November 30th, 2010 Adam Ebner

As reported in Nationwide Deregulated Energy News

In a very competitive marketplace, energy deregulation gives businesses better control of their business electricity costs. Aside from that, there are myriad other benefits and option that their companies would get from a deregulated and competitive energy market – options that were not possible in the past due to high energy expenses and limitations set by the monopolized energy industry.

The deregulation of the many utilities markets gave birth to the emergence of several retail electric providers all competing for subscriptions from both residential and commercial energy users in the state and in energy deregulated cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston, Dallas and many others. Now given the power to choose, selecting from over 50 retail electricity providers can be a daunting task indeed; with businesses finding themselves at the losing end should they fail to choose the best provider for their needs. This is why businesses should work in partnership with certified electricity brokers to negotiate in their behalf the best electrical rates, payment schemes and other amenities from the various Texas electric companies.

Electricity Brokers:

Your Helping Hand Unlike electricity management at home, businesses have more complex processes and operational needs for electricity that if not managed would find them dealing with extremely high energy costs that would eventually affect their bottom line. Electricity brokers can come into the picture and help businesses find ways on how they can efficiently use Texas electricity and help them minimize their energy costs. These brokers deal and negotiate electrical rates with retail electric providers for the benefit of the business.

No matter what business or industry your company may be in, electricity brokers can provide professional services using up-to-date information of the energy market in a bid to obtain the best commercial electricity deals for the company.

Why Should You Use Electricity Brokers to Shop Electricity?

Businesses may not have the resources available to have an independent study or analysis of the various retail electric providers offering commercial electricity before they switch and commit to the services of one. Aside from this, companies may have to deal with all the other elements in the very complex energy market such as new regulations, changes in fees, penalties, reduction of carbon emissions, etc. Hiring an electricity broker can spare the company from all these, so that all their staff and resources can focus on only one thing – doing business.

Electricity brokers can help companies with their procurement decision, eliminate possible over payments, recover over payments, management of energy consumption, and continuous energy usage analysis. Electricity brokers can uncover and identify areas in the business processes where they can implement significant improvements. These brokers are not in any way tied up with any major retail electric provider, allowing them to give unbiased advice to businesses and help them get the best energy solutions for their companies.

Our Perspective:

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS) is an independent energy management company. We represent all the major providers selling deregulated energy in deregulated states. We will do a full analysis of your account and shop your account with our  providers to find the best value and savings for your company.

HBS clients are finding savings from 10% to 20% in the deregulated utility market.

To learn more email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS) has been providing deregulated energy management solutions to our business clients for over 10years.

Although we currently do not service the residential markets in deregulated states, I found it prudent to offer some insight to the many residential clients now seeking savings in the deregulated electric market.

Since New Jersey just introduced the opportunity to their residents in the spring of 2010 and Pennsylvania in January 2011, many people have jumped on the band wagon selling electric.

We get several calls daily from our clients asking questions about saving for their home electric.

The first thing that I caution them is to make sure the price that is being presented is fully loaded and contains all the factors that are included to make a price to compare analysis.

Does it include a 7% loss allowance (to deliver 100 kw of electric you must send 107 kw, for there is a 7% line loss in the delivery of the electricity)  

Does it include 7% sales tax. (PA residents 6.46% gross receipt tax)

These factors are included in the PSEG and AC Electric price to compare.

The second thing we caution clients to look for is a fixed price.

Natural gas prices are the lowest they have been in the last 3 to 4 years. Although they have spiked recently due to the winter cold, prices are still very attractive.

Thirty % (30%) of the electric generated in the US is made with natural gas. Because of this, natural gas prices serves as a strong market indicator used for electric market prices.

By choosing a fixed price, you can lock your position for a 1 or 2 year period.

There are many companies offering variable options or 4 month fixed pricing and variable pricing for the remainder of the contract. I do not feel comfortable stating that this presents a good opportunity for savings at this time.

Variable pricing does not lock your position and leaves the pricing upto the whim of the market, therefore this is a more riskier decision at this time.

Proceed with caution and make sure to get all the facts before choosing a deregulated residential electric provider.

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com 

As presented by Public Power (An overview of the deregulated electric in the residential market)

Many of those that are considering switching over are a little confused about what is actually happening.

You are not switching your gas & electric company, you are only switching service providers.

What this means,for example:

If PSEG is your current Gas & Electric Company. They will remain your Utility company. They will still service your home if you have a problem or power outage etc. You will still receive and pay your Bill thru PSEG. What you are doing is simply switching where your Gas and Electric is coming from.  In this case you will be asking PSEG to simply obtain your Gas & Electric from Public Power,LLC instead of their current provider. Currently Public Power per Kilowatt rate is cheaper than PSEG ‘s provider. You can check on your rate by looking at your BILL and looking up the kWh rate.

Then go to  https://ppandu.com/historical_rates.php to check Public Powers’s historical rates for other areas they currently service. Though rates vary from month to month, you will find they have been historically lower then PSEG, Con Ed and many other NY & NJ utility providers.

Actual electric rates for 2009 in January were 11.2 for Public Power and Utility (PP&U), Feb 2010, 9.999*, 11.051*, 11.568*. Jan 2010, 9.999*, 11.051*, 11.568*

PSEG Sept 2010 Average Residential rate is 12.00 per kWh

Currently if you are using under 600 kWh per month you are paying about 11.46 per kWh. If you never exceed that all year then your rate will stay at about 11.46.

 But as soon as you go over 600 Kwh June thru Sept,that part of your bill is jacked up to about 12.34 per kwh. So on average if you are using from 601 kWh and more during the year, the blended average rate is about 12.00 per kwh.  Understand above ONLY reflects the cost of electricity, not the PSEG delivery charges etc. The rates we are concerned with are just the BGS Energy charges, which on your bill is the “Rate to Compare” when you are considering a 3rd party supplier for your electric such as Public Power.

SEE BELOW THE PSEG RATE(TARRIF) Chart (approved June 2010) Note the highlighted rates

PUBLIC SERVICE ELECTRIC AND GAS

COMPANY           Twenty-Eighth

Revised Sheet No. 67 Superseding     

B.P.U.N.J. No. 14 ELECTRIC                                             Twenty-Seventh Revised Sheet No. 67  

BASIC GENERATION SERVICE – FIXED PRICING (BGS-FP)
ELECTRIC SUPPLY CHARGES 

APPLICABLE TO: 

Default electric supply service for Rate Schedules RS, RSP, RHS, RLM, WH, WHS, HS, BPL, BPL­POF, PSAL, GLP and LPL-Secondary (less than 1,000 kilowatts). 

BGS ENERGY CHARGES: 

Applicable to Rate Schedules RS, RHS, RLM, WH, WHS, HS, BPL, BPL-POF and PSAL           Charges per kilowatthour: 

Rate 

Schedule 

For usage in each of the 

months of 

October through May 

For usage in each of the 

months of 

June through September 

 

    Charges

 

   Charges 

Charges  Including SUT  Charges  Including SUT 
RS –first 600 kWh  11.4627 ¢  12.2651 ¢  11.4356 ¢  12.2361 ¢ 
RS – in excess of 600 kWh  11.4627 ¢  12.2651 ¢  12.3477 ¢  13.2120 ¢ 
RHS – first 600 kWh  9.8139 ¢  10.5009 ¢  10.9809 ¢  11.7496 ¢ 
RHS – in excess of 600 kWh  9.8139 ¢  10.5009 ¢  12.2005 ¢  13.0545 ¢ 
RLM On-Peak  16.1526 ¢  17.2833 ¢  15.6936 ¢  16.7922 ¢ 
RLM Off-Peak  7.4633 ¢  7.9857 ¢  7.8736 ¢  8.4248 ¢ 
WH  9.5068 ¢  10.1723 ¢  10.6903 ¢  11.4386 ¢ 
WHS  7.7482  8.2906 ¢  8.9246 ¢  9.5493 
HS  10.3708 ¢  11.0968 ¢  13.9608 ¢  14.9381 
BPL  7.3379  7.8516 ¢  7.6450 ¢  8.1802 ¢ 
BPL-POF  7.3379 ¢  7.8516 ¢  7.6450 ¢  8.1802 ¢ 
PSAL  7.3379 ¢  7.8516 ¢  7.6450 ¢  8.1802 ¢ 

 

The above Basic Generation Service Energy Charges reflect costs for Energy, Generation Capacity, Transmission, and Ancillary Services (including PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM)  Administrative Charges). The portion of these charges related to Network Integration Transmission Service, including the PJM Seams Elimination Cost Assignment Charges, the PJM Reliability Must Run Charge and PJM Transmission Enhancement Charges may be changed from time to time on the effective date of such change to the PJM rate for these charges as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

Kilowatt threshold noted above is based upon the customer’s Peak Load Share of the overall summer peak load assigned to Public Service by the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Office of the Interconnection (PJM). See Section 9.1, Measurement of Electric Service, of the Standard Terms and Conditions of this Tariff. 

Note: Hutchinson Business Solutions has been providing independent deregulated energy management solutions for corporate clients for over 10 years. Although we do not currently provide these services to the residential market, we felt that it is important to make this information available to the general public, since many residential customers are now looking at this opportunity.

Date of Issue: May 20, 2010-Effective: June 1, 2010
Issued by FRANCES I. SUNDHEIM, Vice President and Corporate Rate Counsel
80 Park Plaza, Newark, New Jersey 07102
Filed pursuant to Order of Board of Public Utilities dated March 1, 2010
in Docket No. E009050351

 
Posted on Sun, Jan. 16, 2011

By Andrew Maykuth

Inquirer Staff Writer

Pearl Rosenbloom and her neighbors in South Jersey have been getting lots of sales calls lately encouraging them to switch from Public Service Electric & Gas Co. to alternative power suppliers.

The pitches are often long on enthusiasm, but short on facts.

“When you ask for details, they just say, ‘You’re going to save money!’ ” Rosenbloom said.

The Burlington County resident looks longingly across the Delaware River, where Peco Energy Co. customers are rapidly moving into a market-rate environment.

Pennsylvania residential customers have access to a wealth of comparative information on rates assembled by the Public Utility Commission or the state Office of the Consumer Advocate.

But in New Jersey, where suppliers are offering residential discounts of 12 percent and more, consumers are largely on their own when it comes to assessing the data.

“We don’t know what to do,” Rosenbloom said.

J. Gregory Reinert, the communications director of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, said there were too many offerings for Garden State regulators to manage the data on behalf of customers.

“We do not provide comparison data of third-party suppliers or utilities,” he said.

“Customers need to do comparison shopping by either calling or visiting the websites of each company to review the tariffs or promotions, and make their own comparisons and decisions,” Reinert said.

New Jersey’s approach stands in contrast to the model states lauded in a recent industry study of electricity deregulation. Advocates of market rates say competition helps suppress electrical costs by encouraging more efficiency and conservation.

Nat Treadway, the managing director of a Houston firm that conducts an annual assessment of restructured markets, in December singled out Pennsylvania’s system for praise.

In most deregulated states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, customers are free to choose the company that generates their electricity, which makes up the biggest part of their bill. Traditional utilities, such as PSE&G and Peco, are solely distributors of power and do not make money off power generation – even on the electricity they buy on behalf of customers who do not switch.

Treadway, managing partner of the Distributed Energy Financial Group, said the best markets for encouraging electrical choice were in Texas and New York.

By contrast, Treadway called New Jersey’s restructured residential market “marginal.”

Ronald M. Cerniglia, director of governmental and regulator affairs for Direct Energy Services L.L.C., a large electricity marketer operating in several states, called New Jersey’s marketplace “suboptimal.”

He said the best competitive markets set up rules that encourage alternative suppliers to do business while still providing traditional consumer protections.

Regulators in thriving markets also make efforts to educate customers. One way is to maintain websites with neutral cost comparisons.

The Pennsylvania PUC’s papowerswitch.com lists most current suppliers, and some of their offerings. The Texas and New York utility commissions operate sophisticated websites that allow consumers to search for competitive offers by zip code: powertochoose.org and newyorkpowertochoose.com.

The New Jersey BPU rolled out a website for power-shopping after it opened electricity markets to competition in 1999, part of a $13.5 million promotional effort.

But New Jersey’s rates were still rigidly structured, and residential suppliers stayed away. The BPU’s website was abandoned in 2003 and the domain name was taken over by a Spanish pornography site, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Only in the last year have alternative suppliers planted their flags in New Jersey’s residential markets. As of November, 98,700 customers out of New Jersey’s 3.3 million households had switched to alternative suppliers, up from a mere 213 households in 2009.

By comparison, Peco Energy Co. says 96,000 of its residential customers have switched suppliers, most in the two weeks since rate caps were lifted Jan. 1.

The BPU provides the names of suppliers on its website, but the list appears to be out of date. South Jersey Energy Co. is listed as a residential electrical supplier even though it has been “out of residential for a number of years,” according to Joanne Brigandi, a company spokeswoman.

And in some cases, it is difficult for New Jersey customers to locate even the most basic information from which they can make an informed choice.

PSE&G’s basic-generation service – the price to compare – is listed as 11.5 cents per kilowatt-hour on some alternative suppliers’ websites.

PSE&G spokeswoman Karen A. Johnson confirmed Friday that the utility’s price to compare is 11.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Several suppliers are offering discounts below either price. They are listed above.

Our Perspective:

Hutchinson Business Solutions has been providing deregulated energy management solutions to our business clients for over 10years. Although we currently do not serve the residential markets in deregulated states, I found it prudent to offer some insight to the many residential clients now seeking savings in the deregulated electric market.

Since NewJersey just introduced the opportunity to their residents in the spring of 2010 and Pennsylvania in January 2011, many people have jumped on the band wagon selling electric. 

We get several calls daily from 0ur clients asking questions about saving for their home electric. The first thing that I caution them is to make sure the price that is being presnted is fully loaded and contains all the factors that are included to make a cost to compare analysis. Does it include a 7% loss allowance (to deliver 100 kw of electric you must send 107 kw for there is a 7% is line loss in the delivery of the electricity)  and 7% sales tax. These factors are included in the PSEG and AC Electric price to compare.

The second thing we caution clients to look for is a fixed price. Natural gas prices are the lowest they have been in the last 3 to 4 years. Although they have spiked recently due to the winter cold, prices are still very attractive. Thirty % (30%) of the electric generated in the US is made with natural gas. Because of this, natural gas prices serve as a stong indicator used for electric market prices. By choosing a fixed price, you can lock your position for a 1 or 2 year period.

Variable pricing does not provide this opportunity and is therefore a more riskier decision at this time.

Proceed with caution and make sure to get all the facts before choosing a deregulated residential electric provider.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20110116_New_Jersey_consumers_perplexed_by_elecric-power_options.html?viewAll=y#ixzz1BFl4JZXL
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

By Brian McCullough; Journal Register News Service

The right to choose isn’t much good if it’s not used. That’s the message of Sonny Popowsky, Pennsylvania’s Consumer Advocate, and the state Public Utility Commission, who are urging electric users in the region to make an informed decision on whether they want to continue to receive electricity generated by PECO.

“What I hope is that people decide,” Popowsky said. “My hope is that people across Pennsylvania will know they have a choice and take the time to make it.”

Effective Jan. 1, consumers in southeast Pennsylvania can choose the company that generates their electricity. The choice comes as electric rate caps imposed on PECO are ending.

The caps are coming off four utilities in Pennsylvania, with PECO having the largest number of affected customers. They are the last four electric utilities in the state that had rate caps in effect.

Throughout much of last year, there were dire predictions of electric rates skyrocketing 30, 40 or 50 percent when the rate caps expired.

Now, however, with the recession and an increase in the supply of natural gas used by power generating stations, the increases are much more modest.

PECO is saying its rates for residential customers will increase 5 percent in January while rates for large industrial businesses will go up 7 percent. Small businesses — those that use less than 500 kilowatt hours per month — will actually see a decrease in PECO rates of about 5 percent, spokeswoman Cathy Engel said.

The key number for PECO residential customers to look at when considering a change is 9.92 cents, which is PECO’s price per kilowatt hour heading into the new year.

Residents are urged to visit the website established by the PUC specifically for the switch, www.PaPowerSwitch.com, to see what new suppliers have entered their area. Residents can shop by entering their ZIP codes. Frequently asked questions on picking an electricity supplier/

In the 19067 Yardley-Morrisville ZIP code, for instance, 17 suppliers are registered to sell electricity — all but one of which come in below PECO’s default price.

Generation suppliers registered in the Yardley area, for instance, are: BlueStar Energy, Champion Energy Services, Commerce Energy Inc., Con Ed Solutions, Direct Energy, Dominion Energy Solutions, Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania, Energy Plus Holdings, Gateway Energy Services Corp., North American Power, Palmco Power Pa. LLC, Public Power LLC, Respond Power LLC, Spark Energy LP, Stream Energy Pennsylvania LLC, Verde Energy USA Inc., Viridian Energy and Washington Gas Energy Services.

Three of the providers — Blue Star, Commerce and the Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania — advertise renewable energy.

According to the website, a residential customer using 700 kilowatt hours of electricity a month from PECO pays $69.30 a month. The lowest price listed on the Web site Monday came from Stream Energy, with a variable rate of 7.43 cents per kilowatt hour for a monthly bill of $52.01. The highest came from Commerce Energy, the renewable energy provider, with an average listed monthly bill of $77.35.

No Blacklist

One of the obstacles consumer advocates and regulators face in getting consumers to make the switch is a fear that doing so will mean a drop in service when there are outages or other service issues, said Rob Powelson, the former head of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry and now a PUC commissioner.

What consumers are choosing is the company that will generate the electricity. PECO will continue to deliver it and will continue to respond to emergencies with no regard to a customer’s selected generator, he and Engel noted.

PECO also will continue to deliver the bills to all electric customers in the region. The only difference will be on the line that lists the generator.

PECO will be the default provider of electricity to consumers in their region who do not shop.

“PECO does not care where you get your energy generation from,” said Powelson, a Kennett Square-area resident, noting that the Philadelphia-based utility is required to shop on the open market itself for the lowest prices. “PECO will still come out when there’s a storm.

“I hear people say all the time they’re going to be put on a blacklist if they switch,” Powelson said. “I can’t stress this enough: Customers are not going to offend PECO by picking another generation supplier.”

Engel agreed.

“It has no impact on us what supplier they choose,” the spokeswoman said. “We are an energy delivery company.”

She does urge consumers to keep in mind a few things as they shop, however, such as whether the prices being quoted are fixed or variable, and whether there are cancellation fees.

The Numbers

According to the PaPowerSwitch.com Web site, 659,187 electric customers across Pennsylvania have switched generation suppliers in recent years.

Since the rate caps expired in the PPL territory in central Pennsylvania a year ago, 400,000 of the 1.8 million PPL customers have switched, said PUC spokeswoman Denise McCracken. At that time, consumers were looking at rate increases of 30 percent, giving them more motivation to shop, she noted.

The changeover has been much slower in PECO’s territory to date, with a little more than 2,000 residential customers, or 0.2 percent, changing providers. That figure is probably attributable to the smaller increase in prices electric customers face this year, she said.

Overall, 20,860 PECO customers, or 1.3 percent of its total base, have switched, the bulk of which are businesses that use more electricity and are more affected by higher rates.

Powelson believes the pace of switching will pick up in the first quarter of next year, when the PUC “is optimistic” that 20 percent to 25 percent of PECO customers will choose to switch.

“I’d love to see 50 percent to 100 percent,” Powelson said. “Every year you choose your health care plan, you choose your cell phone provider, you choose your cable provider.

“Now, this is another choice you have.”

Whatever provider people choose, Powelson hopes they take advantage of PECO’s Smart Ideas program, which offers incentives to consumers to make their homes more energy efficient. Powelson said he has used it himself to reduce his energy bill.

“Customers now have options to save money on energy usage,” he said.

Who Hit the Switch?

December 9, 2010

We have been lucky over the pas t few years. We have been blessed with warmer than usual winter temperatures. I know; last year we had some major snowstorms but overall the winter temperatures have been warmer.

Over the last year we have seen the natural gas market prices react to these warmer temperatures. Storage numbers have been at a 5-year high and prices have continued to drop to their lowest sustaining level in the last 3 to 4 years.

Speaking with many energy analysts, they feel we may have hit the bottom and prices will slowly start inching up.

Inching up may be an understatement? Just in the last week, prices jumped over 10%. Hit with the sudden cold front the market took off.

The cost of buying natural gas on the open market is made up of 2 factors. Nymex (gas out of the ground to the banks of Louisiana) and Basis (the transportation cost for getting natural gas delivered to your local provider). These 2 factors combined give us the Index. This is the total wholesale cost to buy natural gas on the open market.

The last couple of weeks have seen the market in a holding pattern. Nymex prices were under $4.00 a decatherm ($.40 cents a therm) and it was a wait and see scenario. Should we have seen continued mild temperatures the market would have remained stable.

With the sudden switch to cold temperatures and forecast for a continued cold snap; the market did not inch up but leapt. Nymex prices open today, as of this writing, at $4.61 a decatherm. Measure this against the low opening on 10/25/10 of $3.29 a decatherm.

Prices are still low compared to where they were 2 to 3 years ago. In 2008, natural gas prices hit a high of $14 to $16 a decatherm ($1.40 to $1.60 a therm). Just last year (2009) we were looking at the average price to compare of around $10.00 a decathem ($1.00 a therm). We are now seeing fixed price positions in the low to mid $6.00 a decatherm range.

Each account is unique and priced individually, for pricing is based on demand factors. Many clients are seasonal clients and their biggest usage comes from heating their locations during the winter. Their natural gas prices would be higher than a client having a more even demand factor, for they use natural gas throughout the year (a restaurant would be a good example).

Some clients have benefited by floating the market, taking advantage of the falling prices over the last couple of years. Now may be the time to begin a discussion and review your options. There is more upside risk (chance of prices raising higher) than there is downside risk (market prices have been at a 4 year low).

You can lock the price going forward for a 1 or 2-year period, which will provide an overall savings from the average prices you have been paying over the last year or at the minimum, lock the winter month which will provide price certainty.

Should you feel this is only a temporary rise in market prices, you may choose to float the market and look for a continued flatness in pricing.

One other option to consider, should the float scenario be of interest, would be to lock the basis (transportation cost) and continue to float the nymex. Several of our clients have found success with this option in the past. This position is normally taken when they see the Nymex as being too high and feel the market will be dropping over time. In the past, if we saw basis price fall under $2.00 this was considered to be a good deal. The current basis prices are well under $2.00.

Should you like to know more about your deregulated gas options email george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

The Little Things

November 30, 2010

I was driving down the Garden State Parkway a couple of weeks ago and I was enjoying the full color spectrum of the fall trees. Some of the trees were beginning to lose leaves but looking on a mile or so ahead, it presented a beautiful view. 

I really love this time of year and how God uses the landscape to paint a perfect picture. 

Turning onto the Atlantic City Expressway, I started to notice that the picture was fading. No longer could I see the brilliant colors ahead, for the trees were almost bare once I got to mile marker 13.5. 

I was a little surprised, for you would think that the fall splendor is universal in the area? 

I didn’t realize that there exist little pockets; that have their own hours to shine. 

We all must exist on our own timeline! 

What made mile marker 13.5 the breakpoint? 

That started me thinking. All the little things we just take for granted on a daily basis. 

What made me stop and take notice of the difference? 

Why? 

Because that is part of my character and that is what we do here at HBS. 

We look at the little things, the cost that most companies just take for granted. 

Most of our items are just budgeted for. 

What did we pay last year and how much do you think it may go up? 

     Electric…. Natural Gas…. Voice… Data…. Unemployment Taxes…. Sales Tax 

Need I say more? 

We call these costs the unsung heroes! 

These are daily cost of doing business that most companies tend to ignore. 

We find many people are resistant to change but: 

The only thing constant in life is change!  

Each client is unique. 

Each opportunity opens the door to defining what the client is currently doing; 

Exploring various options and 

Providing solutions, designed to increase efficiency and savings. 

We understand that the current economic climate has been difficult for many businesses. 

HBS provides: 

Smart Solutions for Smart Business

Many times, it is the little things that provide the best opportunities. 

Would you like to know more? Email george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230.

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Finally

November 23, 2010

It’s been a long wait.

It has been well publicized, that in January 2011, PECO will lift the rate caps on electric prices and will be entering the deregulated market.

Just what does this mean for PECO customers?

As part of deregulation, local providers will no longer own their own power plants to generate electric. Their job is to deliver electricity to the end user, the client.

They are able to sell the supply, which they buy through an auction process, to anyone who chooses to stay with the local provider at a default price, which could be higher.

PECO is actually encouraging larger users to shop their rates with 3rd party providers. 

If your business is currently spending a minimum of $5000 a month on electricity, Hutchinson Business Solutions will now be able to help you buy your electric supply from a 3rd party supplier.

The new rates PECO will be proposing as of Jan 2011 will be tiered for certain rate classes. For certain customers the first tier is for the first 80 hours of usage per month, and is the highest rate. This can range from $0.16 cent per kwh to $0.17 cents per kwh.

The prices will be scaled down as your usages progress. The more electric you use, the more the price goes down.

PECO is only publishing these rates for 90 days. That means that as of April 1st, new prices will appear based on such potential factors as:

                                                  – How PECO needs to true-up their costs

                                                  – Current market values at that time.

 Another factor being added into the PECO price to compare is RMR (Reliability Must Run). This is a pass thru cost from the local provider for system reliability.

This means having the ability to generate electric when it is needed. Although this cost has not been defined, it could be in the $0.001 mil to $0.003 mil ranges (3 mil ie:3 tenths of a penny).

The bottom line, should you choose to stay with PECO, you could be paying higher default rates as of Jan 2011.

Each account is unique, based on their demand and usage patterns. For smaller to midsize accounts; we could see electric supply prices in the $.010 cents per kwh to $.13 cent range as a default price from PECO.

We have been working with clients in the PECO territory this year and have found significant opportunities in the deregulated electric market.

HBS clients are finding savings ranging from 10% to 20% by purchasing electric thru deregulated 3rd party providers.

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS) has been providing independent, deregulated energy solutions for over 10 years.

There is no upfront fee.

Our strategic partnerships allow us to represent all the major providers currently selling energy in deregulated states.

Should you like to know more about this topic, email george@hbsadvantage.com

or call 856-857-1230 

Visit s on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Where’s The Bottom

November 12, 2010

Natural gas prices continue being very competitive. 

How low will they go? 

Hurricane season does not officially end until November 30th, however it is rare to see a tropical storm in the Gulf this late in the season. The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season was very active this year, with 19 named storms. The last time I looked we were up to T for Toma. 

Here we are heading into the end of November and natural gas nymex prices are still under $4.00. 

Where is the bottom? 

Without a crystal ball, this ends up being a very difficult question to answer. 

When you look at the overall picture not much has changed, Storage levels are still at a 5-year high and holding. It has been like that for several years now.

 We do have the Marcellus gas in Western PA. Some geologists estimate that it could yield enough gas to supply the entire East Coast for 50 years.

 That must prove to be the major factor. It is the old supply demand scenario?

The bottom line states, that if your business is currently spending a minimum of $3000 a month and you are still with the local provider, you should be looking at buying natural gas from a 3rd party provider in the deregulated market.

Did you know that if you are a PSEG customer, you ended up paying 15% higher for natural gas over the last year?

How much savings would that have equated for your company?

With natural gas prices being so low we have also seen this translate into very competitive deregulated electric prices. We recently signed a client the other day and they will be saving 30% on their electric supply cost for the next 2 years.

I know that savings is a parity of how much you spend but let me ask again.

How much savings would that have equated for your company?

If you are currently spending over $3000 a month on electric and your company is still with the local provider, you should be looking at buying electric from a 3rd party provider in the deregulated market.

To find out more about this opportunity email george@hbsadvantage.com or feel free to call 856-857-1230.

By Andrew Maykuth The Philadelphia Inquirer

Oct. 15– Peco Energy Co. said Thursday that its overall residential electric rate would increase only about 5 percent Jan. 1, putting to rest fears that deregulation would lead to a gigantic boost in the cost of power.

And for customers willing to shop around in a rapidly emerging competitive market, their bills may actually go down on New Year’s Day.

In a filing Thursday with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Peco unveiled its long-awaited default rate for residential generation service, the “price to compare” to alternative energy suppliers.

For residential customers, that price will be 9.92 cents per kilowatt-hour — a number power discounters should be able to beat.

The announcement is likely to trigger a lively fight among alternative suppliers to sign up households, which make up most of Peco’s 1.6 million customers. A residential customer typically consumes about 700 kilowatt-hours a month.

The competition for large commercial and industrial customers is already fierce.

Several suppliers, large and small, said they were planning to offer discounts but were awaiting the company’s announcement to set up their own offers. Other “green” marketers are also likely to jump into the fray, offering renewable-energy deals.

Judging from the experience of neighboring utilities that have already deregulated, consumers should expect a marketing blitz (direct mail, telemarketing, door-to-door salespeople) to crank up in the coming months.

Consumer advocates caution Peco customers to pay close attention to the offers — whether the rates are fixed or variable, and if they contain cancellation fees.

Customers are under no obligation to switch suppliers. The PUC requires Peco to supply power at the default rate to customers who stay with the utility.

Indeed, in areas of Pennsylvania where markets have already opened up, a majority of customers stayed with the traditional utility because the potential savings — perhaps only $10 a month — were not enough motive to switch.

No matter which company sells the electricity, Peco still will serve every customer because it owns the power-distribution system. Peco makes money from a regulated distribution fee, not from generating the power itself.

The restructuring is the result of Pennsylvania’s Electric Choice Act of 1996, which forced traditional utilities to divest their power plants and become merely regulated distributors of electricity over their wires. The law’s aim was to stimulate competition and suppress prices.

The law allowed Peco’s rates to remain capped through 2010 to allow the utility to recover its investments in power plants through a “transition charge.” For most of those years, the capped rates were so low alternative suppliers could not compete.

But with the caps off at the end of this year, the transition charge disappears and third-party suppliers are in a stronger position to compete.

Peco set its default generation rate after signing contracts with power generators that competed in a series of auctions over the last year.

On Thursday, Peco announced the prices to compare for a range of customer classes.

Residential customers who heat with electricity will pay 9.74 cents for the first 600 kilowatt-hours each month, then the price drops to 5.35 cents.

For small commercial customers, the price to compare is 9.47 cents per kilowatt-hour. For medium-size commercial customers, it is 9.37 cents and 9.59 cents for large customers.

All the prices to compare include only charges for generation, long-distance transmission, and the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, a fee that reflects the cost for the renewable power the state requires utilities to buy.

Peco’s distribution charge — which covers the cost to maintain wires and transformers, customer service, and Peco’s profit — varies among customer classes.

Cathy Engel, a spokeswoman for the utility, said prices for some customers would actually go down in January, even if they did not switch. Small commercial customers will see a 5 percent decrease.

But large customers would pay 7 percent more if they stayed with Peco’s default rate. Many have already signed up with alternative suppliers.

One new wrinkle: Electric rates now will adjust slightly each quarter to reflect changes in the wholesale market, much as rates for natural gas change seasonally.

Alternative suppliers are likely to offer fixed-rate plans to appeal to customers who want price stability. Those plans guarantee no price increases over the term of the contract.

Even though alternative suppliers may offer attractive discounts, experts say that residential customers tend to resist change.

For example, PPL Electric Utilities Corp., the Allentown company that serves much of eastern Pennsylvania, says that even though alternative suppliers offered discounts up to 15 percent, two-thirds of its residential customers stayed with PPL after rate caps were lifted in January.

PPL’s price-to-compare this year was 10.4 cents. Its price for next year is expected to fall to about 9.4 cents.

But even in that market, alternative suppliers are still offering rates below 9 cents a kilowatt-hour. That suggests the marketers in Peco’s territory are likely to undercut its 9.92-cent rate.

“Even if it’s a half-cent savings, that’s still $50 to $60 a year in savings,” said Jennifer Kocher, a PUC spokeswoman.

Power Shopping

Peco responds to customer questions at http://www.pecoanswers.com

Pa.’s PUC offers a primer for understanding your Peco bill at http://go.philly.com/pecobill

Pa.’s PUC explains electrical choice, lists alternative suppliers at http://www.papowerswitch.com