovery from last year, coming in 2.5% below the five year average.  Even if your contracts do not...
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On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Clean Power Plan, a plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. The EPA aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 26% below 2005 emission levels by 2020 and 30% by 2030. Following the release of this plan, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation ((NERC) a regulatory authority that performs evaluations of proposals that may threaten the power reliability in North America) conducted their own study of the affects it may have on the bulk power system. Specifically citing...
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With winter once again upon us, many business and homeowners in the Northeast are wondering if we will see the elevated prices for natural gas and electric as we did last year. Venture partners Cabot Oil and Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas, Williams Partners, and WGL Holdings, Inc. have been diligently working to gain approval for a new pipeline to help address this pressing issue. Their proposed Constitution Pipeline aims to increase supply reliability and price stabilization for customers. The pipeline will be designed to connect New York’s natural gas supply with the...
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Last month, PJM released a new online learning portal. As a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that “coordinates the movement of electricity through all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia”, this user friendly website is designed to be beneficial to both customers and industry professionals looking for information about  PJM Interconnection. The new center, which can be found at http://learn.pjm.com, covers a variety of topics including: the basics of electricity, innovations in energy, and...
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As the temperature drops across the nation and cities brace for early winter blizzards, energy pricing in New England skyrockets!   Massachusetts consumers were anticipating the price hikes but it’s a tough pill to swallow as other energy costs are dropping throughout the country. National Grid, the largest utility in Massachusetts, recently received approval for a 37 percent increase in electric bills beginning this month, which will affect 1.3 million consumers.    Another Massachusetts utility, NSTAR, asked for a 29 percent increase, starting in January 2015.  According to the utility, this will increase...
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For energy customers in Ohio, the importance of deregulation is again being challenged. Claiming they are unable to compete in the deregulated market, some Ohio utilities including AEP and FirstEnergy are asking for assistance from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Their concern is directed at the coal power plants and they are requesting the PUCO to allow them into a power purchase agreement (PPA) to guarantee pricing to keep them running. If approved, consumers will not benefit from a truly competitive market. Consumers hooked up to the grid will have...
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Renewable energy sources have been getting a lot of attention and over the past few months we have highlighted a few different topics; this week we are focusing on wind power. Generating energy by the wind is not a new concept. In short, wind energy works with the combination of lift and drag causing the rotor to spin like a propeller, and electricity is produced by the turning shaft spinning a generator. However, it is only in recent years that wind energy has become more popular and thus a noticeable part of...
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Our last blog illustrated the significance of capacity charges on the overall cost of a customer’s energy supply. When rendering figures for a customer’s capacity charge, the utility calculates what is called the Peak Load Contribution (or PLC), which is a number used to show how much generation could be needed for the system’s peak load. A customer’s average peak demand is determined by the five highest-demand days of the year and although these days cannot be predicted from year to year, they usually occur on weekday afternoons during the...
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