Gas It Up

June 30, 2016

The past 3 months

Natural gas prices have been on the rise

After establishing a new floor

With the Nymex dropping under $2.00 a dekatherm

It started an accent

And is now heading towards $3.00

That would be a 50% increase

What caused this sudden rise….

Some say…..

Supply / Demand

Others say greed

With the market choking on gas

And gas prices being low

They started shutting down wells

That can certainly drive prices up

Now throw the weather into the mix

Did we have a spring…

Maybe we will have a hot summer

The market is in flux

Should the long range forecast see a hot summer

Prices will continue to rise

If cooler temperatures prevail

You will start seeing prices back off

Should that be the case…

We will see a window of opportunity

For gas and electric prices will drop and

Become even more competitive

In the energy business

Timing is everything

We’ll keep you posted

Advertisements

Live Update

June 11, 2015

Good Afternoon…..

This is George Hutchinson….

Bringing you a live energy update

From our HBS studios

Located in a remote area of…

New Jersey

This Thursday afternoon

June 11th

The year 2015

Before we get into the current market conditions

Let’s take a minute to look

At some of the factors

That has led up to this point

It has been a crazy couple of months

Many people say…..

The energy market

Has developed a mind of it’s own

After starting out with a mild winter

We got hit with colder than normal temperatures

During the months of

February and March

This helped to push energy prices up

The gas nymex

Came close to hitting $3.00

It also had an adverse effect on Basis pricing

January 2016 basis

Was running over $7.00 a dekatherm

As cooler than expected spring temperatures hit

In April and May

We started seeing prices

Drop

Making the market

More attractive

You could hear the chatter starting ……

Maybe the summer was not going to be

That hot after all

Prices continued to drop

The door was opening

Was the bottom going to fall out

Record storage levels

Were being recorded

Then….

Sometime during

The end of last week…..

The weather gods

Started talking about

Temperatures going into the

High 80s…..

Possibly the low 90s this week

Immediately

The market corrected itself

Ohhhhh

Maybe it is going to get hot after all

Prices started to rise

Nymex jumps 10 points

Next day

Nymex jumps another 10 points

The market is up again

As I bring you this update

As I often say….

Timing is everything

But the old adage

Still rings true…..

What a difference a day makes

Stay tuned for further updates

As reported in Christian Science Monitor

By             , Staff writer / January 8, 2014

The polar vortex gripping the nation is as unpleasant for utilities and grid operators as it is for you. What does the polar vortex mean for your next utility bill?

What happens when much of the nation simultaneously reaches for the thermostat and turns up the heat? Energy prices rise.

With Americans shivering through a “polar vortex,” utilities and grid operators are scrambling to meet demand amid record low temperatures. A stressed power grid and constrained natural gas pipelines are already pushing up the price of electricity and natural gas on wholesale markets.

The good news is that consumers are relatively insulated from the polar vortex’s temporary price shocks (besides the obvious cost increase of turning the heat up for a prolonged period). The bad news is that if this is the first polar vortex of many to come, that prolonged grid strain and need for new infrastructure will almost certainly make its way into the bottom line of your monthly utility bill.

“Most retail customers are set up through regulated natural gas rates for this reason – so that short-term spikes in the spot price don’t automatically flow through,” says M. Tyson Brown, statistician at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). “To the extent that this is a long-term trend – that really affects the price people pay.” Read the rest of this entry »

As reported in NJ SpotLight By Tom Johnson, February 8, 2013 in Energy & Environment

The state yesterday announced the results of its annual electricity auction, a process used partly to determine utility bill prices, and the outcome was decidedly mixed in a market some thought would deliver more savings to consumers.

At a time when natural-gas prices are near historic lows, the auction yielded savings for residential and small commercial customers for three of New Jersey’s four electric utilities, with prices dropping by 3 percent to as much as 5.4 percent, effective June 1. It is the fourth year prices have dropped for residents and small businesses.

That’s the good news.

But for larger commercial and industrial customers, prices basically doubled for the electricity they will need, according to a consultant for the state Board of Utilities, which conducted the auction over the past few days. For both residents and larger customers, any increases apply only to the portion of the bill covering the cost of generating electricity, which accounts for about two-thirds of the cost paid by ratepayers.

The contrast in auction results reflects changes in the energy market since the state deregulated its electric monopolies in 1999, and explains partly why even with the steep drop in the fuel that sets the price for electricity, consumers in New Jersey still pay some of the highest energy bills in the nation.

Here’s why:

The BPU no longer controls the price of producing the electricity consumers get from suppliers; the federal government decides how much utilities will earn on transmission projects they undertake; and the PJM Interconnection, the regional operator of the nation’s largest power grid, regulates how much suppliers will earn for making sure the lights don’t go out. On top of all that, the state’s efforts to promote solar energy also are boosting costs, as the BPU conceded in a press release announcing the results of the auction.

The state blamed the surprising large increase for industrial customers on a rise in capacity payments to power suppliers, which ensure there is enough electricity in reserve to maintain reliability on the power grid. Those capacity payments jumped by 65 percent from the prior year, according to the BPU.

That was of little comfort to business lobbyists.

“That’s an awful large increase,’’ said Hal Bozarth, executive director of the Chemistry Industry Council of New Jersey. “It’s a clear signal to me the auction system is broken in many places.’’

The vast majority of industrial and commercial customers, however, have contracts with so-called third-party suppliers, which are not affected by the jump in prices in the most recent auction, BPU officials noted.

The doubling of prices to industrial customers only applies to the relatively few establishments that have not switched from their incumbent utility.

“It’s disturbing,’’ said Stefanie Brand, director of the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel. “It’s definitely going to have an impact on them.’’

Other factors contributed to the mixed results in the most recent auction.

For Public Service Electric & Gas, the state’s largest utility with more than 2 million customers, more than the three other utilities combined—prices for residential and small-business customers were essentially flat.

Its customers will see their monthly bills rise by 6 cents a month, an increase largely attributed to the billions of dollars the company is investing in new transmission projects ordered by the regional grid operator and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Those projects could lower electric bills in the long run by easing congestion on the power grid, which spikes electricity costs, and bringing more power into the capacity into the state, according to PSE&G spokeswoman Karen Johnson.

The state, however, has contested many of the incentives handed out by FERC, which has rewarded PSE&G with much higher rates of return on a handful of transmission projects, much more than the utility receives for maintaining its distribution lines, which deliver power from substations to homes and businesses.

“We’re not saying we don’t need transmission,’’ Brand said. “But they can earn a fair return on them without earning excessive returns.’’

The price of electricity per kilowatt hour for PSE&G customers in this year’s auction was 9.218 cents per kilowatt hour, almost a penny more than the prior year, Brand said. “Some of these numbers are moving in the wrong direction,’’ she said.

The state is also trying to address the rising costs of capacity payments by giving subsidies to new power-plant developers, a controversial strategy under attack from both incumbent power suppliers and the PJM.

Nonetheless, three new power plants, one without any state subsidies, are due to begin supplying power in 2015 — too late, however, to drive down costs for this year and next.

Citing the increase in capacity costs, Brand said the auction results show “graphically when efforts have been made to increase investment in new generation and why residents will benefit from it.’’

BPU President Bob Hanna, in a conference call with reporters to discuss the auction results, said it is very hard to predict what is going to happen with natural-gas prices, the main driver in setting electricity prices.

“For now, I see a period of stability,’’ he said.

And for now, some consumers will see a drop in bills. According to the BPU, customers of Atlantic City Electric will see their monthly bills drop by 5.4 percent, or $6.42 cents a month; for Jersey Central Power & Light customers, there will be a decline of 3 percent, or $2.91 per month; and Rockland Electric customers will see their bills dip 5.3 percent, or $6.74 monthly.

For more information call 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions………Smart Solutions for Smart Business

Chance of Snow

February 6, 2013

Seems like this is the one phrase

We have been hearing a lot

Lately

Here it is the beginning of February

And we have had no…

Major accumulations

I love hearing the

Projected winter snowcast

They give back in October

By our calculations

We see several cold fronts

Moving thru

Over the next couple of months

With these cold fronts…..

We see several major storms

Being caused by the El Nino

Now sitting

In the Pacific Waters

Total projected accumulation
During the next couple of months

Will be….

Drumroll please…

From 25 to 35 inches

A few years ago

We almost hit the

25 inch mark…

The week after Thanksgiving

In fact we had 3 major storms…

Bringing over 50 inches of snow

By New Years

I wonder what they said that year?

This year

Ho Hum…

Where is the snow?

I feel sorry for all the people

Who ran out and bought

Brand new snow gear

Seems to be just….

Taking up space

Remember when we used

To go out

And buy snow tires?

Whatever happened…

To snow tires….

Or did you used to put….

Chains on your tires?

Meanwhile…

It seems the cold

Has finally

Settled in

The deregulated energy market

Has remained…

Fairly stable

There are still

Great opportunities

For savings

In the natural gas

And electric markets

If you have been hesitant

To look at these deregulated opportunities

This is a good time to….

Dip your toe in the water

You will like what you see

I wish I could say the same

For the gasoline market

The price of gasoline

Has jumped over 30 cents…

Just in the last few weeks

People are no longer saying…

Fill it up

With regular

It’s back to….

Can I have $20 of regular

There is speculation

That gas prices may even

Make the push

To the dreaded…

$4.00 per gallon mark

Over the next month or so

That will make for a

Long summer….

Driving

Back and forth

To the shore

How many times

Will we have to stop for gas

If we keep getting…

$20 refills

Supply and demand

They have the supply

And we demand…

Lower prices

Will we ever see gas….

Under $3.00 again

Here’s hoping

We are doing our best

In the deregulated energy market

Saving our clients’

Thousands of $$$$$

Does anybody

Know someone…

In the refinery business…

We could all use some

Savings on the road

For more insight contact george@hbsadvantage.com

Smart Solutions for Smart Business

Low prices for natural gas used to fuel power plants may help keep down rates.

By Tom Johnson, January 31, 2013 in Energy & Environment as reported in NJ Spotlight

For the past four years, consumers and many businesses in New Jersey have enjoyed a rare occurrence — a drop in the price of the electricity delivered to their homes from power plants around the region.

Might the trend continue? More will be known by the end of next week when the state Board of Public Utilities holds its annual online auction to purchase most of the electricity needed to power millions of New Jersey homes and businesses.

The results of the annual auction play a big role in determining whether electricity prices fall or rise each June in a state saddled with some of the highest energy costs in the nation.

But in the increasingly complex energy market, the auction is not the only factor: Transmission prices continue to rise and the state has increased the amount of electricity that power suppliers are required to buy from solar-energy systems, which costs more than electricity produced from more conventional power sources. Those and other factors can wipe out any savings achieved in the auction.

The auction typically involves the expenditure of more than $7 billion in ratepayer funds, although that amount may drop given the number of customers who have switched in the last year.

For the most part, state officials and industry executives were reluctant to predict the outcome of this year’s auction, but the general consensus was there should not be a drastic change in consumer prices, given the continued relatively low cost of natural gas.

‘’I don’t think there will be any major swings,’’ said Jay Kooper, the New Jersey chairman of the Retail Energy Suppliers Association, a group representing power suppliers who try to offer customers cheaper electricity than that supplied by the state’s four electric utilities.

With the steep drop in natural-gas prices, Kooper’s members have been much more successful in luring customers away from the state’s utilities, which buy the power they need to supply their customers in bulk in the annual auction held by the BPU. The cost of generating that electricity generally amounts to about two-thirds of a customer’s bill, with most of the rest of the cost tied to the expense of delivering the power over a utility’s transmission and distribution lines.

Natural-gas prices are still historically low, but they have bumped up a bit since last year, according to Tancred Lidderdale, a senior analyst at the Energy Information Administration, an arm of the U.S. Energy Department.

“Natural gas prices are still low, but they are not as low as last year,’’ Lidderdale said, noting that the price of the fuel, which is largely used to power generating stations in the region, was about $2.40 last January in one sector; prices were running at about $3.29 in future contracts in the same sector this month.

The price differential should not have a big impact on the New Jersey auction because of the way state regulators have structured it. Last year, prices for electricity purchased from the power suppliers fell from 1.1 percent to as much as 6.4 percent, depending upon the utility supplying the electricity.

Critics, however, said the price drops could have been steeper if the state’s utilities were not locked into the present system of buying electricity. Under that system, the utilities buy one-third of the power they need for customers each February. By doing so, they avoid the possibility of their customers be hit with huge price spikes when natural-gas costs rise rapidly, as happened during Hurricane Katrina.

The downside is that when natural-gas prices fall, customers do not gain the savings very quickly from their utilities, which has prompted more and more customers to shop around for cheaper energy rates. By the end of December, about 15 percent of more than 3 million residential customers had switched electricity suppliers, way up from the 5 percent who had switched in February.

New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel Director Stefanie Brand, who has argued for changes in the current auction structure, said the lower natural-gas prices may offset other factors driving up costs for consumers.

“Hopefully, it will be good news for consumers,’’ Brand said in a telephone interview. “I would love to see prices go down, but I can’t say I know what’s going to happen.’’

Hal Bozarth, director of the Chemistry Industry Council of New Jersey and a frequent critic of the state’s energy policies, said he would expect prices to go down, given the low natural-gas prices. “I’d be sadly disappointed to see prices go higher,’’ he said. “The rates are so high they are a disincentive for economic development.’’

In New Jersey, energy costs for the industrial sector usually rate as sixth- or seventh-highest in the country, about 60 percent higher than the national average, according to Bozarth.

Kooper, who said the state’s system of buying power needs some structural changes, remained hopeful. “I think there will be opportunities to shop for electricity,’’ he said.

Back in September

Right after Labor Day

Future forecast show

We are in for……

A cold winter

Thus began the long trudge….

Natural gas prices

Started inching up

In October

The drumbeats started

Beating louder

Forecasts are calling

For a cold winter

Natural gas prices

Inched up

A bit higher

All this was happening

As Natural gas storage levels

Remain at….

An all-time high

Future supplies are poised

To make the US

The world’s largest

Natural gas supplier

New finds and

Refined extraction methods show

We have over 100 years

Of natural gas reserves

November starts….

The drums keep beating

Forecast show that it is

Going to be

A cold winter

Prices inch up a bit higher

All the while

We have been experiencing

Higher than normal temperatures

Here it is January 2013

We have had some cold weather

But no long term stretches

Of cold weather

They are already forecasting

That beginning next week…..

A warm front will be coming in

And hanging for a couple of weeks

All this has created a

Natural gas market

Phenomena

The index

(The base cost of natural gas

To all providers)

Started to drop

So much for the higher prices

HBS has been working with our clients

Keeping them apprised of the opportunity

For the savings this presents

The basis (transportation cost)

Is inverted

That means the longer you go out

The less expensive it is

We have never seen this

In the 12 years we have been

Servicing the deregulated market

By locking in a

3 to 4 year

Basis position

Clients have been able

To add more certainty

To their future

Natural gas cost

This will allow the client to

Concentrate on managing the cost

Of the Nymex

ie: (gas out of the ground)

During the highest usage months

November thru March

For most clients

That is when 75% of their

Annual natural gas usage

Is consumed

Feel free to contact us…..

To learn more about

How you are able

To save in the deregulated

Natural Gas and Electric markets

Start the New Year off with Savings

That will always bring a

Smile to your face….

Hutchinson Business Solutions

Smart Solutions for Smart Business

For more insight contact george@hbsadvantage.com

Visit us on the web http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

As reported by Save on Energy.com

New Jersey

Electric:

New Jersey opened its electricity industry to competition in 1999. Each of the four electric utilities (PSE&G, Jersey Central Power & Light, Atlantic City Electric and Rockland Electric) now offer customers the chance to save money by shopping for the supply portion of their electric bill.

The utilities sold off their power plants, and now only own the transmission and distribution wires, while also providing “backstop” power to customers who do not shop for electricity. With the move to competition, New Jersey utilities have separated their service into two parts:

• Regulated distribution of power, which is still only provided by the utility, and     • Supply of the electric commodity, which is open to competition.

Customers can choose to receive their electric supply from their utility, or an alternate energy provider.

Customers who do not choose an alternative energy provider are served on each utility’s Basic Generation Service (BGS). The price for Basic Generation Service is determined annually through auctions held by the utilities.

For large customers above 750 kW, called the Commercial and Industrial Energy Pricing or CIEP class, the BGS price is set at hourly prices in the wholesale PJM market. These prices can be extremely volatile, so most large customers choose an alternate (or third-party) energy provider for price stability.

Customers under 750 kW are known as the BGS Fixed Pricing Class, and receive a flat, annual rate from the auction, although it may be seasonally adjusted.

Customers who choose an alternate energy provider still have their power delivered to them by their local utility, and contact their utility for all outage reporting. Customers can choose to receive either a single bill from their utility for their delivery service and energy supply service, or can receive two bills, one from each company.

Our Perspective:

Natural gas prices are near a 10 year low.  Because 30% of electricity is generated with natural gas  we have seen very competitive in this area also.

Deregulation gives the consumer a choice to buy their energy supply on the open market at wholesale prices as oppose to buying energy from the local provider at default prices that are normally higher. If you are not currently buying energy thru a 3rd party provider, it is something you should take the time to look at. Businesses and now residential clients are finding substantial savings by fixing the cost of their electric and natural gas supply cost.

 

To learn more email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Residential electric customers

 

 

In…

 

 

 

New Jersey and Pennsylvania….

 

 

 

 

You finally have an opportunity

 

 

 

To lock your electric supply cost

 

 

 

At a fixed price…….

 

 

 

For a

 

 

 

12 month period

 

 

 

 

 

 

This means saving of

 

 

 

Around 15%

 

 

Off your current

 

 

 

Local provider supply cost

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you look at your PSEG residential electric bill

 

 

You will see your…..

 

 

Price to compare

 

 

For electric

 

 

Is around

 

 

 

$.116 cents per kwh

 

 

 

 

Atlantic City Electric customers

 

 

Your bill shows a

 

 

 

Price to compare of around

 

 

 

$.122 cents per kwh

 

 

 

 

We now have a program that will permit

 

 

 

Residential customers in New Jersey

 

 

 

To lock their electric supply cost for

 

 

 

 

 

 

$.0999 cents per kwh

 

 

 

 

For a 12 month period

 

 

 

 

For a typical household

 

 

This provides savings

 

 

 

Of over $300 a year

 

 

 

 

No additional cost

 

 

No transfer fees

 

 

 

No interruption of service

 

 

 

The supply charges will be billed on

 

Your current local provider bill

 

 

 

Best yet…..

 

 

 

Nothing changes…….

 

 

 

Should you have an electrical problem…..

 

 

 

You still will call your local provider

 

To service the account

 

 

 

 

This opportunity is also available for….

 

 

 

All Residential Pennsylvania

 

 

Electric customers

 

 

 

 

(Contact us to find out your rate…….

 

 

 

Your savings are comparable)

 

 

 

 

 

As most of you know…

 

 

 

HBS has been in the deregulated energy business

 

 

Since January 2000

 

 

 

We have been providing

 

 

This service…

 

 

 

For only the commercial market

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get several calls

 

 

Every  week

 

 

From my clients

 

 

Asking……

 

 

 

 

 

Can you help me with my home electric bill……

 

 

 

 

 

Many have faxed or emailed me…….

 

 

 

 

All the special offers they have been receiving

 

 

 

 

Problem was……

 

 

All I found was……

 

 

 

 

Smoke and Mirrors

 

 

 

 

 

They had the sizzle….

 

 

 

 

No contract…..

 

 

 

Month to month……

 

 

 

Low variable rate……..

 

 

They also had……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minimal to no $avings

 

 

 

Many have complained to me

 

 

 

They actually paid more

 

 

Than the provider price to compare

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time

 

 

 

We have found

 

 

 

A Residential opportunity

 

 

 

 

That will provide….

 

 

 

 

 

True savings….

 

 

 

 

For your…..

 

 

 

Residential Electric Account

 

 

 

 

Should you like to know more…..

 

 

 

About this saving opportunity

 

 

 

For your home

 

 

Email……..

 

 

george@hbsadvantage.com

 

 

Or call our office 856-857-1230

 

 

 

 

$300 savings

 

 

 

 

For me…..

 

 

It was the equivalent

 

 

 

Of getting 1 month

 

 

 

Free electric a year

 

 

Visit our website: www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com   to learn more about opportunities available to provide savings.

 

As reported By Christopher Martin Bloomberg News 3/21/12

NEW YORK – U.S. solar developers are luring cash at record rates from investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Google and KKR by offering returns on projects four times those available for Treasury securities.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., together with the biggest Internet search company, private equity companies, and insurers MetLife Inc. and John Hancock Life Insurance Co., poured more than $500 million into renewable energy in the last year. That’s the most ever for companies outside the club of banks and specialist lenders that traditionally back solar energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

Once so risky that only government backing could draw private capital, solar projects now are making returns of about 15 percent, according to Stanford University’s Center for Energy Policy and Finance. That has attracted a wider community of investors eager to cash in on earnings stronger than those for infrastructure projects such as toll roads and pipelines. “A solar power project with a long-term sales agreement could be viewed as a machine that generates revenue,” said Marty Klepper, an attorney at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, which helped arrange a solar deal for Buffett. “It’s an attractive investment for any firm, not just those in energy.”

With 30-year Treasuries yielding about 3.4 percent, investors are seeking safe places to park their money for years at a higher return. Solar energy fits the bill, with predictable cash flows guaranteed by contract for two decades or more. Those deals may be even more lucrative because many were signed before the cost of solar panels plunged 50 percent last year.

Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. agreed to buy the Topaz Solar Farm in California from First Solar Inc. on Dec. 7. The project’s development budget is estimated at $2.4 billion and it may generate a 16.3 percent return on investment by selling power to PG&E Corp. at about $150 a megawatt-hour through a 25-year contract, according to New Energy Finance calculations. It will have 550 megawatts of capacity and is expected to go into operation in 2015, making it one of the world’s biggest photovoltaic plants.

“After tax, you’re looking at returns in the 10 percent to 15 percent range” for solar projects, said Dan Reicher, executive director of the Stanford center. “The beauty of solar is, once you make the capital investment, you’ve got free fuel and very low operating costs.”

The long-term nature of solar power purchase deals makes them similar to some bonds. And because a solar farm is a tangible asset, these investments also function much like those for infrastructure projects, with cash flows comparable to toll roads, bridges and pipelines, said Stefan Heck, a director at McKinsey & Co. in New York who leads the firm’s clean-tech work. Once a project starts producing power, investors can earn a return that’s “higher than most bonds,” he said. “There are a lot of pension funds with long-term horizons that are very interested in this space.”

Governments remain the biggest backers of the solar industry; President Obama’s administration suffered criticism for investing in Solyndra, a solar manufacturer that went bankrupt last year. Worldwide, the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank was the biggest asset-finance lender for renewable energy companies in the past year, arranging 12 deals worth $11.2 billion, according to New Energy Finance. The Brazilian development bank BNDES, Bank of America, and Banco Santander followed.

In 2009, solar technology was so unfamiliar that few banks would back projects that required billions in upfront investment and wouldn’t begin producing revenue for years, Klepper said. The biggest financiers for the industry that year were Madrid- based Santander, HSH Nordbank of Hamburg and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria of Bilbao, Spain, New Energy Finance said.

That year, the Energy Department began funding a program to guarantee loans for solar farms and other renewable energy projects that supported almost $35 billion in financing before winding down in September. The government’s endorsement assuaged investors’ concerns and built up a bigger community of people who understand how to make money from solar deals, said Arno Harris, chief executive officer of Sharp Corp.’s renewable power development unit Recurrent Energy.

“Solar is now bankable,” Harris said. “When solar was perceived as more risky, it required a premium,” and now it’s “becoming part of a much broader capital market.”

Long-term power-purchase contracts are the key to making solar a reliable investment, Harris said. Utilities in sunny states such as California, Arizona, and Nevada have agreed to pay premiums for electricity generated by sunshine.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20120321_Solar_returns_beat_Treasuries__drawing_investors_from_Buffett_to_Google.html#ixzz1plWe9SD0
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else