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Electricity Savings with Fixed Pricing

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by rgadmin

 

 

 

SETTING A FIXED RATE FOR ELECTRICITY IS A GREAT WAY TO SAVE…IF IT’S BELOW THE UTILITY’S PRICE
We all look for ways to save. Oftentimes savings opportunities exist, but we’re not aware of them, or we’re too busy to look into them further. COMED and Ameren forecast their summer rates in early Spring….that’s the time to lock in a fixed rate for the upcoming summer. Setting a fixed price for more than one season means you will probably pay more than the utility during the next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAVE AND MANAGE YOUR BUDGET
Budgeting for electricity for an entire year can be a challenge due to fluctuations in usage. Colder month prices are typically lower, as usage is less. Prices jump during the summer months as demand increases. So how do you make spending more predicable? By setting a fixed price during the highest cost season (summer) when demand is highest. During winter a variable rate allows you to save when prices decline.

WHEN TO LOCK IN A RATE
The best way to save on electricity is to think seasonally. Since demand is at its peak in the summer months, setting a fixed rate for this period will provide a level of assurance, and can help you save. With Realgy’s PriceWatchTM we will watch market prices, utilizing our proprietary trading and computer services, and alert you when a fixed rate is in line with your budget and can beat the utility.

 


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John Deere Slowdown

Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by rgadmin

FINDING SAVINGS IN QUAD CITIES AMIDST SLOW ECONOMY

Over the past several months John Deere has been forced to layoff hundreds of employees, including the most recent round of 910 from their Illinois, and Iowa facilities. This comes on the heels of relatively abundant hiring over the past few years. Although experts close to the situation feel that this news does not necessarily indicate that the company is falling behind, the Quad Cities economy is feeling the pinch.

Map

Economic cycles bring highs and lows. During the low points, as we’re experiencing now, the affects can reach a variety of business types. The results have a ripple effect, causing loss of business to local banks, healthcare establishments, local suppliers, etc.

When the economy turns, businesses look for ways to save. For those located on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, electric choice provides the opportunity for businesses to choose an alternative energy supplier for their electricity. This means that they are no longer locked into the rate charged by the utility. Electric choice allows direct purchasing of electricity without additional costs from MidAmerican, Ill. The result is savings for businesses.

Realgy Energy Services provides electricity savings to businesses across the Quad Cities in the MidAmerican, Illinois service area – savings of 6% for our average customer. As a result, well-known businesses, and nearly every municipality including, East Moline, Rock Island, Andover, Hampton, Rapids City, and Milan, among others, have chosen Realgy as their electricity provider. Electricity services are not yet available in this market for residential clients.

When it comes to offering savings for businesses, Realgy is an innovator of plans that lead to costs savings. We have programs in place that assess, in detail, the electricity usage of the marketplace. We’ve been analyzing the MidAtlantic market for over a year. We apply these learning’s to the particular usage needs of our business clients. The result is a plan designed to help businesses take advantage of the most cost effective fee structure available.

As businesses in the Quad Cities, and beyond, continue to deal with the affects of a slower economy, it can be nice to know that there are options available to help improve the bottom line. Electricity, for a large or small business, can be a significant cost factor. When these costs can be reduced businesses start to see the affect.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan and Indiana. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual savings. Additional information; www.realgyenergyservices.com


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Smart Thermostats

Posted on: March 4th, 2015 by rgadmin

Smart Thermostats or Not.

I know you have seen Smart Water, we are being promised Smart Cities and of course the ubiquitous Smart Phone!

As with the smart phone (it’s only been 7 years since Apple iPhone came out), we adjusted to being connected 24/7/365 and Apps brought us Candy Crush, Tweets and Angry Birds; so too a connected thermostat will bring such changes.

Currently, there are apps that allow control over the thermostat and home lighting but it seems more a gizmo than a tool. A big advance in the usability of a connected thermostat will be when appliance manufacturers and energy companies allow pricing to be priced each hour.

Imagine: it’s 4PM and the price of electricity is $0.10 / kWh and you just load your washing machine and turn it on. However, it doesn’t start. It flashes you that it will begin at 8PM when the price is scheduled to be $0.03 / kWh. This type of pricing is called Time-of-Use (TOU) and it’s been available for very large energy users for some time. It will become available to energy consumers of all size.

The savings from one wash will be relatively small but in aggregate across a year and across a City could be very large, perhaps even smart!

So, what would it take you to want to buy a Smart Thermostat?

Some additional information on Smart Thermostats is available at: http://www.intelligentutility.com/article/15/01/smart-thermostats-could-help-utilities-combat-death-spiral?utm_source=2015_01_28&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=IU_DAILY&utm_content=4521

Realgy Energy Services, a natural gas and electric energy provider, advocates for the use of technology that allows consumers greater control over their choice of energy supplier and the use of energy.


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February 2015: Tied for Coldest February on Record

Posted on: March 3rd, 2015 by rgadmin

Chicago and the Tri-State area experienced a record cold February 2015 to go along with a very cold winter.

One more month and the winter of 2014/15 will be over and we can tally up the final score.

 

15winter_CHI

 

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/lot/15winter_CHI.png

 

 

 


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Chicago’s “worst electric deals”

Posted on: January 28th, 2015 by rgadmin

What makes the list for being the “worst electric deals” in Chicago? Of course, it’s price!

Price is the easiest item to compare and it’s very important. However, behind the low price can hide many costs!

Consider what we see every day:

  1. Teaser price: the “quoted” price is low…sounds like a deal. However, its only for 2-6 months. After that, the rate moves to a “market based” price. This is code for we charge you what we want.
  2. A fixed price (that isn’t): usually for 12-24 months. However, the fixed rate doesn’t include transmission or other “cost of service” or it’s for an amount of electricity that is below what you normally use. The “extra” electric is charge at….you guessed it “market price”.
  3. Renewal during peak season: a renewal that occurs in the summer during the highest price months is a trap to keep you. Using this tactic, you have little incentive to shop as you will miss their fixed price for the summer (when you use the most electricity).

 

What the difference between these energy marketers and Realgy? Consider first off that:

Realgy is listed A+ (highest with Better Business Bureau) and we have served Illinois (Michigan and Indiana) for nearly 15 years. We have 1,000’s of customer who chose us and stay with us: a 92% retention rate.

Our difference: we plan to save you money. In each utility (COMED, Ameren, MidAmerican), we know the utilities cost and we have a plan that can save you money.

We don’t offer a teaser rate, we plan your renewal during the off-peak months and we offer seasonal fixed prices.

Illinois Customer Choice works: please ask us to show you how.

Additional information about how we plan to save you money on electric choice in Illinois is at: http://realgyenergyservices.com/#Illinois

 

A link to the Worst Electric Deals is below;

http://abc7chicago.com/news/citizens-utility-board-lists-chicagos-worst-electric-deals/492005/

 


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Energy Choices Begin with a Choice

Posted on: January 28th, 2015 by rgadmin

Energy comes in many forms; wood, oil, solar, natural gas, propane, etc. With each choice comes the benefits and the costs of delivering those benefits.

Looking at natural gas, it is generally transported from one of three sources; Louisiana Gulf Coast, Oklahoma/Texas panhandle and recently shale gas in Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

It takes pipelines to carry the natural gas to where the people use the gas. The link below underscores some of the concerns in constructing new pipelines or expanding others; environmental (is it good for people), property rights, ecology (is it good for the all life on the planet) and cost.

Question: are you willing to support new or expanded pipelines for natural gas?

This question (along with many others) will influence what energy choices we have in the future.

 

http://www.naturalgasintel.com/articles/101144-northeast-natural-gas-pipe-projects-under-fire-but-its-never-been-easy

 


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In 10 years, your job probably won’t exist

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by rgadmin

Happy New Year, the future continues!

So with that in mind, here is an interesting question…will your job (career) exist in 10 years, how about 20?

Change is relentless and with the new comes obsolescence.

In energy, the prediction has been that solar will continue to advance in price and efficiency. While this is true, other technology is not standing still.

·       The internal combustion engine (cars, trucks, buses, electric generation) is getting more efficient. The US Government has set the average fleet MPG at over 50 within the next 15 years. Currently, it is around 30 MPG.

 ·       Light bulbs have radically changed, such that the incandescent is no longer available. The average LED light bulb will operate continuously for 5 years and would consume less energy over those 5 years than 1 incandescent light bulb operating for just 6 months. In the US, adoption to all LED light bulbs could eliminate the need for over 80 coal fired power plants.

 ·        Of course, fracking has changed the landscape of the oil industry and has cut US importing oil by nearly 30% over the last 5 years.

 

So change touches us all. It’s exciting to forecast into the future and equally exciting to see it be wrong and right!

 

Cheers to change.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/01/05/in-10-years-the-job-market-will-look-totally-different-heres-how-to-make-sure-youre-ready/?hpid=z5

by David Tuffley a lecturer in applied ethics and socio-technical Studies at Griffith University


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Natural Gas Collapses – “This is Panic Selling”

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by rgadmin

Panic is usually not a “good” thing. But, panic can be used to highlight extremes.

Last winter (2013); “Polar Vortex” came into most people’s vocabulary. Bitter cold extended over most of the continental United States. The result: a panic to higher spot price for natural gas. Recall supply and demand. The panic occurred due to “bottlenecks” in supplying natural gas and electricity.

This winter (2014) began yesterday (December 21, 2014) and the panic has resulted in natural gas prices dropping about 35% since end of Nov 2014. The reason: it’s not as cold as expected and the forecast is about Normal or average winter cold. So traders sold their position in natural gas (the NYMEX futures).

Volatility of natural gas is nothing new. So, if you are an end-user, what should you do? Look ahead…

1.      If you didn’t already, think about locking in your Feb and Mar 2015 price. Recall the old adage; Hogs get slaughter, pigs live on.

2.      Do not lock in a long term (beyond 6 months). Summer prices have not moved as much as this winters.

3.      Talk with your supplier about what this means for your 2015 budget.

Do not think like a trader and try to buy at the bottom; the reasons are many and the benefits are few (compared to the downside). Instead, look at what this means to your budget and plan accordingly.

Realgy is a full-service energy provider and would appreciate an opportunity to speak with you about your energy needs.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102289402

 


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COMED and Ameren Raise Rates

Posted on: December 18th, 2014 by rgadmin

Ameren and COMED have raised their delivery service costs. The following increases will take effect in January 2015:

Ameren up 17.4%

COMED up 11%

MidAmerican announced last month an increase of nearly 11%.

Realgy Energy is a wholesale energy provider that allows you to purchase your energy without the utility markup. The result; we save our customers money.

Additional information on our service is available at;

For COMED: http://realgyenergyservices.com/service-plans-53/

For Ameren: http://realgyenergyservices.com/service-plans-57/

For MidAmerican: http://realgyenergyservices.com/service-plans-58/

We serve residential and commercial customers.

The following is a link to the news announcement

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/12/3537665/ameren-comed-get-ok-to-raise-rates.html

 


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How to Get a Good Deal from an Energy Marketer

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by rgadmin

I am often asked how to get a “good deal” in choosing an energy supplier?

In the past, my answer typically began with an explanation of how “deregulation” or “customer choice” developed (which gets me glassy-eyed looks), which was followed by general advice such as: determine the quality of supplier; review the terms and conditions and then the pricing.

However, as we are having renewals with our customers reoccurring for the 4th, 5th and 6th time, I think what these customers have told me is more relevant….

In addition, during our 12+ years we seen many, many processes from consultants, aggregators or in request for proposals, I have consolidated these experiences into what I believe is a list of best practices;

1. Assemble a copy of all your bills (either electric or gas) including the following (this will help you eliminate or question what a marketer sends you in step 2).

a. Identify the energy cost on the bill(s).
b. Identify the delivery cost on the bill(s).
c. Add up the total energy used (either kwh for electric or Therms for natural gas) for 1-12 months, pairing each month with the energy cost (the delivery cost will not change).

2. Contact marketers and ask them for a proposal for service.

a. A list is available at: http://realgyenergyservices.com/customer-services/web-links/ under each utility.
b. Eliminate the ones who do not reply.
c. For ones who reply, ask for a comparison for at least the last 12 months of how their proposal price compared to the utility cost. Again, eliminate those who do not respond.
d. Look at how the marketer’s pricing and the utility pricing are presented.
IN MANY CASES marketers may be above a utility in some months; they should be able to explain why.
AVOID those that are above the utility for 12 months in a row.
AVOID those marketers whose comparison does not accurately show the utility cost.

3. With the marketers who responded and sent you their pricing comparison, ask for their terms and conditions (contract or Agreement). Read their agreements paying special attention to the following;

a. Pricing; is it defined, how long does it last, and what happens when it ends?
b. Quantity; if you’re buying a fixed price make sure it says how much gas you’re buying at the fixed price and what happens if you use more or less than that amount. If you’re buying a variable rate, it should state it’s for all your usage or “open” quality.
c. Renewal; when do you have to give notice to terminate, what happens if you don’t?
d. Additional Services: is storage included, what about changing plans (from variable to fixed), taxes, service fee, online access, answered customer service (vs. automated attendants), etc. Some additional service is worth the price, some are not.

While not an official step, there are good reasons to eliminate a marketer from consideration (in other words, absolutely avoid), such reasons include;

 a. No trade references or BBB accreditation.
b. An initial rate (fixed or variable) that lasts only 1-6 months and renews which is followed by a different (perhaps) vaguely defined price. These are known as “teaser” rates and will inevitably cost you more than the utility.
c. Language that doesn’t make sense is not clear in its intent or clearly favors the marketer.
d. A renewal date scheduled during the winter or summer. Make sure you can terminate your agreement for natural gas or electricity in April or May. This will give you the best period to switch or renew during a “low” energy usage period when pricing is more stable and you will not be under pressure to continue the agreement.


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