In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Utility warns of rising natural gas prices in the New England region, Ohio electric utility customers may experience a 9% rate decrease in 2015, and Michigan’s preliminary choice caps for 2014 reveal that only 3 utilities have enrollment space.
Summary: Westfield Gas & Electric has informed its customers that it expects the price of natural gas in the entire New England region to continue to rise as the heating season continues, and this may force utilities to alter their natural gas supply rates at some point this winter. Increased demand and limited pipeline infrastructure are the primary culprits of this situation, which has seen the transportation costs of natural gas rise from $4.25/MMBTU to as high as $32.22/MMBTU during the course of December. Because half of New England’s electricity is generated from natural gas, this situation could also force electricity prices to rise as well.
AUS Comment: Unfortunately given the existing limitations of the interstate pipelines, high and volatile prices are something that New England energy customers have to deal with. AUS can help you reduce this risk through long term, fixed price contracts that allow you more security and control of your energy costs.
Summary: Per a plan filed by American Electric Power Company Inc. (AEP) with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, customers that receive electricity supply services with the utility will see their rates decrease by an average of 9 percent between June 1st, 2015 and May 31st, 2018. This decline is the result of a new requirement that requires AEP to purchase their power in competitive bid auctions rather than at regulated rates.
AUS Comment: Only those still receiving electricity supply service from AEP will experience this savings, which will amount to around $90 to $100 a year for an average customer. For the 30% of AEP customers with an alternative electricity provider, your rates will depend on your current contract and the underlying energy market. AUS can help you compare rates between suppliers and the utility, and determine the most cost effective solution for your energy needs.
Summary: Each Michigan electric utility has filed their 2014 preliminary choice caps. Each utility is allowed a choice cap of 10% their electric load and only Indiana Michigan Power, Wisconsin Public Service, and Upper Peninsula Power Company are expected to have enrollment space. Final cap numbers for 2014 will be filed in January.
AUS Comment: This once again highlights the current limitations of deregulation in Michigan, with only 3 of Michigan’s smallest utilities having any load space available during the upcoming year, and that space is quite limited. Recently, however, legislation was introduced to further open up the state’s energy markets. AUS eagerly anticipates the expansion of energy choice in Michigan.
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