Trending: Utilities are consolidating and getting bigger.
Peoples and North Shore, already part of a utility holding company headquartered in Chicago, are being bought by a Wisconsin-based utility holding company.
NICOR is owned by a utility holding company with its headquarters in Atlanta.
The acquisition of Peoples is following a trend of consolidation of regional utilities. The leading argument for consolidation is that redundant “overhead” costs can be consolidated. What consolidation usually means is that the local utility is no longer local. Remember that Peoples, NICOR, and ComEd are not competitive companies eking out an unknown profit. They have a monopoly (much like the game!) where they get to recover their set profit margin on expenses incurred in providing their essential service. That is to say, the more they spend on providing their service, the more profit they make which is why regulators approve their costs.
So consolidation means what? Typically, regionalized services by utilities means a loss of stable local jobs accompanied by higher costs. Remember it’s not a competitive industry. They get a regulated return for delivering energy. That’s why reducing costs does not translate to lower energy costs (note; if they spend less, they make less profit). Consolidating accounting, customer service, and management typically results in longer wait times, longer outage times, and higher returns to corporate shareholders.
The good news is that you do have competition for your energy services. Realgy Energy Services offer electric and natural gas service that is consistently below the utility. We compete for your business, by saving you money. And we do enjoy competing with bigger utilities!
Read the full Chicago Sun-Times article: “Wisconsin Energy buying Peoples Gas parent Integrys for $9.1 billion”.
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?”
For all our natural gas and electric customers not currently on a fixed price, Realgy offers ServiceMatchTM as follows:
ServiceMatchTMBuyer has the right to present all written offers to RES that provide pricing and terms for service under the Program. RES will match the proposed terms and pricing from all qualified electric or natural gas service providers. If RES cannot offer better terms or pricing or match the same terms and pricing, RES will transfer Buyer to the new electric or natural gas supplier upon Buyer’s written request at the end of the Term. ServiceMatchTM is not valid when Buyer has a Fixed Price.
Please be aware that ServiceMatchTM is not a new service.
Realgy offers this and other services including but not limited to PriceWatchTM and natural gas storage, to all our eligible customers.
If you have any questions regarding ServiceMatchTM, fixed prices, or the end of your current Term, contact a Realgy Energy Services customer service representative at 860-300-6747.
Check out this great infographic from The Hub, which highlights easy ways for businesses to reduce energy bills. Print it out and share with everyone in the office; the more people aware of the energy savings possibilities, the more effective it will be.
Simple changes can significantly reduce business electricity costs.
If you are looking for an even larger reduction in your commercial electricity costs, consider enrolling with Realgy Energy Services as your electricity provider. Our customers have realized cost reductions up to 9.6% as compared to the local utility. Find us online www.realgyenergyservices.com or call 877-300-6747 to speak with an account representative today.
Utility Exchange Online, Business Energy Saving Tips – An infographic
It is that time of the year when Realgy Energy Services starts to send out our PriceWatch™ emails; look for it in your email anytime from October to November. Supplies of natural gas in storage begin to be applied to your monthly natural gas usage starting November 1st.
PriceWatch™ 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.
Realgy will only send out a PriceWatch™ email if we can lock our customers in at a rate that will save them money. If you would like more information on PriceWatch™, please visit our blog post What is PriceWatch™?
Natural Gas Storage is the service of purchasing a percentage of your annual gas usage during the summer months and storing it. This stored gas is then delivered to you during the winter months. That is why we call it “winter gas at summer prices.”
Realgy offers this storage program whenever we can. If your utility allows Realgy to offer a storage program, it will be listed in our Service Plan table on our website realgyenergyservices.com.
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 email@example.com, by fax (860)-233 -3884, or by mail 675 Oakwood Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06110.
The homes of Georgene Jaback and Bob Woods of Joliet, and Janet Jaback of Elmwood Park did.
The Joliet couple improved their 50-year-old home with air sealing in the attic, basement and perimeter walls and insulation on the attic floor and in the conditioned basement. Their upgrades will reduce their air leakage rate by 35 percent, according to a press release issued by Will County.
Check out the article Joliet homeowners receive silver certification for energy savings to find out how they did it.
And if you are looking for even more energy savings check out Realgy Energy Services Natural Gas and Electricity rates, and lower your energy bills in a few minutes.
Natural gas in one of the safest energy sources available; it is non-toxic and has no odor in its natural form. Natural gas will not ignite by itself, but combined with air and a spark it will catch fire.
When not burned completely natural gas produces carbon monoxide (CO), which can cause flu-like symptoms including:
headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness or fatigue, burning eyes, confusion and loss of coordination
Over 10,000 people receive medical treatment and hundreds die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. In many cases, victims are aware they are not well, but become too disoriented to save themselves. Particularly vulnerable are pregnant women, small children, senior citizens and people with heart or respiratory problems.
It is always recommended to have a working CO detector in your home or business if you use natural gas as an energy source.
In its natural state natural gas has no smell, so your utility company adds a chemical odorant called methanethiol to help make natural gas leaks easier to detect. If you smell rotten eggs, it’s most likely not a well hidden Easter egg, but a natural gas leak, leave the building and call your Utility Company right away. You can find an emergency hotline on most utility invoices if there is not emergency number call the customer service number.
Learn more about Natural Gas Safety and Emergency Procedures:
Nipsco, Stay Safe “Natural Gas Leak Emergencies“
Semco Energy, Safety and Emergency Information “Reporting a Gas Leak”
DTE Energy, Safety “Natural Gas Safety”
Citizens Gas, Safety “If You Smell Gas”
Michigan Gas Utilities, “Emergency Procedures”
Nicor Gas, Safety “Emergency Information”
Consumers Energy, Safety “Gas Leaks and Safety Tips”
Peoples Gas, Safety “Emergency Procedures”
North Shore Gas, Safety “Emergency Procedures”
According to The American Gas Association households that have natural gas appliances, such as cooking ranges, clothes driers and heaters save about $518 compared to homes that use electric appliances.
Benefits of using natural gas for key appliances includes:
Lower energy bills
Decrease in greenhouse emissions and pollutants (up to 37% less emissions compared to electric appliances)
Safety and Reliability
“The direct use of natural gas provides three times more useful energy to consumers than electricity,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA.
To read more about the benefits and savings of natural gas visit the American Gas Association website