The August natural gas wholesale contract traded sideways yesterday but there seemed to be more to it than that. This market is being held up by the heat so the current up trend may be short lived but as of right now, the trend is your friend and the hotter than normal temperatures are keeping buyers heavily in the market. The 6 to 10 day forecast still calls for above average temperatures for the eastern half of the country except for Florida and the 11 to 15 day forecast is the same with the Midcontinent or mid section of the country calling for much above average temperatures. This heat is pushing power demand to summer highs and lowering the storage injection pace over the last few weeks. One other point to note is how this market will react to the further delays by Congress in raising the debt ceiling and it’s impact on the financial markets as well.
On the efficiency front, since its launch in October 2009, PECO customers have saved more than $131 million dollars in energy costs by taking advantage of PECO Smart Ideas, the company's highly successful suite of energy efficiency and demand response programs. This is in addition to more than $40 million dollars also received by customers in PECO rebates and financial incentives for their energy saving actions. This energy savings has the same environmental impact as removing more than 81,000 cars from roadways or planting more than 937,269 trees. Overall more than 227,000 customers have participated in PECO Smart Ideas energy efficiency and demand response programs. Specifically customers have: 1/ purchased more than 6.8 million PECO smart lighting discounted CFL bulbs, 2/ recycled over 23,000 energy guzzling refrigerator’s with PECO smart appliance recycling and 3/ completed over 26,000 energy saving PECO smart Home e-audits.
Along the lines of Michigan utilities, so many large electricity users have switched from Public Services of New Hampshire (PSNH”s) to competitive energy suppliers that PSNH's remaining residential and small customers pay about 8 percent more according to a electricity publication. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission is weighing how to remedy that disparity after a yearlong inquiry into the matter. A determination from state regulators is expected any time now. PSNH is unique in that it still owns and operates power plants, while its smaller competitors in the state have divested their power generation and meet their customers' energy supply needs through competitive bids from wholesalers. As more customers leave PSNH, the fixed costs of operating its power plants, with 1,150 megawatts of capacity, are spread over a smaller pool of remaining customers. PSNH is seeking to shift $40 million in costs through a non-bypassable charge to be paid by all customers, even those who buy their energy supply from PSNH competitors. But the nonbypassable charge would mean $100,000 a year in extra costs to companies such as Summit Packaging Systems Inc. in Manchester, the company wrote to the PUC.