Advisors Energy Group, LLC
Are you ready for the demise of DEMAND RESPONSE?
Event date:1.1.2016

 

 

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By Paul Levy, PE, CCxA                                                                                       January 4th, 2016

 

The U.S. Supreme Court could issue a ruling that eliminates Economic Demand Response in the PJM, NYISO, New England ISO, Texas ERCOT and other areas.

ARE YOU PREPARED ?

On October 14, 2015, the US Supreme Court aka SCOTUS, heard the arguments in Docket No. 14-840 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission petitioner vs Electric Power Supply Association et. al. There are two major issues in this case. SCOTUS must decide if FERC Order 745 which provides the framework for Economic Demand Response programs is a retail or wholesale pricing matter and depending upon that decision the Court will decide if FERC has the regulatory authority to issue such directives. Secondly, even if FERC has the statutory authority to provide the directives, the Court must decide if the pricing for Demand Response established in FERC Order 745 is acceptable. A decision will be issued by the end-of-June.

 

If the Court rules against FERC, all utilities in each state will develop and issue its own Demand Response tariff whether this be economic or not. How much each utility’s payment would be and how one qualifies is unknown but it is generally believed that the DR programs for Commercial & Industrial customers will be less generous than the formula in FERC Order 745.

Advisors Energy has a solution to increase your capacity payments REGARDLESS of the Court’s decision. If you want to increase your capacity payment earnings, you need to act quickly so your bottom line doesn’t suffer.

Contact Sam Adjangba at sam@advisorsenergy.net or call 732 202-2926 Ext. 2002 or

973 3322678.

 

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC(www.advisorsenergy.com) is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.




 

,  01-01-2016


U.S. Reports Significant Rise in Electricity Costs
Event date:20.2.2015

U.S. Reports Significant Rise in Electricity Costs

The Energy Information Administration said that price increases are the result of the closing of a number of coal plants across the country, because of stricter regulations mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The new regulations placed limits on pollutants, air particles and carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants. Such moves are causing coal plants to be uneconomical to operate.

 

There are two main components that contribute to your electricity bill. The first is the generation of electricity. And the second is the delivery of your electricity, which encompasses transmitting and distributing the electricity you need. Both components can affect your electricity rates and ultimately, your electricity bill will fluctuate to reflect these variables.

 

What this means for your electricity bill:
Energy companies report that they are concerned a winter such as the last one, coupled with plant closings and an increase in demand, could overwhelm the nation's energy supplies.  Rates rose nationwide last year as storms dumped snow on virtually every region in the U.S., leaving supplies short and making deliveries difficult if not impossible in some spots.

The Solution:
Consumers can avoid the rate hikes that are forecasted for this winter and beyond by signing up for a fixed-rate plan offered by an energy supplier.   Consumers will be aware of exactly how much they will be charged on a monthly basis, making planning easier and avoiding the predicted price spikes. Experts say the best time to lock-in a fixed price is in the spring or the fall, when prices tend to drop as demand ebbs.

 

 

 

Read more:  http://www.energybiz.com/article/14/10/us-reports-significant-rise-electricity-costs?utm_source=2014_10_10&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=EB_DAILY&utm_content=426282

 

 

 

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.  http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/samueladjangba-2226270-linked/

,  02-20-2015


Warren Buffet's Energy Company Says Net Metering Should Be Eliminated
Event date:17.12.2014

Warren Buffett’s Energy Company Says Net Metering Should Be ‘Eliminated’

 

Berkshire Hathaway Energy, the holding company owned by famed investor Warren Buffett says Net Metering should be eliminated. 

Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Many states have passed net metering laws.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home's rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.

 

Read more:    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/berkshire-hathaway-skeptical-about-distributed-energy

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com)is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.  http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/samueladjangba-2226270-linked/

,  02-20-2015


5 Smart Grid Predictions for 2020
Event date:13.8.2014

5 smart grid and smart city predictions for 2020

By Christine Hertzog

 

There are a number of prognostications about 2014 smart grid trends and anticipated accomplishments. This article offers a longer and broader view out to 2020, a milestone year for renewable portfolio standards (RPS)in 12 states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington.

How much can change in the six years leading up to 2020? Think about how much changed from 2007 to 2013. In that six-year time frame, the costs of solar panels droppedfrom $3.40/watt to 80 cents/watt, and PV deployments in the U.S. increased from 735 MW to 7200 MW. More than 37 million smart meters were installed in the U.S. Cybersecurity went from an afterthought to a significant concern for utilities as cyberattacks climbed. Water utilities alone have experienced a 60 percent increase in attacks in this time frame. The term "Prius effect" defined how awareness of driving style influences energy consumption. That insight launched scores of companies that wanted to do the same for home energy consumption. Home energy management systemsbecame mainstream offerings from national telecommunications providers instead of customized integrations from niche solution providers. Clearly, much can happen in six years' time.

Here are five predictions about smart grid and smart cities activity occurring by 2020:

1.California hits and exceeds its RPS objective of 33 percent renewable sources of electricity by 2020

This is the most ambitious of all states with this calendar deadline. Another prediction: Other states also meet their RPS objectives.

But here's the twist — a significant portion of solar deployment is attached to the distribution grid, not the transmission grid. The surge in privately owned deployments occurs as innovative business services reduce expensive friction in planning, financing and sourcing solar installations. These distributed generation (DG) deployments obviate the need for expensive transmission grid investments and focus utility money on the historically underinvested low voltage grid. The smart grid's bi-directional flow of electricity takes a big leap forward.

2. Grid resiliency strategies take priority for investor-owned, municipal and rural utilitieshttp://www.greenbiz.com/sites/default/files/inline/smart%20meter.jpgSmart meter (Credit: LeahKat via Shutterstock)

Grid resiliency combines smart grid and grid hardening initiatives — because a hardened grid characterized by centralized generation, long distance transmission and dumb distribution is still a brittle grid. Hardware and software investments have to prove their value in situational awareness by reducing service outages and/or accelerating service recoveries from natural and human-caused disasters. Governmental, commercial and residential interests build microgrids that are capable of delivering a limited degree of building self-sufficiency in energy. "Graceful degradation" becomes the new buzzword phrase.

3. As utilities consider grid hardening, cities redefine what being a smart city really means

Smart cities aren't smart if their critical infrastructure relies on fragile transmission or distribution grids. Resiliency planninglooms large for smaller municipalities and regional governmental agencies. Utility line workers and pipeline workers are recognized as first responders and utilities play larger roles in local and regional disaster response/recovery planning exercises — whether the disaster is catastrophic weather or the grid is the target of a cyberattack. Critical infrastructure such as police, fire and medical facilities, as well as centers for refuge, are retrofitted whenever possible with microgrid solutions for energy security.

4. Consumer intermediation threats abound for utilities

Some investor-owned utilities, pummeled by Wall Street, belatedly will discover the value of "owning" a relationship and retaining and growing lifetime consumer value as alternative service providers intermediate their formerly captive customers. The localization of energy goes mainstream. Small-scale generation of kilowatts and negawatts is commonly available with a number of suppliers and service providers offering commercial and then residential consumers options that intermediate the traditional utility/consumer relationships. Consumers will be lured by business models that offer unique financial justifications, ease of doing business and even fun in the form of the gamification of programs that encourage consumer interactions.

5. New standards are globally adopted

Specifically, there is global adoption of standards that define how to integrate or grid-tie microgrids and other standalone generation and energy storage assets for bi-directional electricity flows to utility distribution grids.

In the U.S., momentum from the commercial business sector, which fuel building as microgrid and building self-sufficiency concepts into projects, motivates utilities and regulatory agencies into proactive stances on standards development initiatives —  particularly around cybersecurity and the interoperability of privately owned microgrid management systems and standalone generation and energy storage assets with utility distribution management systems.

This story first appeared at Smart Grid LibraryElectrical tower photo by haraldmucvia Shutterstock.

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.

For more information onEnergy Storage, Contact:  Sam Adjangba. sam@advisorsenergy.net .                          www.advisorsenergy.net   

Office:   (732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002.       Mobile:  (973) 332-2678

   

Click on this link to see our products and Services

 

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,  08-18-2014


Arizona Solar Property Tax Battle — SolarCity & SunRun Sue
Event date:7.8.2014

Arizona Solar Property Tax Battle — SolarCity & SunRun Sue

Residential leasing companies SolarCity and SunRun filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Revenue. The legal dispute was filed in opposition to property taxes levied on leased Photo Voltaic solar systems (PV) in Arizona.

 

Homeowners in Arizona, a state that was the nation’s fourth-largest market for residential, commercial, and institutional PV in 2013, are economically challenged with this change.

 

Source:  http://solarlove.org/arizona-solar-property-tax-battle-solarcity-sunrun-sue/

 

 

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com)is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.  http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/samueladjangba-2226270-linked/

,  08-18-2014


The $100,000 Battery That Could Help Hotels Save Bundles of Money
Event date:2.4.2014

The $100,000 Battery That Could Help Hotels Save Bundles of Money

Two 54-kilowatt energy storage systems at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco's Nob Hill will be able to supply 20 percent of the building's electricity demand.
More
Stem

When the big utilities lose a guy like Harry Hobbs, trouble lies ahead. Hobbs is the area director of engineering for Intercontinental Hotels in San Francisco, a man who has spent more than 30 years managing the energy demands of some demanding clients.

“The utilities have a 20th-century mentality,” says Hobbs. “If we’re going to address climate change we need 21st-century solutions.

What riles Hobbs is utilities’ approach to managing electricity supply and demand for big commercial customers like hotels. If a hotel’s energy consumption spikes—say on a hot day when guests all turn on their room air conditioners at once—the utility ratchets up the electricity rate they pay. To avoid these so-called demand charges—which can account for half of a monthly power bill—businesses can participate in programs that cut their bills if they allow their local utility take control of their air conditioners or lighting to reduce electricity use when the grid is overloaded.

Letting hotel guests who pay $300 a night sweat, however, is not an option. So Hobbs has pulled the plug on his utility by storing electricity in lithium-ion battery packs when rates are low for use when demand and prices rise. The battery and sophisticated software was built by a Silicon Valley startup called Stem and is another example of how technological innovation is upending utilities’ century-old stranglehold on power.

“We measure a business’ electricity usage and predict when there will be spikes in usage and make decisions on whether to charge or discharge batteries,” says Prakesh Patel, Stem’s vice president of capital markets and strategy, who notes that demand charges have risen 30 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past three years.

That means Stem’s algorithms are constantly analyzing a customer’s power demand as well as other factors, such as weather patterns and past energy use, and then charging and discharging the batteries in tiny increments. Such fine-tuning keeps a customer’s utility bills down while minimizing wear and tear on the expensive lithium ion battery packs, which are similar to those found in electric cars.

“In the 21st century things should be down in real time,” says Hobbs. “I think this is a transformational technology that will be the key for many businesses to assist the utilities in a transition to stored energy system.”

Energy storage is particularly important if renewable energy is to become a mainstream source of electricity. As more wind and solar energy comes online, utilities will need to store that power to balance supply and demand on the grid when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. (California regulators, for instance, approved a mandate last month that requires the state’s big utilities to install 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020.)

For businesses like big box retail stores that increasingly are installing massive rooftop solar arrays, systems like Stem’s can maximize that investment by allowing them to store free electricity from the sun for use when demand—and rates—jump.

That’s a double-edged sword for utilities, depriving them of demand charges that help finance improvements to the transmission system but also helping them keep balance the grid and avoid blackouts or having to fire up a carbon-spewing fossil fuel power plant when demand suddenly spikes.

Intercontinental Hotels has run a trial with a 15-kilowatt Stem storage system for the past year, and though Hobbs would not discuss dollar savings he says he’s seen between a 17 percent and 30 percent improvement in his ability to manage demand. The hotel has 17 Stem systems on order and plans to install two 54-kilowatt battery packs at the Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, which would supply 20 percent of the hotel’s demand.

Patel says a 54-kilowatt system costs about $100,000, though California state incentives cover about 60 percent of that price. But thanks to a $5 million fund financed by Clean Feet Investors, Stem will offer customers no-money-down installation of battery storage in exchange for monthly fee paid out of the savings on utility bills. Such lease deals unleashed an explosion in residential solar systems and Patel expects to see a similar result in battery storage. Stem has orders for 6 megawatts’ worth of systems and Patel expects that to jump to 15 megawatts over the next year.

“We’ve known for some time that the traditional utility business model, which for over 100 years ago has served its purpose well, has come to an end,” says Jigar Shah, a Clean Feet founder. 

 

Provided to you Exclusively by Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com).

Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) is an independent energy consulting and engineering firm dedicated to cutting energy costs for industrial, institutional, commercial and residential users.

Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) uses their many years of utility-related experience to minimize the energy bills paid by their clients.  Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com)  offers a full spectrum of consulting services: a power purchasing consortium; a gas purchasing consortium; lighting retrofits; energy savings technologies; Solar Systems; Renewable Power; Power Optimizers; Demand Response; virtual generation; energy curtailment; real-time metering; energy engineering and construction services and utility audits.

Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com)  utilizes over 20 years of energy industry experience to help industrial, institutional and commercial customers develop customized strategies for purchasing and managing their energy needs.

Deregulation of the natural gas and electric markets has created energy procurement opportunities for many companies.  These opportunities are not always obvious and typically require and an in-depth knowledge of utility tariffs/rules along with an understanding of the potential risks and rewards.  Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com)  has a proven track record of successfully guiding industrial, institutional, commercial and residential customers through the complexities of the energy procurement process.

Click on this link for a presentation of Advisors Energy Group, LLC’s products and services

(http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/samueladjangba-1711208-advisors-energy-group-products-services/)

 

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com)  is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.

To Request information about Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) call (732) 202-2926(732) 202-2926 or e-mail energy@advisorsenergy.com

 

,  04-05-2014


Demand Management
Event date:18.3.2014

Save money on your electricity bills with Stem’s battery demand management system.

Advisors Energy Group, LLC is offering Demand Management Systems.  No Money Down.

Click on these video links to see how the stem demand management system works:

http://vimeo.com/76362710

http://vimeo.com/63859729

http://vimeo.com/73167168

Electricity bills are made up of two parts – energy charges for the total electricity used, and demand charges, which are based on peak usage. As much as 50 percent of an electricity bill can be based on a single energy spike.

The Stem solution stores energy during non-peak hours for use during expensive peak demand hours, helping companies slash their energy costs. The beauty of the Stem system is that it does not require behavior changes or reductions in electricity usage to achieve savings. It simply shifts when your company draws electricity from the grid, allowing your company to focus on your core business.

How it works

The system reduces energy costs by routing stored energy as needed to avoid peak demand charges.

Benefits

Reduced demand charges: Deploy stored energy to lower energy bills automatically.

Reduced risk: Eliminate the need to constantly monitor energy usage and future-proof against price changes.

Good grid citizenship: Displace peak plant capacity and ease the strain on the grid during peak periods.

Contact energy@advisorsenergy.com or (732) 202-(732) 202-2926(732) 202-   if you have questions regarding Demand Management.

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you. Click on this link for more information about our products and services. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/samueladjangba-1711208-advisors-energy-group-products-services/



Best Regards,




Sam Adjangba
sam@advisorsenergy.net
www.advisorsenergy.net

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sam-adjangba/21/837/27a

https://mybizcard.co/sam.adjangba.409971

33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ 08830
Office: (732) 202-2926(732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002
Fax: (732) 919-2142

 


,  03-18-2014


Combined Heat and Power Systems
Event date:17.3.2014

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems

 

Your Business will realize the following benefits of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.

·        Energy cost savings

·        Reduced carbon foot print

·        Improved cash flow

·        Increased net income

We can structure power purchase agreements, arrange financing, apply for incentives and rebates, install, operate and maintain complete Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and cooling systems tailored to your business’ specific site requirements.  We support optimized energy purchasing for Your business.

Attached are case studies and below are video links for you to review.   

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV3p_baivDw

The Americana 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNzAGvGjwjk

The Brevoort (During the storm) 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2qxASgkB_8

The Brevoort (Site Specific)


Our On-Site Utility is a complete outsourced solution. We will analyze Your business’ energy needs and design a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system to maximize Your business’ energy savings.  The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) equipment at your business will produce clean, quiet and highly reliable energy in the form of electricity, heat, hot water and cooling.  Our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems will be seamlessly integrated into your existing energy systems. Your business will pay a lower electricity and natural gas bill. Our CHP system offers clean electricity, heat, hot water and cooling solutions.

Contact energy@advisorsenergy.comor (732) 202-2926(732) 202-2926(732) 202-2926(732) 202-2926if you have questions regarding Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems.

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.com) is committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you. Click on this link for more information about our products and services. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/samueladjangba-1711208-advisors-energy-group-products-services/

 

 

 

Best Regards,

 

 

Sam Adjangba

sam@advisorsenergy.net

www.advisorsenergy.net

Professional Profile

https://mybizcard.co/sam.adjangba.409971

Office:   (732) 202-2926(732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002

Mobile:  (973) 332-2678(973) 332-2678

Fax:        (732) 919-2142

,  03-18-2014


The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) raises rates for second time this summer
Event date:23.8.2013

The Long Island Power Authority(LIPA) raises rates for second time this summer

The Long Island Power Authority has raised customer bills for the second time this summer, this time by just over 4 percent for September, citing higher energy costs during the high-demand air-conditioning season.

Ratepayers who use 770 kilowatt hours -- the average for a single-family residence -- will see a $6.21 jump in their September bill. That comes on top of an average $5.71 bill increase in August. All told, bills have risen by more than 8 percent over the two-month period, although LIPA notes that bills have fallen in five of the past eight months.

The increase will register as an 8.7 percent jump in the power-supply portion of customer bills, which make up around half the monthly total. This month it jumps to 10.06 cents a kilowatt hour, from 9.25 cents last month.

Summer months tend to be the highest usage months for most of LIPA's 1.1 million customers, so the higher power rate isn't sitting well with some.

"It never ends," complained ratepayer Richard Warren, 69, of Coram, a retiree on a fixed income who said lung problems force him to keep his air conditioning on nearly full time in the heat. "You get killed with the central air. It's bad."

The power supply charge changes monthly, fluctuating with the costs LIPA pays for fuel and energy. Prices for energy generally increase during the summer, even as costs for natural gas have stabilized or fallen.

LIPA spokesman Mark Gross said the power supply charge is a "direct pass-through for power purchased on behalf of our customers," and that other utilities in the state do the same. LIPA previously adjusted for fuel costs annually, but frequently over-collected to make sure it wasn't caught short.

Gross said the cost of oil was a major factor in this month's increase.

"The power supply charge for September primarily reflects the use of higher-cost oil-fired electric generation facilities that were necessary during July," he said of plants on and off Long Island.

Gross also noted that July had four days that were among the top 12 for usage in LIPA's 15-year history.

The good news? LIPA's power supply charge has declined for most of this year, and Gross predicted relief could come as soon as next month.

"As we anticipate moderate weather ahead, we will continue to monitor the energy markets and look forward to having some good news for our customers next month," he said.

The September bill increase is the second monthly jump since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a LIPA reform bill in July. A three-year rate freeze, including for 2013, was a "goal" of the legislation, which turns near-total control of LIPA to PSEG of Newark beginning in January.

Administration officials have said the rate they referred to was the delivery-charge portion of bills, which makes up most of the rest of customers' monthly bills.

LIPA's delivery charge has remained steady for most of LIPA's history, with only two increases of no more than 1.9 percent each, in 2011 and 2012.

While LIPA faces certain new costs next year, including non-reimbursed costs for superstorm Sandy, the authority may also see some budget savings in 2014 depending on whether it decides to fund home solar rebates.

Last week, LIPA announced that the 2013 budget for the program had run out, and it suspended rebates for the balance of the year. It said it may eliminate the residential rebates entirely next year if systems continue to sell well this year without rebates. That would allow LIPA to save around $28 million in next year's budget, when it must begin paying new costs, such as $80 million for superstorm Sandy, that are not likely to be reimbursed by the federal government.

,  03-18-2014


Sandy's Blackouts Pressure Utilities to Bury Power Lines
Event date:21.11.2012
Sandy's Blackouts Pressure Utilities to Bury Power Lines
 
By Julie Johnsson, Benjamin Haas and Mark Chediak | Bloomberg

Super storm Sandy's record blackouts and prolonged recovery laid bare the U.S. electrical grid's vulnerability to wind and flood, renewing calls for utilities to invest billions to toughen their defenses against extreme weather that may become more common.
 
European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. routinely bury cables that connect homes to power networks, protecting them from wind and ice. U.S. utilities have balked at moving more infrastructure below ground, saying consumers would object to spending as much as $2.1 million a mile, according to one industry estimate, to bury wires for a system that's not fail-safe.
 
"There is no system that is bulletproof, whether you bury it, whether you put it up on poles, some force of nature can get you," John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at New York-based Consolidated Edison (ED), owner of New York's utility. "As powerful as we like to think we are, human designs do have their limitations."
 
Still, consumers and lawmakers are again questioning whether utilities need to spend more to protect the grid as an approaching winter storm threatens to compound Sandy's misery and devastation. Sandy knocked out power to more than 8.5 million homes and businesses across 21 states after landfall Oct. 29. About 1 million remain without power today, according to Bloomberg estimates based on utility websites.
 
A spate of extreme weather that started with Hurricane Irene in August 2011 "underscored that our country's electrical grid is not terribly resilient to such events," Daniel Aldrich, a Purdue University professor whose studies focus on disaster recovery efforts, said in an e-mail.
 
Exploring Underground
Dominion Resources Inc. (D) and Pepco Holdings Inc. (POM), which supply power in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have been exploring whether to move underground segments of their power lines vulnerable to high winds. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, both Democrats, called for burying more lines after gusts from a June storm, known as a derecho, knocked out power to as many as 4.3 million customers on the East Coast.
 
Exelon Corp. (EXC)'s Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. utility had already buried more than 60 percent of its system in recent decades and is stepping up tree-trimming to prevent storm devastation, Rob Gould, vice-president with the Baltimore-based utility said in a phone interview.
 
Getting Expensive
 Irene, Sandy and an October 2011 snowstorm have been costly for New Jersey resident Lisa D'Aiuto, who spent $3,000 on a generator, $400 for gasoline to power it last week, and a total so far of 20 days without power. Frustrated by the cold, lack of running water and repeated blackouts in her rural community, D'Aiuto would rather spend her money helping build a storm- hardened electrical infrastructure.
"I don't think people would mind paying more if there were more reliability," said D'Aiuto, 44, who is still without power at her home in rural Franklin Township in Warren County, N.J.
A January report commissioned by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy following last year's storms urged utilities to immediately consider burying some power lines in areas where higher reliability justifies the cost, particularly in city and town centers.
"I think we're into a new normal with regards to weather," said Gregg Edeson, a Los Angeles-based utility consultant with PA Consulting. "We need to rethink what we want to do with the infrastructure. At the end of the day, it's going to cost some money."
 
‘Cost Prohibitive'
At least eight state utility commissions including regulators in hurricane-prone Texas, Florida and North Carolina studied and ruled out burying all power lines as too cost- prohibitive, according to Washington, D.C.-based Edison Electric Institute, which represents publicly traded power companies. Virginia said a subterranean system would cost it more than $80 billion. Moving power lines underground can cost as much as $2.1 million per mile in a city, with an average of $832,383 a mile in urban areas and $723,692 in suburban areas, according to a 2009 study conducted by the trade group. That compares with a maximum cost of $386,000 a mile for building an overhead line in a city with an average of $196,628.
 
Buried infrastructure isn't impervious to threats. Underground power infrastructure in New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, said Glen Grabelsky, managing director for Fitch Inc. When underground systems do require repairs or maintenance, they're more expensive than overhead lines and it can take even longer to restore power, he said.
 
Status Quo
"When you think of the hundreds of billions of dollars it would cost to underground the American infrastructure, and the trade-off you make between outages and duration of recovery, we think the current structure is probably the best," Thomas Fanning, chairman and chief executive officer of Southern Co., said in a telephone interview yesterday.  Burying all the underground power lines in the northeast would be among the largest projects ever attempted by the utility industry and isn't worth it, Stephanie Brand, director of the Division of the Rate Counsel, New Jersey's official advocate for utility customers.
"It would be insane. It's extremely expensive. If it's a million dollars a mile, which is a figure I've heard, you'd have to have 50 of these storms before it would start to pay for itself," Brand said in a telephone interview after a trip to the Jersey Shore to inspect property damage.
 
Burying Pieces
Lawmakers and regulators, instead, will probably push utilities to invest selectively to strengthen portions of their network that have failed repeatedly during recent storms, said Edeson, whose London-based consulting firm advises utilities on infrastructure investments.  Utilities can bury portions of main lines that are vulnerable to wind or tree damage, Edeson said, or place smaller lines underground that run to individual properties.
Other steps to reduce storm-related power losses include replacing wooden poles with concrete ones and adding devices that automatically redirect electricity to isolate portions of the circuit that fail, limiting the extent of blackouts, Edeson said.
 
Studying the question following several 2006 storms, Con Edison rejected burying all of its overhead electrical in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and Westchester after pegging the total cost at $22 billion, Miksad said. He wouldn't rule out revisiting Con Ed's network design after the most recent disaster, especially given that five of the worst six outages in the utility's history have occurred since 2006.
 
"If the climate is changing and if we're going to experience these kinds of events more frequently, that's something that makes you step back and say, ‘Maybe we do need to change the design of the system,'" Miksad said. "My thinking and my colleagues around the country are all saying storms seem more intense and more frequent."
 
 
As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.comis committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.
 
Best Regards,
 
 
Sam Adjangba
sam@advisorsenergy.com
http://www.advisorsenergy.com/
33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ  08830
Office:  (732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002
Fax:      (732) 919-2142

Confidentiality Notice:  
The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged.  The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s).
 
 

,  11-22-2012


Electric Utilities Focus on Power Restoration Over Weather Defense
Event date:20.11.2012

Electric utilities focus on power restoration over weather defense

McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Patrick O'Shea Beaver County Times, Pa.

 

After millions of people lost power in the wake of last month's Hurricane Sandy, people are asking if anything could have been done to prevent the damage, but local electric utility companies say there is no stopping Mother Nature.

Affected customers along the Eastern Seaboard and inland have questioned whether tougher utility poles or underground lines would have made a difference, but utilities nationwide have long since shifted their primary focus from equipment protection to finding ways to restore power quicker.

Scott Surgeoner of Penn Power, which serves 13,000 customers in Beaver County and 38,000 in Lawrence County, said Thursday burying lines is seven to 10 times more expensive than installing high wires and underground lines are much more expensive to repair if damaged because there is no way to see the damage until the line is dug up.

He said burying the lines also does not necessarily protect them in massive flooding or if trees near the lines are ripped up by high winds.

 

Joey Vallarian of Duquesne Light Co., which serves 580,000 customers in Beaver and Allegheny counties, said his company has spent millions over the last decade upgrading its infrastructure, but he said there is little that can be done to prevent damage in a major storm.

"There is no magic bullet," he said.

Both said super storms such as Sandy and 2005's Hurricane Katrina are going to cause damage no matter what an electric utility does.

"There is no weatherproofing every part of electrical systems," Vallarian said.

"The one thing utilities haven't done yet is learn how to control the weather," added Surgeoner.

Vallarian said the unspoken nationwide process for electric utilities in major storms is to deal with dangerous situations such as live wires first, then restoring power at critical facilities such as hospitals and police stations, then handling larger customer areas and working down to smaller outages.

Surgeoner said Penn Power's outage restoration plan long has been to assess damage, tackle hazardous areas first and then work from larger customers down.

Vallarian said sometimes customers are upset with the process, but "it has proven to work."

 
 
As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.comis committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.
 
Best Regards,
 
 
Sam Adjangba
sam@advisorsenergy.com
http://www.advisorsenergy.com/
33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ  08830
Office:  (732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002
Fax:      (732) 919-2142

Confidentiality Notice:  
The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged.  The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s).
 
 

,  11-22-2012


Despite Economic Downturn and Flat Demand, Electricity Shopping Sees Substantial Growth
Event date:9.11.2012

Despite Economic Downturn and Flat Demand, Electricity Shopping Sees Substantial Growth

 

 

 

By Phillip R. O'Connor
 
 

 

 

As consumers we have an abundance of choices. We can choose among competing stores selling competing products. If we don't want to drive to the store, we can go online and purchase what we need and have it delivered to our door.
 
We have choices among phone and Internet service providers, and choices among devices competing to provide phone and Internet services. We've come to take for granted choices among competing providers for just about every product and service we consume.

But there is one key area where choice is not an option for a majority of American consumers. While we have introduced competition into countless formerly regulated industries, from airlines and trucking to communications and information technology, when it comes to electricity we as a nation have been stuck at mid-stream in the transition to workable competition.

Beginning about 20 years ago various states began to slowly transition away from the traditional price-regulated monopoly utility construct and promote competition in the provision of electricity. In 18 states, the traditional utility company still owns the wires that deliver electricity to homes and businesses, but the electricity itself is provided by competing suppliers.

The number of consumers exercising their right to shop for competitive electricity supplies has grown substantially since 2008 in the 18 states that permit customers to choose their electricity supplier, despite this period being marked by flat electricity demand due to the economic slowdown. As of the close of 2011, nearly one out of every five kilowatt-hours of electricity in America was supplied by a competitive provider – even though customer choice is still denied to consumers in states representing 56% of total U.S. electricity load.

Electricity choice is thriving and growing in the states that allow retail competition, as is compellingly demonstrated by data compiled by DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability and the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In more than a dozen states a majority of the electricity used by business and government customers is provided by non-utility, competitive suppliers. Residential customers are also rapidly joining the movement to electricity choice.

Since 2008, customer accounts served by competitive suppliers have grown more than 53%, from 8.7 million to 13.3 million in 2011. The total electricity load served competitively has grown 40% since 2008, from 488 million megawatt-hours to 685 million megawatt-hours in 2011, an increase of nearly 200 million megawatt-hours.

Since 2008, the total number of customer accounts served under choice arrangements grew by 53% to more than 13.3 million, including a dramatic increase in shopping by residential customers. Residential accounts served by competitive suppliers jumped more than 3.8 million to nearly 11 million, a 54% increase. The number of non-residential accounts served competitively increased by more than 800,000 to nearly 2.4 million – an increase of more than 50%.

Customers are choosing competitive electricity suppliers for much more than a comparatively attractive price. Competing suppliers are working with their customers to design contractual terms, information, innovative products and portfolio pricing to match the individual needs of customers.

Not only has there been substantial growth in customer migration from traditional monopoly-regulated electric supply to market-priced energy, key indicators demonstrate electric choice growth is sustainable. This stunning performance on the part of customers exercising competitive choice is creating pressure to provide greater freedom to electricity customers in states that have rolled back or limited retail competition.

While some resistance remains to customer choice, opponents of retail electric choice now rarely argue for rolling back choice in the 18 competitive jurisdictions, as any such efforts would be strongly opposed by the many satisfied shopping customers.

The surge in retail electric choice and the underlying reasons for that surge warrant renewed consideration of providing access to captive customers everywhere. As competitive choice models evolve, they can serve as a basis for a transition to choice in other states seeking favorable opportunities and increased benefits for their consumers.

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.comis committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.

Best Regards,

 

 

Sam Adjangba
sam@advisorsenergy.com
http://www.advisorsenergy.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sam-adjangba/21/837/27a

33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ  08830
Office:  (732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002
Fax:      (732) 919-2142

Confidentiality Notice:  
The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged.  The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s).

,  11-09-2012


Energy Choice
Event date:7.11.2012

Energy Choice

By Frank Caliva III

 

 

 

"Choice," perhaps better than any other word, describes the American marketplace for most consumer goods and services. From aisles-full of options in the grocery store, to automobile packages designed for almost every consumer preference, many Americans would say they do not lack for choices when it comes to most of their potential purchases.

There is one sector, however, in which choice has traditionally not been available – energy. Since the late 19th century, utility companies have been granted geographic monopolies to provide electricity and natural gas to consumers. For decades, the energy supplied to one's home or business was pre-determined without any consumer input.

This began to change as policymakers started to understand that the utilities' natural monopoly was not the provision of energy itself but rather the systems that delivered the energy. In the late 1970s, the federal government allowed non-utility companies to generate and sell electricity to utilities in wholesale markets. Over the next decade, federal and state governments took other steps to open the natural gas and electricity markets to competition. Beginning in the mid-1990s, a growing number of states began to allow non-utility companies (today's competitive energy suppliers) to offer energy directly to consumers, while continuing to use the utilities' pipes and wires to deliver that energy. State and federal policymakers have two major goals in restructuring energy markets: first, to give consumers control over their own energy decisions; and second, to encourage competition and innovation.

Today, in more than a dozen states, some form of competitive retail energy markets exist. The status of those markets varies widely; in some states, only commercial and industrial customers can exercise a choice. In others, choice is available solely for electricity or natural gas. Few markets are completely open to competition, but in an increasing number of jurisdictions consumers are being given a say in who supplies the electricity and natural gas that power, heat, and cool their homes and businesses.

States with the most competitive energy markets include Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and Maryland. Typically, even after competition policies are put into place, retail suppliers cannot successfully enter into the marketplace until other regulatory decisions are made (such as lifting the non-market-based caps on the rates charged by utilities). The numbers of consumers switching to retail suppliers in these states have been substantial; in Pennsylvania, for example, switching rates range from nearly 30% of residential customers to more than 70% of industrial customers.

But energy choice is not available to every consumer, and it is worth asking why. For some states, like California, a more robust choice program existed in the past; structural problems with the markets and a number of bad actors resulted in policymakers returning to price-regulated energy models. In other states, low energy prices, from the widespread availability of hydroelectric power, for example, mean that there is little impetus from consumers to push for opening the markets – even if consumers could benefit from new products and services they may not even be aware exist. These can include fixed or variable prices, time-of-use rates, smart meters, renewable energy options, energy efficiency audits, and other value-added benefits.

Another concern is the fear that competition means "de-regulation." This is not the case at all, however, any more than competition among grocery stores means that food safety standards are ignored, or that competition among mobile phone providers means truth-in-advertising laws no longer apply. Competitive energy suppliers must be licensed by the public utility commission of the state in which they operate, a license which can be revoked if the supplier violates any of the regulations governing its business and marketing practices. Consumers also have certain rights as energy customers; while these can vary slightly from state to state, there are several general protections that exist everywhere, including protection from unauthorized switching from one supplier to another, the guarantee of equal treatment by utilities to restore service after disruptions, and data privacy rules.

Energy choice is about empowering consumers to make informed energy decisions that best meet their individual needs. Whatever consumers might decide, having the opportunity to choose and staying informed about all the options available will ensure consumers make decisions that are right for them.

 

 

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC (www.advisorsenergy.comis committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

 

Sam Adjangba
sam@advisorsenergy.com
http://www.advisorsenergy.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sam-adjangba/21/837/27a

33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ  08830
Office:  (732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002
Fax:      (732) 919-2142

Confidentiality Notice:  
The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged.  The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s).

,  11-09-2012


US may soon become world's top oil producer
Event date:20.9.2012

US may soon become world's top oil producer
By JONATHAN FAHEY

 

 

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

The boom has surprised even the experts.

"Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today's production growth, people would have thought we were crazy," says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm.

The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia's output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts U.S. production could reach 13 million to 15 million barrels per day by 2020, helping to make North America "the new Middle East."

The last year the U.S. was the world's largest producer was 2002, after the Saudis drastically cut production because of low oil prices in the aftermath of 9/11. Since then, the Saudis and the Russians have been the world leaders.

The United States will still need to import lots of oil in the years ahead. Americans use 18.7 million barrels per day. But thanks to the growth in domestic production and the improving fuel efficiency of the nation's cars and trucks, imports could fall by half by the end of the decade.

The increase in production hasn't translated to cheaper gasoline at the pump, and prices are expected to stay relatively high for the next few years because of growing demand for oil in developing nations and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa.

Still, producing more oil domestically, and importing less, gives the economy a significant boost.

The companies profiting range from independent drillers to large international oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, which increasingly see the U.S. as one of the most promising places to drill. ExxonMobil agreed last month to spend $1.6 billion to increase its U.S. oil holdings.

Increased drilling is driving economic growth in states such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana and Texas, all of which have unemployment rates far below the national average of 7.8 percent. North Dakota is at 3 percent; Oklahoma, 5.2.

Businesses that serve the oil industry, such as steel companies that supply drilling pipe and railroads that transport oil, aren't the only ones benefiting. Homebuilders, auto dealers and retailers in energy-producing states are also getting a lift.

IHS says the oil and gas drilling boom, which already supports 1.7 million jobs, will lead to the creation of 1.3 million jobs across the U.S. economy by the end of the decade.

"It's the most important change to the economy since the advent of personal computers pushed up productivity in the 1990s," says economist Philip Verleger, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics.

The major factor driving domestic production higher is a newfound ability to squeeze oil out of rock once thought too difficult and expensive to tap. Drillers have learned to drill horizontally into long, thin seams of shale and other rock that holds oil, instead of searching for rare underground pools of hydrocarbons that have accumulated over millions of years.

To free the oil and gas from the rock, drillers crack it open by pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure, a process is known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

While expanded use of the method has unlocked enormous reserves of oil and gas, it has also raised concerns that contaminated water produced in the process could leak into drinking water.

The surge in oil production has other roots, as well:

— A long period of high oil prices has given drillers the cash and the motivation to spend the large sums required to develop new techniques and search new places for oil. Over the past decade, oil has averaged $69 a barrel. During the previous decade, it averaged $21.

— Production in the Gulf of Mexico, which slowed after BP's 2010 well disaster and oil spill, has begun to climb again. Huge recent finds there are expected to help growth continue.

— A natural gas glut forced drillers to dramatically slow natural gas exploration beginning about a year ago. Drillers suddenly had plenty of equipment and workers to shift to oil.

The most prolific of the new shale formations are in North Dakota and Texas. Activity is also rising in Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio and other states.

Production from shale formations is expected to grow from 1.6 million barrels per day this year to 4.2 million barrels per day by 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie, an energy consulting firm. That means these new formations will yield more oil by 2020 than major oil suppliers such as Iran and Canada produce today.

U.S. oil and liquids production reached a peak of 11.2 million barrels per day in 1985, when Alaskan fields were producing enormous amounts of crude, then began a long decline. From 1986 through 2008, crude production fell every year but one, dropping by 44 percent over that period. The United States imported nearly 60 percent of the oil it burned in 2006.

By the end of this year, U.S. crude output will be at its highest level since 1998 and oil imports will be lower than at any time since 1992, at 41 percent of consumption.

"It's a stunning turnaround," Burkhard says.

Whether the U.S. supplants Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer will depend on the price of oil and Saudi production in the years ahead. Saudi Arabia sits on the world's largest reserves of oil, and it raises and lowers production to try to keep oil prices steady. Saudi output is expected to remain about flat between now and 2017, according to the International Energy Agency.

But Saudi oil is cheap to tap, while the methods needed to tap U.S. oil are very expensive. If the price of oil falls below $75 per barrel, drillers in the U.S. will almost certainly begin to cut back.

The International Energy Agency forecasts that global oil prices, which have averaged $107 per barrel this year, will slip to an average of $89 over the next five years — not a big enough drop to lead companies to cut back on exploration deeply.

Nor are they expected to fall enough to bring back the days of cheap gasoline. Still, more of the money that Americans spend at filling stations will flow to domestic drillers, which are then more likely to buy equipment here and hire more U.S. workers.

"Drivers will have to pay high prices, sure, but at least they'll have a job," Verleger says.

 

As your energy professional, Advisors Energy Group, LLC(www.advisorsenergy.comis committed to keeping you updated on the events that impact energy costs, prices and rates and how they may affect you.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

 

Sam Adjangba
sam@advisorsenergy.com
http://www.advisorsenergy.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sam-adjangba/21/837/27a

33 Wood Avenue South, Suite 600
Iselin, NJ  08830
Office:  (732) 202-2926 Ext. 2002
Fax:      (732) 919-2142

Confidentiality Notice:  
The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged.  The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s).

 

 



 

,  11-09-2012