Archive for the ‘Electricity’ Category

Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana continue to slip behind Illinois’ electric prices

Posted on: March 27th, 2017 by rgadmin

03 27 17

Over 10 years ago, Illinois had some of the highest rates in the Midwest; today not so much, as they are below their neighboring states.

What did Illinois do that Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana haven’t; implement customer choice.

Customer choice enable businesses and residents to buy energy directly from the wholesale market without having the utility put any additional costs or taxes on top of the energy cost.

Its work so well in Illinois that its residents and business have saved over $37 billion and counting.

http://realgyenergyservices.com/competition-work-tune-37-billion/

Comparing current (2016) electric rates:

Electric cost
Illinois      $0.063
Indiana      $0.071
Ohio     $0.068

Illinois is leading the Midwest in energy costs, solely due to customer choice.

The arguments made against customer choice programs are always based upon the impact it would have on the incumbent utility(s) and creating doubt whether customers can buy energy. The first thing to overcome in customer choice, is that utilities don’t want competition and that they are major contributors to politicians. The politicians have to believe in technology and that residents can buy energy like they buy everything else.

In Illinois, what are the drivers lowering cost;

  1. Competition: there are over 30 energy marketers offering over 100 types of agreements for residents to buy energy. Abundant choices, lower costs.
  2. Technology: Illinois has deployed more smart meters enabling real-time pricing, time-of-use pricing offering numerous advances to marketers and the utility to reduce costs to residents.

Illinois has its issues but offering customer choice isn’t one of them.

The economic benefits will soon require other states implement customer choice, the sooner they do so the better it will be for their residents.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM

Additional Information:

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060051085


School fights to keep solar incentive; it’s why they installed it!

Posted on: March 16th, 2017 by rgadmin

03 16 17

The Indiana General Assembly (Senate Bill 309) has corrected a provision in an earlier bill that would have eliminated an incentive used by the school in deciding to install solar panels.

The incentive allows for “net” metering. That is; if the solar panels generate more energy in some months than you use, you get a credit for those kilowatts (kWh). If you use more in the next month than the solar panels generate, you can draw from the stored kilowatts and net out the bill.

Changing that provision would mean that when the solar panels generate more energy than you can use; you sell them to the utility at the wholesale cost ($.03 /kWh) and when you need more you buy it at the retail cost ($0.11 /kWh).

In the case of Lebanon Community School eliminating the net metering would have cost the school $300,000 to $900,000 in just a few years.

Utilities across the country are trying to have net metering removed from their service requirement. However, changing the rules should NOT take place to punish those who invested and relied on the rule to continue.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://www.reporter.net/news/local_news/school-fights-to-keep-solar-power-incentive/article_44ef01b5-013a-56cd-884f-e498067e7e00.html

 


Ridgeland Recreation Complex completes installation of its solar power project.

Posted on: December 20th, 2016 by rgadmin

solar panels

The Park District of Oak Park’s Ridgeland Common Recreation Complex will soon be powered by 100 kW of solar energy. Realgy, LLC announced the installation of a 100.8 kilowatt (kWDC) solar photovoltaic (PV) system for the Rec Center which houses an indoor ice rink and outdoor pool serving the Oak Park community.

The solar PV system is being installed on the roof of the ice rink. Jan Arnold, Executive Director of the PDOP stated: “The Solar system will reduce not only our operating expenses but our carbon foot print. The park district is always looking to expand solar opportunities to increase sustainability as well as improve our overall environmental conditions.” This project will help to make the building a LEED Certified Gold Building, the first of its kind in the Chicago area.

The solar PV system is being installed by Eco Solar Solutions of Morton Grove, Illinois. “Ridgeland has a relatively new metal roof with southern exposure making it an ideal candidate for solar,” said Terry Black, Director of Business Development for Eco Solar Solutions. “When the center is using the most electricity during the summer months, the system will be producing at its peak. This projects fits in perfectly with the sustainable efforts of everyone involved in the project.”

Realgy, LLC is an alternative energy service supplier in Illinois and is the owner of 6 solar PV systems, including our newest at Ridgeland. Realgy is paying for the installation so as to generate renewable energy locally as part of its sustainable commitment in Illinois.

The Ridgeland PV Solar system will produce over 125,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually and more than 3.1 million kWh over the next 25 years. That is enough energy to power over 12 average Illinois homes annually. Beyond the economic value are the environmental and health benefits associated with the PV system. Consider the following:

  1. Reduction of 337,500 lbs. of coal burned each year to produce an equal amount of electricity. That is the same as getting 337 pickup trucks of coal off the road.
  2. Substituting the use of coal means the removal of 87,500 lbs. of CO2 into the environment each year. That is the equivalent of planting 6,731 trees.

“We expect to complete the installation by Christmas,” said Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy, LLC. “The Ridgeland PV project builds on our commitment of reducing the cost and providing the environmental benefits of renewable energy to our customers in Illinois.”

Realgy entered into a long term agreement with the Park District under which the District pays nothing for the Solar PV system, its installation or maintenance. Ridgeland simply remains a customer of Realgy and pays only the market-based cost of power it uses (averaging 5% below COMED rates). In addition, the Park District will receive a discount of about 10% as a result of having the solar energy displace energy that would otherwise be delivered (and charged) by COMED.

Contacts:

Chris Lindgren
Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds
218 Madison St
Oak Park, Il 60302
708-725-2050
chris.lindgren@pdop.com

ECO SOLAR Solutions, LLC.eco
Paul Szczesny, President
847-220-8786
paul@eco-solar-solutions.com
www.eco-solar-solutions.com

Realgy Energy Services, LLCrealgy energy services good quality
Michael Vrtis, President
675 Oakwood Avenue
West Hartford, CT
860-233-2270
www.realgyenergyservices.com


Public Power: An Industry in Flux

Posted on: November 10th, 2016 by rgadmin

11-10-16

The power industry has been adjusting to the abundance of natural gas (from fracking) and its impact on the power industry cannot be understated. Nearly every major new stationary power plant built in the last 8 years has been powered by natural gas. And, during this same period we have had wind and solar power competing and winning. Wind and solar allow an investment to be made and for 20 years generate electricity with little maintenance and no emissions.

The combination of inexpensive natural gas and greater efficiency of solar and wind is changing power companies.

Consider Nebraska: the only state that gets 100% of its power from publicly owned power companies (the state residents own the power plants).

They closed one of their nuclear power plants citing that it is not competitive with low gas prices and regulatory costs. The replacement power is expected to be …1,200MW of wind!

That is extraordinary given that Nebraska is next door to one of the least expensive coal production in the US in Wyoming.

However, the wind resource in Nebraska combined with the wind technology will continue to offer alternatives to coal, nuclear and gas.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/nebraska/public-power-an-industry-in-flux/article_708cb4ad-56eb-5bdb-b223-d4de90f4bff8.html

 


What if all Nuclear power plants all close?

Posted on: October 27th, 2016 by rgadmin

nuclear

Nuclear power was viewed as a miracle when it appeared some 50 years ago. Vast electrical power generation without any emission. It quickly gained about 25% of the electrical energy production in the US. Until that time, coal made up 80% and hydro 20%; all other sources contributed less than 1%.

What changed in 50 years; in a word…. “Energy Diversity”. Consider where the US electrical energy sources come from today:

  1. Coal provides about 37%                      10-27-16
  2. Natural gas about 30%
  3. Nuclear 19%
  4. Hydro 7%
  5. Wind 4%
  6. Solar 2%
  7. Wood and other 1%

 

 (EIA.gov)

Diversity of power sources ensures no single economic change affects all sources; thereby prevent major economic disruptions. Each energy sources has emissions, jobs and technical issues related to its produced energy. Therefore, each needs to be evaluated and consideration to its full contributions considered.

Eliminating any one source of generation will affect all the other sources and make the US more dependent on less resources.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM and Index, Fixed pricing.

Additional Information:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/science/nuclear-energy-power-plants-advanced-reactors.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

 


Home tour gives a taste of solar power

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by rgadmin

Solar panels 2

Ever wanted to know what living with a solar power plant on your roof is like?

Several people participating in the Illinois Solar Tour 2016 found out.

How about:

“A minimum electric bill; only the basic monthly charge”

“$170 in savings in one month compared to last year “

“100 percent pleased”

Realgy operates 5 solar power plants in Illinois.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://thesouthern.com/awareness/southern-illinois-homeowners-share-about-value-of-solar-energy/article_e4ba085c-d775-580d-9abc-b108fbf3b622.html

 


The way you pay for electricity will be changing….

Posted on: October 11th, 2016 by rgadmin

The conversation will be about demand charges vs. time-of-use (TOU); don’t let the jargon fool you: they want to charge you more.

The conversation includes the following (shown on the chart)

  • Usage is the energy used in a given period, the chart below shows monthly
  • Average is determined by dividing the sum of the value by their number
  • Peak: the highest amount used in a period

10-11-16

So this discussion by utility regulators is HOW you should pay for energy consumption.

Current method: you pay a customer service fee and an average energy charge based on your USAGE. Lower usage means a lower bill.

Demand method is you pay based on your PEAK. Peak energy is the most expensive to supply as many people are using near the same time. Demand charges are substantial and will be set for 1 year or more. The only way to lower this cost, is to lower your peak energy demand.

TOU method means you pay the market based charge during the time period (normally hourly, in this example monthly) you use the energy. To lower your bill under TOU you need to be able to reduce your energy USAGE when prices are high.

Energy marketers already buy TOU. Utilities do as well, they pass along costs 1-3 months after incurred. So TOU is what everyone buys now, however, it may be delayed.

Demand method is more complicated as it allows utilities to recover costs they MIGHT occur. It also shift a great deal of complexity and measurement to residential customers.

Having consumers incur demand charges recognizes the influence that residential consumption is having on utility distribution. Demand charges have always been prevalent in commercial and industrial utility rates. As industry energy usage declines and residential increases the utilities are looking to shift their rates accordingly.

Utilities commissions need to strike a balance by encouraging local energy generation (solar, wind, storage), maintaining a robust distribution network and letting energy marketers bring market based energy prices.

The discussion are coming and the balancing has begun.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/demand-charges-vs-tou-rates-the-great-arizona-rate-design-experiment/426902/


Do regulators ever reduce regulation? The ICC will be making it harder for customers to save money on their energy.

Posted on: October 10th, 2016 by rgadmin

ICC

The State of Illinois required electric utilities to offer competitive offers for electric service. The distribution of the energy (through the wires) would remain regulated, meaning the utility (COMED, Ameren, MEC) would remain. This was so effective that in April of 2014 the state issued its report citing $37,000,000,0000 ($37 billion) that residential customers in Illinois saved

http://realgyenergyservices.com/competition-work-tune-37-billion/

So why make it harder to sign up for such a service?

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) believes it’s necessary to prevent customers from being misled.

For instance, the ICC is proposing to train sales people before they would be allowed to offer such services door-door. I am sure this will be the training that Department of Transportation workers receive in issuing your driver’s license (hasn’t that worked out great).

After you sign an agreement for service you will need to have a company call to verify that you intended to sign that document…..it’s called third party verification but isn’t that why you signed it?

No automated renewal, no phone call for updates; rather it requires US Mail service for changes.

The ICC already has the authority to stop any alternative retail energy supplier or utility from misleading a customer. So these proposed changes add regulation on top of regulation. Which by the way is what a regulatory agency would want! 

Realgy opposes unnecessary regulation that serves no purpose but to obstruct a customer’s decision.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20160928b.html

http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20160928c.html


More protections coming when you sign up for an electric offer?

Posted on: October 3rd, 2016 by rgadmin

ICC

The Illinois Commerce Commission (the regulators overseeing consumer protection in Illinois) has issued a first notice that if enacted would offer additional regulatory safeguards to customers selecting a retail energy provider.

Sales conducted in-person such as door to door sales, multilevel marketing and any signing up at a kiosk (say at a fair or church group), would require the energy representative to complete all the following:

  • Identification: wear credentials showing picture, full name and company logo
  • Criminal background check: completed by a third party (doesn’t disqualify if positive)
  • Third party verification of the customer’s enrollment decision (not just a signed agreement but a recording of the customer authorizing the enrollment)

Every alternative retail energy supplier (ARES) in Illinois is required to be authorized by the ICC. Further, every ARES is subject to losing their authorization if their conduct is fraudulent, misleading or abusive.

The ICC is the agency that receives and addresses complaints from consumers. Apparently, they believe there is a need for such new rules. However, it seems unclear to me whether these changes offer new protections. It’s apparent to me that if customers are being enrolled under misleading, fraudulent or abusive tactics then the ICC has the authority to end such practices today.

Realgy is in compliant with current rules and will review any final rule to ensure we stay such.

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20160926a.html


What is Energy Choice?

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by rgadmin

power-lines-michigan2-1170x659

Should a simply question not have a simple answer. Why is the sky blue? How does electricity get to the outlet?

We live in a market driven society but the idea of shopping for energy suppliers can seem baffling.

Answers can illuminate complex relationships, convey a simplified understanding or seek to explain the purpose.

So why do we have energy choice? Let’s look at 3 such answers:

  1. Regulating the monopoly utility for energy purchases was shown to be more costly (customers could save money)
  2. It allowed market conditions to set the price, as in supply and demand
  3. Energy Choice created new businesses and offered customers new energy purchasing options

Of course the bottom line in Energy Choice:

SUPPLIER: Obtains sources of energy for you

UTILITY: Delivers your energy to you

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 energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Additional Information:

http://competitiveenergy.org/what-is-choice/


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