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PJM Backs Duke’s $9.8M ‘Stranded Gas’ Claim

And now the lawsuits over winter’s Polar Vortex 2014 begin. Much like this winter (coldest in 22 years), this is a unique circumstance and would be record-setting.

The players:

PJM—the regional authority that calls on power generators to meet expected and actual electric (power) demand (PJM could represent any utility that was affected).

Duke—owns generation plants (this could be any energy marketer serving customers).

Duke Lee Energy Facility (Source: Bill Spindler,

Duke Lee Energy Facility (Source: Bill Spindler,

FERC—the federal government overseeing wholesale interstate markets (this of as the referee).

Like all power suppliers when the utility (in this case PJM) called for more power to meet the record demand for electricity (natural gas) the generators had to respond. Duke went out and bought natural gas to generate the electricity but didn’t get paid enough from the electricity (or reselling the natural gas) to cover its cost (plus profit). Therefore, it wants to recover the cost from PJM (think all of us).

Duke is not unique. Every utility did this to every supplier during this winter. Whether it was gas or electric, it worked the same. The utility called for more and the marketers had to respond.

The idea that we (Realgy) could go back to one of the utilities that requested more gas/electricity such as NICOR, Citizens, COMED, Consumers, etc. and say that you asked us to bring more but we didn’t get paid enough so please make up the difference—well it’s laughable. However, Duke thinks it’s not!

Realgy Energy Services is an energy marketer of natural gas and electricity in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. We provide direct service without a utility mark-up behind 12 utilities. To learn how much we can save you and the benefits of Customer Choice please see

Read the whole ROT Insider article, “PJM Backs Duke’s $9.8M ‘Stranded Gas’ Claim

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COMED parent company to pay $6,800,000,000 for East Coast utility

As the late Harry Caray, iconic baseball announcer, might say, “Holy Cow!”.

Now we see that Exelon, the corporate holding company which owns the local utilities of Baltimore Gas & Electric and COMED, seeks ownership of the utilities around Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. This would more than double the customers they serve in COMED.

Utility acquisitions that are not in relatively close proximity to their current customers would appear to offer no benefits to either Exelon or Pepco customers.

This acquisition will be closely scrutinized and I am sure will it will be opposed by several groups.

Exelon previous proposed the acquisition of a large utility group in New Jersey from which they ultimately withdrew due to opposing parties.

I look forward to hearing the rationale of how each local utility (BG&E, COMED, Pepco, and Atlantic City Electric) justifies the way each utilities’ customers are better served by having a larger corporation in charge of it.


Read the whole Crain’s Chicago Business Article $6.8 billion Pepco buy makes Exelon an East Coast force



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Lake County Fairgrounds breaks ground on the installation of its first solar power project

PRESS RELEASE December 02, 2013 | By: Realgy, LLC

Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake, Ill., will soon be partially powered by a 160 solar panel PV system.

Realgy, LLC has announced the start of installation on a 37.5 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system for Lake County Fairgrounds. The solar PV system will be installed on the roof and will occupy approximately 53- by 54-square-feet of space. Lake County Fairgrounds, operated by Lake County Fair Association, is the home of the historic Lake County Fair and other quality year-round events.

The solar PV system is being installed by Renewable Energy Alternatives of Arlington Heights, Illinois. This is the first solar project that Renewable Energy Alternatives has completed for Lake County Fairgrounds. “We are excited to be a part of this venture,” said Kacie Peters, Director of Sales and Marketing at Renewable Energy Alternatives. “The array is in a very public space and will be seen by thousands annually. We hope that this array will inspire others to know solar is possible—and practical in Illinois.”

Realgy, LLC is an alternative energy service supplier in Illinois, and will be supplying Lake County Fairgrounds their electricity and selected them for this installation. Lake County will receive all of the solar energy produced by the panels, which will reduce their reliance on fossil generated energy produced primarily from coal in Illinois.

Once complete the Lake County solar PV system will produce over 49, 000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually and more than one million kWh over the next 25 years. That is enough energy to power about 2 average U.S. homes every year. The environmental benefits associated with the system will offset about 900 thousand pounds of carbon dioxide over the initial 25 years of operation.

“We are excited to announce the start of the Lake County Fairgrounds solar project,” said Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy. “Realgy made this investment as a part of our sustainable energy commitment and due to the support of Illinois Department of commerce Renewable Energy Program and the Illinois Solar Energy Association.”


Lake County Fairgrounds
1060 East Peterson Road
Grayslake, Illinois 60030

Renewable Energy Alternatives
Kacie Peters
3670 Commercial Avenue
Northbrook, Illinois

Realgy, LLC
Nicole Werner
675 Oakwood Avenue
West Hartford, CT

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Don’t let Energy Vampires ruin your Holidays

Standby or vampire power as it is most commonly referred to, wastes $10 Billion of Electricity Annually in the United States alone. The average US household has about 25 electronic devices that constantly draw small amounts of power, costing on average $100 per year.

Top 10 Energy Vampires in Your home

  1. Laptop computers (when they are plugged in)
  2. Answering machines
  3. Computer printers
  4. TVs and cable boxes
  5. Video games
  6. Cell phone chargers
  7. Internet hubs and routers
  8. Plugged-in electric toys
  9. Night lights
  10. Holiday lights and decorations

hoilday Lights

How to slay the energy vampires in your home?

Minimize the amount of lights you use to decorate this year, switch to LED lights and most importantly use a timer for your holiday lights both inside and out.

Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment, which completely disconnects the power supply.

Unplug your chargers: cell phone chargers, camera chargers, battery chargers or power adapters, etc. These are drawing energy even when not in use (and even when not connected to an end-use product).

Check out the biggest Vampire Energy offenders


Energy Star, Standby Power and Energy Vampires, Are Energy Vampires Sucking You Dry?
Standby Power, Ranges of Standby Power
AOL, Energy Conscious Holiday Lighting

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From the PriceWatch™ Service Desk

It happens every year when the temperatures start to drop; more people start to turn on their furnaces and gas prices rise due to the increased use. Realgy has a solution to the price increases: PriceWatchTM

PriceWatch™ is a Realgy exclusive service that monitors the natural gas market to pin-point the most advantageous time for our natural gas customers to lock in a rate for the winter heating months.

This year the PriceWatchTM analysts here at Realgy have determined that customers will show a significant savings by locking in a natural gas rate for the winter months, November to March. Realgy has already started sending out emails and calling customers to let them know that it’s time to fix their gas rates using PriceWatchTM.

Already we have had many customers lock in their rates; this, along with Natural Gas storage, will ensure that the winter bills will not be as high as they normally would have been if a customer merely relied on with their local utility company.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact a Realgy Energy Services Customer Service Representative by phone (877)-300-6747, by email, by fax (860)-23 -3884, or by mail 675 Oakwood Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06110.

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In Response to “10 US natural gas export projects you should watch”

Written by Michael Vrtis President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the CNBC article 10 US natural gas export projects you should watch

This article is recognition of the “game changing” affect that natural gas fracking has had on the US.

As recently as 5 years ago; the talk was about importing natural gas. A slew of LNG terminals were proposed to import liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Today, not 1 of those proposed LNG import terminals is on the table or under permit. Rather there are over 15 LNG terminals being proposed or under siting consideration ALL to export LNG.

Quite a turn of events that technology has brought to the US and the world.

Check out the CNBC article:10 US natural gas export projects you should watch

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In Response to Chicago can’t beat ComEd price. So raise it?

Written by Michael Vrtis President of Realgy Energy Services in response to Chicago can’t beat ComEd price. So raise it?

Realgy DOES NOT support changing how the Illinois Power Agency buys power, so that our prices can be more competitive.

We already are:

  • Realgy has been below ComEd monthly pricing since January 2012, Twenty-one straight months in a row!
  • Our average commercial customer has saved $3,741.41
  • Our average residential customer has saved $90.02

We compete in serving our customers, not just with lower priced energy but smarter buying strategies.

This price question is a result of municipal aggregation, where cities like Chicago want to be able to raise money by adding a surcharge onto the electric rate customers pay, and still show savings compared to the utility!

Municipalities select an energy marketer as their preferred vendor and require they add a surcharge to their cost which they pay to the city. The surcharge provides no value to the customer or the energy marketer.

Perhaps instead of looking to raise everyone’s price of power they should just get out of the aggregation business or look to actually add value for their surcharge.

Check out Crain’s article: “Chicago can’t beat ComEd price. So raise it?


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5 ways to save energy and stay cool this summer

1. Close your blinds!

Closing your blinds in the summer reduces radiant heat from the sun entering your house or office.

Even if you close the blinds only during peak sun hours this trick will help decrease the amount of radiant heating caused by the summer sun.


close the blinds


2. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees

Air conditioners will run at their optimal performance level when set at 78 degrees. Making it even 5 degrees lower will result in your AC using up to 40% more energy. Keep that thermostat at 78 degrees during the day and turn it down at night, to conserve the most energy.




3. Use passive cooling techniques

To reduce the need to turn on the AC try out some passive cooling techniques.

Passive cooling techniques include but are not limited to planting trees or hedges, installing window awnings, the use of fans, and opening and closing windows and blinds at the appropriate times of day. For example you would open windows at night for the cool breeze and close them along with blinds during peak sun hours.


4. Upgrade your windows

Replacing old single-pane windows with new dual-pane ones that include Low-emissivity (Low-E). The Low-E coating reduces energy loss by as much as 50%, and as a bonus you could be eligible for tax credits for buying energy star rated windows.


New Windows


5. Reduce your energy costs

Enroll with Realgy Energy Services to save on your natural gas and electricity

These simple tricks coupled with Realgy Energy Services low rates can drastically reduce your energy costs this summer.

croppedCheck out Realgy Energy Services rates and see how much you could be saving Or Call one of our Energy Brokers today 877-300-6747.



U.S Department of Energy, Energy Savers, Thermostats and Control Systems

The Daily Green, Close Your Blinds to Beat the Heat

Earth 911, 9 Ways to Ready Your home For Summer

Houzz, Life Without Air Conditioning? These Passively Cooled Homes Say Yes

U.S Department of Energy, Energy Savers, Window Types

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In response to “How ComEd’s rate design benefits suburbs over the city”

Written by Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy Energy Services in response to Crain’s article “How ComEd’s rate design benefits suburbs over the city

ComEd is one member of a larger group of utilities called PJM. Each utility that makes up the power pool of PJM sets how its own method of collecting the costs of running the power plants and transmission lines. This makes the PJM pool a low-cost producer with great reliability.

PJM has notified its members (who voted for it years ago) about his change.

ComEd can allocate capacity costs in any manner it wishes; however, ComEd chooses not to change its collection approach which has stayed the same for more than 20 years.

ComEd doesn’t need smart meters to make this change, it needs smarter policy.

Allocating capacity based on aggregate demand of the load center serving a municipality is possible as well as more equitable than the broad and out-dated policy of ComEd.

Realgy already operates under PJM capacity allocation rules and we will continue to be the residential and business choice where energy is all about price, information, and service.

Check out  Crain’s article: “How ComEd’s rate design benefits suburbs over the city


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In response to “ComEd rates are set to surge”

Written by Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the Crain’s article “ComEd rates are set to surge

The headline is clear, the timing is a year away…so what to do?

Short-term power planning normally means a 10 year span because power infrastructure (such as pipelines, power plants, distribution lines, etc) have useful lives of 25 years.

So, while the talk about a year-to-year rate hike is not unique, it is certainly unnecessary.

This is the result of Illinois legislators giving ComEd approval for expenditures (which result in rate or cost increases) that the regulators (think of them as the technical advisors) can’t review, modify, or reject. The result is political involvement and rate shock.

Perhaps the 23% rate increase will provide benefit; that is usually how the regulators hold the utility accountable. However, when the politicians approved this increase, guess who will, in turn, hold the utility accountable? That’s right, not a soul.

What to do? Sign up with Realgy Energy Services. Realgy has delivered costs below ComEd for over 5 years. We will continue to provide a fixed price that will reduce this unnecessary rate shock.

Check out Realgy Energy Services ComEd rates for May 2013 and see how much you could be saving Or Call one of our Energy Brokers today 877-300-6747.

Read the whole Crain’s article: “ComEd rates are set to surge


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