Most people I talk to

 

Admit to budgeting by….

 

 

How much did we spend last year?

 

 

How do you know what you spent last year;

 

Was the correct amount?

 

 

It may be a comfort level amount

 

 

In today’s growing market

 

It is good to look at all your costs…

 

 

Do not take what you paid last year

 

As the cost of doing business.

 

 

 

Just think…

 

The iphone was invented 9 years ago

 

Look how it has revolutionized how we do business

 

 

Businesses were once paying over $1000 a month for T1’s

 

You can now get 10 times the speed for a fraction of the cost

 

 

Cloud technology is transforming business…

 

 

Natural gas prices were once over $10 a dekatherm

 

We now have a new floor and….

 

Companies are saving thousands of $$$

 

In the deregulated gas and electric market

 

 

 

Did you know that NJ and PA have over a 12% error rate

 

In the payment of unemployment claims

 

The state is taking money out of your account

 

Without asking.

 

 

 

When property values went down

 

How come we continued to pay the same property taxes?

 

 

 

Is sales tax really the cost of doing business…

 

What is this real property exemption?

 

 

 

These are questions we all should be asking ourselves…

 

 

These are questions we deal with…

 

Everyday

 

 

 

 

Don’t just settle and accept that

 

What we are currently paying

 

Is the cost of doing business…

 

 

 

At HBS

 

We validate what you are currently paying and

 

Look for opportunities to save you money

 

 

We are experts in providing smart solutions

 

That will grow your bottom line.

For Our Own Deficit

May 13, 2011

Well……. we did avoid a government shutdown.

Thanks to some last minute wrangling down and DC,

the US economy lives on…..

limping until the end of September 2011.

All eyes now have turned to the vote on raising the debt ceiling.

Officially, the government states we should pass the debt limit sometime in early to mid-May.

What would happen if the Congress votes not to raise the debt ceiling?

Steps can be taken at that time to start shuffling who and what to pay…..

That should buy us another month.

Reports are that if the debt ceiling is not raised by the beginning of July,

The US will go into default.

What would happen should the US go into default?

  • The United States would default on its bond payments and would see its credit rating fall dramatically
  • Bondholders’ would be unable to receive interest payments
  • Investors would have a difficult time trusting the United States to honor its obligations and demand for long term United States debt would fall.
  • Senior citizen would not receive their Social Security checks
    • loss of these dollars would likely further hurt domestic consumption in the United States and place an undue strain on the budgets of senior citizens
  • A default will lead to increased risks for owning U.S. bonds.
    • Increased risks equal higher rates
    • Business loan borrowers and individuals looking for personal loans would see their borrowing costs rise astronomically
    • home or auto loan rates will be drastically higher, since access to credit would be at a premium

           

That’s just a snap shot of what to expect.

We made it thru the Great Recession.

Many experts feel this would throw the US into another Great Depression.

.

Not much time to dawdle!!!

Several weeks ago….

Standard and Poors, for the first time lowered its long term outlook for the federal government’s fiscal health……

From stable

To negative……..

They warned of serious consequences

If the lawmakers fail to reach a deal to control the massive federal deficit

So when is Congress expected to start tackling this issue?

It is reported they will start meeting on this issue sometime in June.

Congress just passed the 2011 budget!!!!

Heck, we still have 5 months left until the 2011 fiscal year is over.

Yet they will resolve the debt issue in 30 days?

America is a great country

No matter what is said

There is no place better to live

Everyone would love to enjoy

The freedoms we take for granted.

The debt ceiling and the deficit…….

Should not be a political issue

It is not going to go away

What are we doing to provide a secure future for the next generation?

We must carefully look at all the programs

Analyze what works

And put a true dollar value on sustainability

We are at a fork in the road

And the decisions we make

Will determine what path we go down

By Andrew Maykuth

Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted Jan. 13, 2011

A coalition of electrical-power interests is encouraging New Jersey Gov. Christie to veto a controversial bill that would subsidize development of a Gloucester County power plant that they say would unsettle the region’s energy markets.

The bill’s sponsors said the legislation approved Tuesday by the New Jersey Legislature would lower energy rates. But opponents, including power generators such as Exelon Corp. and large industrial consumers, call it an anticompetitive sweetheart deal that will cost consumers in the long run.

“We cannot afford an energy surcharge to guarantee billions of dollars of revenue to a few select developers,” said George M. Waidelich, vice president of energy operations for Safeway Inc., which says it now spends about $2 million a year on electricity for its five Genuardi’s stores in South Jersey.

The measure would provide a guaranteed long-term income for developers of several large power plants. The legislation was known as the “LS Power Bill” because its initial aim was to provide guarantees for LS Power Development L.L.C. to build a giant natural-gas power plant in West Deptford, the hometown of state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester).

Tom Hoatson, director of regulatory affairs for LS Power, said the guarantees were necessary to obtain financing to construct the 640-megawatt plant along the Delaware River, which would cost from $800 million to $1 billion.

Hoatson said the bill would provide the New Brunswick company “an opportunity to compete with other generators.” The plant would employ up to 500 people to build and about 25 people to operate.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said the bill was under review. Legislative sources said the governor was expected to sign it because his office was consulted in drafting amendments that addressed some of the administration’s concerns.

In the arcane world of wholesale electrical markets, the New Jersey bill has attracted intense attention because its opponents say it would turn back the clock on years of efforts to open electrical-power markets to more competition.

But supporters of the legislation say those markets, which are managed by regional power-grid operator PJM Interconnection Inc., have failed to lower prices for N.J. residents.

And they say that many of the interests opposed to the N.J. legislation are incumbent power generators like Exelon Corp. and Public Service Enterprise Group of Newark, which stand to gain by keeping new power generators out of the market.

“I don’t think it’s a system that encourages building new generation to keep prices down,” said Stefanie Brand, the New Jersey Rate Counsel, the state’s consumer advocate.

“The market is not a true free market,” she said. “It’s a constructed market that was created by PJM, and as far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t work.”

N.J. officials complain that the Garden State has suffered more than its western neighbors because it has paid up to $1.9 billion a year in extra capacity and congestion charges that PJM imposes on power transmitted into the state.

Lee A. Solomon, a Christie appointee who is president of the N.J. Board of Public Utilities, told PJM in December that “it is incumbent upon New Jersey to promote new generation in locations where it is needed the most to ensure reliability and to control costs.”

Sweeney, whose West Deptford hometown would host the LS plant, introduced the legislation that would allow the board to sign long-term contracts with several power generators to provide up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity at guaranteed rates. If market rates fall below the threshold, N.J. ratepayers would pick up the tab.

“Consumers have been paying inflated capacity charges,” said Derek Roseman, Sweeney’s spokesman. “This is a chance to reverse that. How can that not be a good thing for consumers?”

The Compete Coalition, a Washington lobbying group that promotes open electrical markets, has appealed to Christie’s antitax sentiments by branding the bill the “Energy Tax of 2011.”

John E. Shelk, president of the Electric Power Supply Association, testified in December that the bill would “artificially depress” rates in the short term, but would discourage other generators from investing in the future.

Shelk said the bill likely would be challenged because it would interfere with federally sanctioned wholesale power markets.

Public Service Enterprise Group, the politically powerful Newark energy company that operates the PSE&G utility, announced its opposition to the measure last week.

Anne Hoskins, the company’s senior vice president for public affairs, said the state’s intervention in the past requiring utilities to enter into long-term supply contracts had “disastrous results.”

In the next six years, PSE&G will pay $1 billion for the remaining costs of the long-term contracts, she said. And Atlantic City Electric recently received approval to raise its customers’ bills 5 percent to recover the costs of its out-of-market contracts.

“Subsidies are a slippery slope,” she said, “and will drive away other nonsubsidized private investment in New Jersey.”


As reported in Northeast Energy update by Direct Energy

PECO Completes Second of Four Electricity Purchases for 2011
In the second of four purchases for the electricity to serve customers beginning in January 2011, moderate wholesale market conditions resulted in lower electricity prices compared to the company’s last procurement in June 2009. 

The September 2009 purchases resulted in a retail energy price of 9.16 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for PECO’s residential customers.  When combined, the June and September purchases result in a retail price of 9.41 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for PECO’s residential customers—or about a 4 percent increase compared to current prices. 

For the first time, PECO also purchased electricity for 2011 for its small and mid-sized commercial customers.  This recent purchase resulted in a retail price of 9.79 cents per kWh, about the same as current prices for these customer classes.

Because energy prices fluctuate, PECO is buying the electricity needed in 2011 at four different times in an effort to reduce the risk of purchasing electricity all at once when market prices could be high.  PECO will complete the remaining two purchases in June 2010 and September 2010.  The results of all four purchases will determine the price in which PECO’s customers will pay for electricity beginning Jan. 1, 2011 when rate caps expire. 

PECO is estimating an overall increase of 10–15 percent for customers once all procurements have been made.

To find out more information your electric cost beginning in Jan 2011, email george@hbsadvantage.com

Peco Deregulation

May 24, 2010

As reported by Electricitywatchdog.org

Lower My PECO BillMay 10, 2010

PECO is trying to prepare their customers for increases in their electric rates in 2011 by unleashing multiple programs.  Recently, the PA Public Utilities Commission announced that Pennsylvania utility companies will be increasing the rates for electricity delivery service in 2011.  In addition, price caps will be expiring in 2011 in the PECO area – as well as Met-Ed, Penn Electric, and West Penn – which are expected to increase default generation rates by as much as 20%.

PECO is rolling out numerous programs to help customers cope with increases including the PECO Smart Home E-Audit, Smart Lighting Discounts, Smart Home Rebates, and Smart Appliance Recycling.  Alot of smart programs, but probably the smartest way consumers will be able to reduce their electricity bill is by shopping for an alternative supplier that will offer a reduced rate versus the PECO price to compare default rates. 

PECO will continue to deliver power to those customers who they are currently delivering to as well as continue to send invoices out.    The decision to choose an alternative electric genaration company will simply be a choice to pay less.  We will be providing contact information and rates for alternative providers as we get closer to 2011.

Our Perspective:

The caps will be lifted on electric prices in Peco territory as of Jan 2011. This will present many opportunities for savings for larger users in the dergulated energy market.

Currently, clients in the PPL terrirory are finding savings of about 2 cents per kwh. We are finding the price to compare in PPL territory to be about $.105 cents per kwh. Depending on their annual usages, we have been able to find opportunities to lock the electric supply prices in the low to mid $.08 cent per kwh area.

We are currently speaking with several clients in the Peco territory and have told them to wait for Peco to release their price to compare for 2011. This will help us to use this as a basis of the opportunity presented.  Sources have told us that this information will be available by the end of May or early June 2010.

Should you like to know more about opportunities for savings in the Peco electric deregulation market email george@hbsadvantage.com

Or visit us in the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Reign in Your Telecom Spend

February 6, 2010

Telecom spending is in on the rise, which raises a critical question: are you in control? For most companies, the answer is no. Today’s changing competitive landscape and increased telecom cost management pressures mean that even the smartest companies must examine their spending to avoid overpaying millions of dollars each year in billing errors, unused services and vendor noncompliance.

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS)  give efficiency and visibility to the purchasing, billing and contracting process, ensuring you never overpay for telecom and take full advantage of every available telecom cost reduction opportunity. While billing, contracts and rate structures can be overwhelming for even the most experienced,  for over 10 years HBS’s visibility has given us the insight needed to give you telecom cost control, while increasing service levels from your vendors.

Whether you need guidance justifying a purchase or full-scale telecom auditing, HBS ensure you’re always paying fair market value and maintaining vendor relationships that are compliant with your contractual engagements.

Our clients are finding savings from 10% to 40%. Should you like to know more about your opportunity for savings and efficiencies email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

By REBECCA SMITH  as reported in Wall Street Journal

Slack demand for electricity across the U.S. is leading to some of the sharpest reductions in power prices in recent years, offering a break for consumers and businesses who just a year ago were getting crunched by massive electricity bills.

On Friday, the nation’s largest wholesale power market serving parts of 13 states east of the Rockies is expected to report that electricity demand fell 4.4% in the first half of the year. That helped to push down spot market prices by 40% during the first half of this year.

[Electricity Prices Plummet]

Wholesale electricity — power furnished to utilities and other big energy users — cost an average of $40 a megawatt hour in the region, down from $66.40 a year earlier. The price declines in this market, which extends from Delaware to Michigan, come on top of a 2.7% drop in energy use in 2008 over 2007.

The falloff in demand represents a reversal of what has been one of the steadiest trends in business. For decades, the utility sector could rely on a gradual increase in electricity demand. In 45 of the past 58 years, year-over-year growth exceeded 2%. In fact, there only have been five years since 1950 in which electricity demand has dropped in absolute terms.

But this year is shaping up to have the sharpest falloff in more than half a century, and coming on top of declines in 2008, could be the first period of consecutive annual declines since at least 1950.

Dramatic price reductions don’t immediately mean lower power bills for all consumers. That’s because many customers pay prices based on long-term contracts. But lower prices will have a softening effect over time.

In California and Texas, a combination of cheap natural gas and lower industrial demand is putting pressure on prices.

In the Houston pricing zone, which has many power-gobbling refineries and chemical plants, the spot market price was $61.82 in June, versus $129.48 a megawatt hour a year earlier. Power demand in Texas is down 3.2% so far this year due to business contraction and reductions in employment which are causing many households to economize.

Just a year ago, many businesses and residential customers were reeling from electricity prices on the spot market that had spiked to historic highs, driven by high fuel prices and hot summer weather. Some businesses curtailed their operations because electricity and natural gas were too pricey.

[Electricity Prices Plummet]

But the flagging economy has resulted in a slump in demand that has jolted some energy markets. American Electric Power Co. and Southern Co., for example, both reported double-digit drops in industrial electricity use for the past quarter.

Meanwhile, natural gas, which strongly influences electricity prices, has fallen below $4 per million BTUs, or British thermal units. That’s down from $12 at last year’s peak.

For many businesses, the cost of electricity represents one of the few bright spots in a dismal economy. Andy Morgan, president of Pickard China Inc. in Antioch, Ill., which makes fine china, figures his electricity cost is down 30% to 40%.

Last year, when everything was spiking, he looked at different options — including negotiating a fixed-price contract for energy with a supplier. He says he held off and now he’s happy he did.

“We’ve definitely reaped savings,” says Mr. Morgan, adding that “especially in a down economy, you’ll take whatever you can get. That’s one of the few blessings during this storm.”

Slowdowns at major industrial companies such as Alcoa Inc. help account for the decline in electricity usage this year. The recession and drop in consumer demand for products that contain aluminum has caused the company to idle 20% of its smelting capacity world-wide this year.

In the U.S. the company has cut production at smelters, which are traditionally big energy users, in New York, Tennessee and Texas. Kevin Lowery, a company spokesman, said he did not believe that Alcoa has saved much money thus far because the company primarily purchases electricity through 25- to 35-year contracts.

Steel Dynamics Inc. is benefiting from lower pricing. The company operates five steel mills, with four purchasing electricity at spot market prices in Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia. The benefit, though, is smaller than it might be because the steelmaker is producing less steel this year.

“We’re producing fewer tons, but every ton we produce we seek to minimize the costs and electricity is one of those,” said Fred Warner, a company spokesman. Its mills are running at 50% capacity this year, down from 85% capacity last year.

Some wonder whether the deregulated markets of the Eastern U.S., Midwest, Texas and California will be especially hard hit if demand comes roaring back. That’s because utilities in these markets no longer are required to build new resources. It’s left up to the power generators to determine when the market conditions are ripe.

“There’s more supply than demand and prices are really low so it doesn’t make sense to build anything,” says John Shelk, president of the Electric Power Supply Association in Washington, D.C., a group that represents power generators.

Many electricity markets throughout the country have implemented demand reduction programs that give consumers a further incentive to reduce power use. The 13-state PJM Interconnection market has been one of the most aggressive — and has seen one of the steepest price drops.

A new report from the region’s official market monitor found a strong correlation between falling prices and an increase in demand-reduction programs. In the PJM market, energy users can collect money through an auction process for pledging to cut energy use in future periods.

In May, PJM conducted an auction to ensure it will have the resources it believes it will need in 2012-13. About 6% of the winning bids came from those who pledged to cut energy use by a total of 8,000 megawatts in that future period.

Our Perspective:

For those companies faced ith rising utility prices over the past 4 years, there is finally relief in the deregulated market. Prices have fallen due to the decrease in demand.

If you look at you electric bill over the past 12 months you will see that your price to compare for electric supply was most likely over .12 cents per kWh. Current market rates will allow you to lock you supply price in the dregulated market somewhere in the .10+ cent per kWh area. This could provide a 11/2 to 2 cents per kwh savings over the next year or two.

Our clients are finding substantial savings which fall to the bottomline.

Would you like to know more? Give us a call 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com . Contact us for a free evaluation You will be surprised by the savings it will provide.

—Timothy Aeppel, Sharon Terlep and Kris Maher contributed to this article.

Come to think of it

June 16, 2009

Has the recent turndown in the economy had an effect on your business?

What steps have you taken to tighten the belt?

Did you reduce the workforce? 

Did you reduce or drop employee benefits? 

In difficult times you may find you have to think outside the box. Reducing the workforce and employee benefits are obvious choices. 

There are diamonds in the rough out there! 

Where you ask? If you only knew!

 Most companies budget for expenses and never really drill down to see if there are opportunities for savings.

 Deregulated Energy: Natural Gas and Electric

 Is your company paying more than $5000 a month on natural gas or electric for your building! 

The deregulated Gas and electric market is the lowest it has been in the last 3 to 4 years. 

Our clients are saving from 15% to 30% on natural gas. 

 

Just in the last week, we saved a client over $45,000 by locking in their Natural gas for the next 12 months.

 

Our electric clients are saving from 6% to 15%

 

Just last week, a client saved over $94,000 by locking in their electric for the next 12 months.

 

How much do you think your company may qualify to save?

The local provider buys gas and electric in the wholesale marker and sells it to you retail.

We put our clients in the wholesale position.

 The savings is yours and falls to the bottom line!

 Voice and Data:

Here is the real sleeper. Many companies feel they wear a safety blanket for they have Verizon or ATT as their provider.

You are paying a premium for that blanket!

Deregulation allows third party providers to use the Verizon / ATT platform and deliver voice to their clients at a discount.

 Our clients are saving from 15% to 40% on their monthly Voice and Data Billing. 

What is 25% of your bill?

 Come to think of it, we haven’t looked at these costs recently?

 Call Hutchinson Business Solutions 856-857-1230. There is no fee for our services!

 Or you can email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Let the savings begin!!!!!

Natural Gas Market

May 30, 2009

Energy Business Reports Logo

Apr 30, 2009

As was the case with other industries that have been deregulated, natural gas deregulation has resulted in competition which helps lower the cost of natural gas and increase customer choices.

Deregulation is the process of lessening the amount of government restrictions an oversight applied to private companies. The natural gas industry has been gradually deregulated over the past ten years.

Before deregulation, utilities charged their customers for all the necessary steps to get the natural gas from the gas well to the customer’s home or business. This included purchasing the natural gas, delivering it to the customer, measuring the customer’s use,providing emergency service, and billing the customer.

One effect of deregulation has been that customers may now choose to purchase only part of the full line of services that are offered by the utility. This ability to choose is called
unbundling. The complete package of services has been unbundled so that a customer can choose to separate the gas purchasing transaction from the delivery — or transport — transaction.

Our Perspective:

Natural Gas prices are the lowest they have been in 3 to 4 years. For companies spending more than $3000 a month we are finding 20% to 30% saving over what they have paid over the past year.

One of our new clients signed up today and will see more that $42,000 savings over the next year.

Like to know more? Feel free to contact us. There are no additional fees, your savings fall to the bottom line.

Email george@hbsadvantage.com  or call 856-857-1230

ANGELA CHARLTON | May 28, 2009 05:01 PM EST | AP

PARIS — The top U.S. environment official says it’s time for the United States to shed its energy-wasting image and lead the world race for cleaner power sources instead.

After several years with a relatively low profile under President George W. Bush, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “is back on the job,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told The Associated Press on Thursday during a trip to Paris.

What the EPA does domestically this year will be watched closely overseas. Nations worldwide are working toward a major meeting in Copenhagen in December aimed at producing a new global climate pact. The U.S. position on curbing its own pollution and helping poor countries adapt to global warming is seen as key to any new pact.

Jackson was in Paris for international talks on how rich governments can include global climate concerns in overall development aid.

She dismissed worries that economic downturn was cutting into aid commitments or investment in new energy resources. She said the United States should take the lead on clean energy technology, recession or no.

“We have to get in the race now _ and win it,” she said. “I don’t expect a moving backwards because of recession.”

At climate talks in Paris earlier this week, European environment ministers welcomed greater U.S. commitment to environmental issues under the Obama administration _ but said it still wasn’t aiming high enough in its targets for cutting U.S. emissions.

Jackson said a shift in the American mindset is only beginning.

Talking about energy efficiency and saying companies should pay to pollute _ “that’s a revolutionary message for our country,” she said.

For a long time, she said, “People didn’t even expect the EPA to show up” at events, much less set policies that could be seen as examples for the rest of the world.

“Now it seems like every day we’re rolling back or reconsidering a Bush era policy on clean air,” she said.

She said it was time for the United States to take a more active role in limiting chemical pollutants, after falling behind Europe in that domain.

The U.S. also has lessons to learn from countries such as the Netherlands, she said, after visiting its low-lying, flood-prone lands to study ways cities like her native New Orleans can better manage water.

Our Perspective:

It is good to hear the administration making positive comments about our energy’s future. Alternative energy is a growth business and the correct path for insuring our future energy indepenence.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

Would you like to know more about the financial opportunities that drive this investment. Feel free to contct us.