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Vistra Accelerates Closure of Ohio Coal Plant

VISTRA Energy will accelerate the retirement of their 1,200 MW (enough power to provide energy to 1,400 homes) plant on or before May 2022.

What will replace it? Solar or wind energy with battery storage.

The reason? Money. The price of power that VISTRA could receive has declined by over 50%.

Only renewable energy is economical enough to generate power at the expected energy rates.

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: Vistra Accelerates Closure of Ohio Coal Plant to Mid-2022, Years Earlier Than Planned – Jul 19, 2021 (vistracorp.com)

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DOE EIA Weekly Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 2,727 Bcf as of Friday, July 30, 2021, according to EIA estimates.

This represents a net increase of 13 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 542 Bcf less than last year at this time and 185 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,912 Bcf. At 2,727 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.

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DOE EIA Weekly Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 2,714 Bcf as of Friday, July 23, 2021, according to EIA estimates.

This represents a net increase of 36 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 523 Bcf less than last year at this time and 168 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,882 Bcf. At 2,714 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.

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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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Peoples Gas is spending billions to replace miles of aging pipe below Chicago by 2040. But will natural gas be obsolete before it’s complete?

In 2011, Peoples Gas began to replace 2,000 miles of pipelines below Chicago. Originally estimated to take 20 years and cost $2.6 billion, it is now projected to continue until 2040 and cost $7.7 billion. Interruptions have occurred due to “budget overruns, delays and charges of mismanagement”.

Many believe the project should be reviewed. By the time of completion, both gas and electric are anticipated to be very different from the systems we have now. Replacements are necessary to lower leaks and halt possible explosions as some pipes date back to the 1800s. However, costs have been passed along to customers. While Peoples has tried to keep those amounts down and minimize disruption in each neighborhood, consumers worry about paying their bills.

The Citizens Utility Board believes the focus should be on more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternatives such as electric-powered heat pumps. They want Peoples and the ICC to target and repair problem areas while pursuing their renewable energy goals.

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.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-peoples-gas-pipeline-replacement-renewable-energy-20201222-i6er5w2abjeazg34ywajhfvg7q-story.html

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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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Converting solar energy to hydrogen fuel, with help from photosynthesis

The search for new ways to provide energy and more of it is a constant concern for multiple industries. A team at the Israel Institute of Technology has developed a new efficiency record for converting solar to fuel. They’ve begun to incorporate photosynthesis to increase this development. Using sunlight, they are driving chemical reactions to turn water into hydrogen fuel. Challenges are the multi-step processes and ensuring material stability. Various approaches have been taken into consideration to convert solar energy into fuel. Developments have surpassed records in photocatalysis and they are well on the way to viably converting solar to hydrogen. The team’s discoveries are a breakthrough and are leading researchers to further solar-to-chemical conversions.

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://phys.org/news/2020-08-solar-energy-hydrogen-fuel-photosynthesis.html

 

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Solarize Chicagoland group-buy program bears fruit even in rough times

Environmental benefits and lower energy bills are a main draw for solar customers. Solarize Chicagoland’s participants reap those pros and then some. For those that find researching options and requirements to be laborious, this group-buy program might just gain your attention. They have support through each step of the solar installation process and their developer is accounted for. Windfree Solar was approved by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and partners. Plus, with more customers partaking, there’s an increase in savings and extra rebates through federal and state incentive programs. Helping the environment, increasing home value, decreasing monthly costs, and benefiting the community are valued aspects of the Solarize Chicagoland program.

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/2020/07/29/midwest/solarize-chicagoland-group-buy-program-bears-fruit-even-in-rough-times/

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Kent County Recognizes Realgy’s Safe Business Practices

PRESS RELEASE

Kent County Recognizes Realgy’s Safe Business Practices

24 JULY 2020 | BY: REALGY, LLC

Realgy’s Michigan Sales Team Before and After

Safety comes first at Realgy Energy Services for employees and for customers. Even when new challenges arise such as the current Covid-19 outbreak. The company’s Grand Rapids, MI sales team is no exception. Through the Kent County Back to Work Initiative, Realgy qualified to receive assistance with provisions of personal protective equipment. Kent County implemented this program due to the many concerns with acquiring safety gear for small businesses.

Realgy’s sales agents are approved and recognized as practicing safe business following a regimen of safety checks each morning. MI Sales Director Frank Blazek says employees are “constantly reminding each other to go through the checklist to ensure they have their gear along with all PPEs”.

Kent County provided Realgy’s Michigan staff with the proper equipment to safely continue working. Being gifted with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and thermometers has made employees feel they can continue providing the best possible service without risking anyone’s health. Community response along with Realgy team members provided great feedback for diligently pursuing cautionary steps. Residents have mentioned they are “happy to see representatives wearing masks and taking the virus seriously”. Some even said if they hadn’t seen representatives wearing masks properly, they wouldn’t have opened the door or been willing to discuss services.

Blazek’s philosophy involves leading by example and focusing on teamwork. He keeps in mind Zig Ziglar’s quote “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want”. The transition hasn’t been as difficult for his employees due to “They’ve always maintained the Realgy code of conduct and best sales practices. Ensuring customers are treated respectfully and prompting them with information up front is part of the procedure to ensure protection for both the agents and residents. We are happy to have gotten positive feedback and everyone seems thankful we’ve put their wellbeing first”, says Blazek.

Realgy has taken various steps throughout the last several months to continue business in each state during the pandemic. “We are proud of Frank and the Grand Rapids team for continuing to provide great service throughout Michigan” says Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy Energy Services. Recognition goes to all involved in taking the lead during this difficult time worldwide. The healthcare workers, first responders, and all essential employees working each day. Realgy upholds best practices to ensure safety comes first.

 

Realgy, LLC

Michael Vrtis, President

675 Oakwood Avenue

West Hartford, CT

860-233-2270

www.realgyenergyservices.com

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Upgrades to make your home more energy-efficient

Summer 2020 is here. With the warmer weather and current events, many will see a spike in electric bills. We’ve provided tips before on how to lower your energy usage here: https://realgyenergyservices.com/fast-ways-to-cut-your-home-energy-bills/.

However, if you find yourself looking to increase those savings, you may want to invest in some changes to make your home or business more energy-efficient. Take a look at these suggestions: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/25/upgrades-make-your-home-more-energy-efficient/

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.

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