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The MPSC posted a press release today regarding the Michigan Choice Program. Realgy along with the MPSC recommends customers review contract terms when enrolling in a new program to fully understand agreement details. They offer tips on how to ensure clear understanding of alternate offers.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,9535,7-395-93307_93313_17280-568345–,00.html

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Gas and electric prices soar; billing impacts, utility pricing to increase, investigations begin

Weather always impacts energy markets. Massive weather changes impact National energy markets.

The latest Polar Vortex of February 2021 covered nearly 2/3 of North America. The result in the energy markets was immediate. Customers used more energy to stay warm. Utilities demanded more energy to meet demand. Pipelines and electric lines had massive draws.

Prices increased. However, electric generation could not respond as some weren’t winterized and couldn’t start. Gas pipelines originating from Texas and Oklahoma restricted gas supply leaving those states. This resulted in gas pipelines not delivering the request for more gas.

Prices soared, utilities and gas pipelines declared the results of the polar vortex as an unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. THIS ALLOWED them to make demands and pass-through costs without restraint.

Realgy DOES NOT benefit from any of these events. OUR COSTS to pipelines and utilities went up nearly 10 times. These costs are just passed through. IT’S PAINFUL for us and you, we understand that.

So, energy suppliers feel the costs first. Realgy has to pay our pipeline and supplier for February 2021 gas and delivery already. It’s 10 times what we planned, we had to borrow money to pay these energy costs.

Utilities have seen these costs and will pass them through to their utility supply (gas and electric) over the coming months.

The impact of the February 2021 Polar Vortex:

Yes, every energy supplier marketer/utility suffered higher costs. Yes, every marketer/utility will recover these costs. Yes, utility rates will go up to collect these purchases.

Realgy is doing everything possible to recover only the costs associated with the pipelines and utilities declaring the force majeure. We will offer relief to our customers to help.

Here is a typical reply from utilities:

“Over the last two weeks due to the extreme cold and the incredible demand on the system due to the wintry weather across the nation including Texas, we had to go to market to meet demand above our base plan and we did see higher prices due to the extreme cold that extended into Texas and impacted gas supply.” Sandstrom added he does not know yet what the customer billing impact is going to be but will be working with their regulators to help mitigate impacts to customers. “I also want to clarify that we don’t profit from higher natural gas prices, we are just a distributor and our commodity costs essentially get passed through to our customers. We definitely saw a price spike in the commodity costs for a few days, but bills will tend to be higher regardless as customers used more gas to heat their homes during the polar vortex.”

The investigations are beginning:

State level:

In a letter sent Saturday to federal regulators, Smith said the price spikes will not harm just consumers but, could “threaten the financial stability of some utilities that do not have sufficient cash reserves to cover their short-term costs in this extraordinary event.” The letter was sent to the Energy Department, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced today that its Office of Enforcement is examining wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during last week’s extreme cold weather to determine if any market participants engaged in market manipulation or other violations.

If the Office of Enforcement finds any potential wrongdoing that can be addressed under FERC’s statutory authority, it will pursue those matters as non-public investigations.

Federal level:

FERC explained that this examination will take place as part of the Division of Analytics and Surveillance’s (DAS) ongoing surveillance of market participant behavior in the wholesale natural gas and electricity markets. The Division uses market participant-level trading data and data from the financial markets to screen daily and monthly trading at the majority of physical and financial natural gas trading hubs in the US and the organized and bilateral wholesale electricity markets. DAS closely identifies and scrutinizes any potentially anticompetitive or manipulative behavior to determine if an investigation is appropriate.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information:

https://www.wdio.com/duluth-minnesota-news/natural-gas-utlities-price-spike-impact/6022819/

https://www.myjournalcourier.com/insider/article/Cold-snap-wanes-but-massive-bills-in-offing-for-15974019.php

https://www.fox9.com/news/concern-grows-for-possible-high-energy-bills-after-spike-in-natural-gas-prices

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/senator-seeks-probe-of-natural-gas-price-spikes-during-storm/ar-BB1dRvPl?ocid=uxbndlbing

https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/news/ferc-examine-potential-wrongdoing-markets-during-recent-cold-snap

https://news.wttw.com/2021/02/20/senator-seeks-probe-natural-gas-price-spikes-during-storm

https://wgem.com/2021/03/03/illinois-congressmen-seeking-investigation-federal-relief-for-surging-natural-gas-prices/

 

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Tips to Lower Your Utilities This Winter

Here’s your bi-annual reminder to make some improvements around your home or business to save money on utility bills. Winter brings about colder weather for most of us North Americans and with that comes an increase in energy usage. There are more ways to conserve than just turning down the thermostat. You can seal any air leaks around windows and doors. Try to also keep them closed as much as possible to prevent losing the warm air created inside. Use the sun to your benefit by keeping curtains open to let the warm sunlight in but, keep them closed at night to reduce heat loss. Insulating your water heater and using your fireplace and oven will also be to your advantage. Among other tips, you can check out your utility’s website to find incentives and home assessments to see where you might be able to increase energy efficiency and savings .

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://ourcommunitynow.com/home-and-garden/start-a-winter-garden-to-keep-the-blues-away

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An $11 trillion global hydrogen energy boom is coming.

Long ago, oil and coal were discovered as useful when burned. This started us down the path of building a carbon and fossil-fueled economic world. Carbon is released when fossil fuels combust. Carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are known greenhouse gases.

Hydrogen is not naturally occurring like coal and oil. No dinosaurs died and decomposed into hydrogen. Remember that water is oxygen with two hydrogen atoms (H20). So, hydrogen exists in large quantities and can be readily separated from water and natural gas.

Like any fuel, storage issues must be addressed along with economic considerations. Just as technology investments caused wind and solar to become the power generation choice over coal and gas-fired generation. Technology has advanced to the point that a hydrogen energy cycle (extraction, storage, combustion, and conversion to electricity) is economic. The hydrogen option is becoming especially advantageous to countries that don’t have fossil fuels to extract. Fortunately, they have water and access to natural gas as alternatives to create hydrogen.

As electricity usage grows (powering cars, trucks, etc.) and climate change is addressed, alternatives to the carbon power cycle are needed. Technology has already made wind and solar the power generating choice for many. Hydrogen seems poised to add to the solution.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/01/how-salt-caverns-may-trigger-11-trillion-hydrogen-energy-boom-.html

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The United States of Energy Production

So, how do we generate electricity? It’s becoming more and more of a local state issue. Technology is certainly driving cost reductions and adopting alternatives.

Every state has changed its percentage of how electricity is generated over the last 10 years.

In some cases, dramatically. Consider how Iowa generated electricity from 2001 to 2019:

The major trends:

  1. Coal is not economically competitive against wind and natural gas.
  2. Wind is the most economical electric generation option in most states.
  3. Natural gas production and its use grew in all states.
  4. Solar power is fastest growing in the Southwest.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Check out your state: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/10/28/climate/how-electricity-generation-changed-in-your-state-election.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

 

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One company’s grand plan to help suppliers club together to buy green energy

What do long-term global or local businesses do when they see a problem? They solve it.

Climate change impacts lives today and is forecasted to accelerate its negative impact through increased storms, draught, fire, and hurricanes. Using the tools and abilities within their disposal, governments and businesses have responded to face this challenge.

Governments around the world agreed collectively to reduce emissions; see the Paris Agreement. The goal is for each country to reduce its emissions over 50 years.

Businesses are moving to reduce their carbon emissions by committing to renewable energy. A large company example is Walmart. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Walmart committed to sustainable energy. Fast forward to 2020, that commitment has translated to reduced waste and 29% of its electricity coming from renewables. Walmart’s aim is to use its initiative to create an alliance of companies that commit to renewable energy regardless of size called the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.

Seeing a problem and addressing it provides for opportunities. Walmart is reducing costs to operate its business while reducing waste and greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Win-Win-Win.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/23/walmart-wants-suppliers-to-buy-renewable-energy-collectively.html

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Fight Robo-Scams

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) advocates for Illinois’ citizens.  They fight utility rate hikes, promote environmentally friendly programs, and keep their consumers informed. Last month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a statement denouncing a robocall that told residents if they vote by mail, their information will be shared with various organizations.

CUB created a guide full of information on how to reduce calls from scammers and what not to do when you receive these calls. This is updated to warn you of the most recent scams people have encountered. For example: voting misinformation, government imposters, electric rip offs, bogus COVID-19 tests, and more. You can order a free copy or a printer- friendly version here which offers tips on avoiding scams that would rob you financially and/or of your rights.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.citizensutilityboard.org/ 

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DOE EIA Weekly Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 3,420 Bcf as of Friday, August 21, 2020, according to EIA estimates.

This represents a net increase of 45 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 580 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 438 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,982 Bcf. At 3,420 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.

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Illinoisans demand stricter coal ash rules, denounce state proposal

Coal is still about 50% of the fuel used to generate electricity in the U.S. nationwide with a larger percentage in the Midwest.

Combustion of coal results in large amounts of non-combustible material called coal ash. The remains include heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium, lead, and mercury. All these substances are poisonous or carcinogenic and can leach into ground water.

Illinois residents insist Governor Pritzker propose rules for storing coal ash to prevent ground water contamination. Currently when coal ash piles without a liner are rained on, the contaminates flow into the ground water.

A primary concern for advocates is coal ash impoundments near sources of drinking water via municipal systems or private wells.

Coal use as a fuel is reducing, however, it will continue as a fuel source. Our science and technology should be used to prevent it from poisoning our water sources.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://energynews.us/2020/08/14/midwest/illinoisans-demand-stricter-coal-ash-rules-denounce-state-proposal/

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Ohio follows Michigan in providing steps to recovery

As all things are COVID-19 pandemic, local support is everything.

In Michigan, we have won awards from towns for the use of PPE in door-to-door marketing. Please see https://realgyenergyservices.com/kent-county-recognizes-realgys-safe-business-practices/.

Ohio, likewise, has provided guidelines and protocols for restarting door-to-door marketing to offer competitive retail energy.

Local application of public health rules along with adequate protections appear to be on to balance public safety and commerce.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 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.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: http://www.energychoicematters.com/stories/20200812a.html

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