The August natural gas wholesale contract was slightly lower yesterday as the wholesale contract settled at $4.386, down $0.013 on the day. This week’s EIA storage report is being discussed in the low 40’s according to some of the better analyst’s in the industry, however, the EIA traded report is being shown in the low 30’s. Yes, that is correct, energy traders can also buy or sell what the EIA storage report will be on Thursday’s. Since folks project that they have risk to which number comes out on Thursday’s, they can hedge their risks by buying or selling this figure. On the weather front, the summer temperatures continue to be forecasted to be above normal for the foreseeable future in the Midwest and the Northeast. So the weather continues to be warm and natural gas prices continue to be unresponsive as we discussed yesterday.
Continuing with the heat surge in the Northeast, Thousands of sweltering New Yorkers turned up the heat on Con Ed yesterday - blasting the utility for leaving them without power in the midst of a withering heat wave. Some folks were complaining that once the temperature hit 104 degree’s on Friday, the air conditioners went out and the lights started to flicker on and off. Small business owners were also voicing their disapproval with the reliability of service as they lost money due to power outages and lost customer’s business. Con Ed said the sweltering temps left thousands of customers without electricity in Queens, Brooklyn, and some remaining customers in Manhattan on Friday.
In the lone start state this morning, electricity complaints have skyrocketed under the Texas electric deregulation law ” from fewer than 2,100 received each year by the state's Public Utility Commission to an average of more than 12,000 under deregulation, according to an analysis by Recharge Texas. Texans have lodged more than 800 percent more electricity complaints on an annual basis after retail deregulation than they did before deregulation, the analysis shows. The most common complaint relates to billing (customer’s most common complaint), although discontinuance and provision of service complaints also rank high. Texans unhappy with their electric service have a right to file complaints with the PUC, which is charged with investigating them within a specified period. The PUC began collecting complaint data after the establishment of its Office of Customer Protection in July 1997.
As we discussed yesterday with cycling down electricity units, in Western Pennsylvania, residents are fighting a heat wave with fans and in-room air conditioners that are burdening the power grid that runs from Illinois to New Jersey to North Carolina, and as a result, some big plugs are being pulled. So many people are using electrical devices to stay cool that PJM Interconnection, the operator of the high-voltage transmission system for Pennsylvania and 12 other states and the District of Columbia have asked some major electricity users in the area to reduce their power usage on Friday. When demand increases, PJM has two options: turn up the amount of electricity transmitted on the grid or ask businesses to decrease use. If demand gets too high, wires may be exposed to unsafe amounts of electricity, causing them to overheat and ultimately short out, according to a PJM spokesperson. A demand response program allows PJM to call cooperating businesses and ask them to conserve electricity while also limiting resident’s air conditioning use during these high peak periods called cycling.