AUSenergy News Update 05/05/2015
Jun 9, 2015

In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Electric utility weaves a tall tale, PJM’s BG&E zone sees real-time power prices spike, Rise in energy efficiencies in the commercial building sector.

Electric Utilities Must Steer Clear of Never-Never Land

Summary: FirstEnergy’s new president and CEO announced at the firms’ annual meeting that, “Nearly 100 percent of the power we produce this year is expected to come from low- or non-emitting sources.” However, what the company is doing is a good job of white washing their mandated efforts to scrub and control the sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury emissions from its coal-fired generation facilities by now calling these fossil fuels “low or non-emitting” resources.

AUS Comment: You’ve gotta love FirstEnergy’s ingenuity and imagination… Fact is coal still represents 56 percent of its electricity generation. And while it’s true that carbon can be somewhat cleaned up, it is still, at heart, a fossil fuel. So – remember, beware of claims made by your utility and support the development of clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

PJM’s BG&E zone sees real-time power prices spike near $560/MWh early Friday

Summary: Real-time prices in the PJM Interconnection’s Baltimore Gas and Electric Zone were around $560/MWh shortly after 11:00 am EDT (1500 GMT) this past Friday, as forecasts for warm weather began to boost demand in the region.

AUS Comment: Just goes to show how tied energy prices are to the weather, because despite Friday’s moderate temperatures of 63-73, the forecast for later in the week going up into the high 80’s and low ‘90’s was enough to spike pricing. All the more reason to make sure you go with a fixed rate that can ride through changes in weather and subsequent pricing.

Achieving efficiency in the commercial building sector

Summary: While much of the attention and effort in sustainability goals has been focused on distributed generation and renewables, as technology continues to change the way we operate buildings, utility side tools such as demand response (DR) have the potential to play an ever-increasing role in helping our nation achieve these goals.

AUS Comment: It will be interesting to see how technological advancements can extend the use of DR throughout the commercial market. Energy storage and ADR technology scheduling events for shorter periods of time – all of this will help make energy efficiencies a larger part of sustainability.

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