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Facts of the Day are informational snippets gathered from industry leading sources around the web pertaining to the energy industry.

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Americans by 2 to 1 Would Pay More to Curb Climate Change

6/17/14 | Bloomberg

Americans are willing to bear the costs of combating climate change, and most are more likely to support a candidate seeking to address the issue.

By an almost two-to-one margin, 62 percent to 33 percent, Americans say they would pay more for energy if it would mean a reduction in pollution from carbon emissions, according to the Bloomberg National Poll.

Nstar has filed new basic service electric rates

5/19/14 | Energy Choice Matters

For small commercial and streetlighting customers, the new fixed option default service rate is 9.078¢/kWh for the period July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

The monthly basic service option is as follows (cents per kWh):

Small Commercial / Streetlighting
July 8.902
August 8.294
September 7.516
October 7.528
November 9.520
December 13.203

PSNH Projects Increase in Default Service Rate in July, Blames Return of Customers from Competitive Supply

5/6/14 | Energy Choice Matters

Public Service of New Hampshire has forecast an increase in the default service electric rate, effective July 1. Specifically, PSNH is forecasting a default energy service rate of 9.98 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) effective July 1, compared to its current Energy Service rate of 9.23 cents per kWh.

PSNH noted that the migration of customers away from PSNH to independent suppliers reversed during the winter, "and the company purchased energy from the market place when demand rose."

Winter price spikes drive 50K Pa. electric customers back to local suppliers

4/28/14 | NewsWorks

Electricity customers in Pennsylvania on variable rate plans suffered from sticker shock this winter when temperatures plunged and prices spiked. That's driven at least 50,000 customers back to their local utilities since early March, according to the state Public Utility Commission.

More than 2.1 million customers are still with competitive suppliers, either through variable rate plans or temporary fixed plans. After receiving thousands of complaints from consumers, the PUC and State Attorney General Kathleen Kane are investigating the price spikes.

Northeast didn't get the memo on springtime yet

3/25/14 | Generation Hub

Yesterday New England recorded a spot power price of $122.41/MWh, which was 153% higher than the previous business day. NYC was at $104.56/MWh or nearly 90% higher than the prior business day. The Mid-Atlantic also saw an escalated spot power price of $85.85/MWh, which was about 94% higher than the prior business day.

Nine of the 10 EIA reporting regions showed higher spot power prices on March 24 compared to the prior business day. Meanwhile, spot natural gas prices across the regions moderated with six of the 10 EIA regions showing a decreased in spot gas prices. New England had the highest spot gas price at $7.75/mmBtu.

Frigid U.S. Weather Means Highest Power Prices Since '08: Energy

3/5/14 | Bloomberg

Freezing temperatures gripping the eastern U.S. will result in the highest electricity prices in six years for consumers in Boston, Dallas and San Francisco.

Supplies of natural gas and coal will decline to six-year lows by the end of this month, government data show. The fuels are used to generate 67 percent of the country's electricity. Wholesale power for use from April through June in New England traded at an average of $62.15 a megawatt-hour yesterday, 26 percent more than a year earlier and the highest for the period since 2008, according to IntercontinentalExchange and broker data compiled by Bloomberg.

New Hampshire Approves Higher Default Service Rate at PSNH for 2014

12/30/13 | Energy Choice Matters

The New Hampshire PUC has approved a new default energy service rate at Public Service Company of New Hampshire for the period beginning January 1, 2014. The adopted 2014 PSNH default service rate is 9.23 cents per kWh, which includes the temporary scrubber rate of 0.98 cents/kWh.

The currently applicable 2013 PSNH default service rate is 8.62 cents per kWh.

Maine Sets New Standard Offer Rates

12/18/13 | Energy Choice Matters

The Maine PUC has set the Standard Offer rates for the large non-residential classes for the month of January 2014.

At CMP, the Standard Offer energy price was set at $0.158909/kWh, reflecting all components billed on a kWh basis, including line losses and adders. The total Standard Offer rate will include this energy price plus a capacity charge of $4.16560/kW-month

At BHE, the Standard Offer energy price was set at $0.164858/kWh, reflecting all components billed on a kWh basis, including line losses and adders. The total Standard Offer rate will include this energy price plus a capacity charge of $4.05530/kW-month

New England Narrowly Escapes Power Outages

12/16/13 | Forbes

A winter storm across much of New England triggered a surge in electric power demand that severely tested the grid's reliability and sent power prices into the stratosphere.

In 2012, the average price for one megawatt hour of electricity in New England's real-time power market was $36. On Saturday, the price was more than $1,000 at peak demand.

Fewer PA customers are changing electricity suppliers

10/23/13 |

After two years of initial robust growth, Pennsylvania utilities this year are experiencing a substantial slowdown in customers switching electricity suppliers.

More than two million Pennsylvania electric customers - about 35 percent of the total - switched suppliers by February. Since then, the growth has slowed, and only about 100,000 more customers have signed up with discounters.

Maine PUC Sets New Standard Offer Rates

9/23/13 | Energy Choice Matters

New rates for the large non-residential classes for October.

At CMP, the Standard Offer energy price was set at $0.044761/kWh, reflecting all components billed on a kWh basis, including line losses and adders. The total Standard Offer rate will include this energy price plus a capacity charge of $4.16560/kW-month

At BHE, the Standard Offer energy price was set at $0.045508/kWh, reflecting all components billed on a kWh basis, including line losses and adders. The total Standard Offer rate will include this energy price plus a capacity charge of $4.05530/kWmonth

Maine PUC Sets New Standard Offer Service Rate

8/21/13 | Energy Choice Matters

The Maine PUC set the Standard Offer energy price for the large non-residential class in the service territory of Central Maine Power for September 2013.

The Standard Offer energy price for September 2013 will be $0.042121/kWh for the CMP large class. The energy price reflects all Standard Offer components of the price that are billed on a kWh basis, including energy, line losses, and adders.

The total Standard Offer rate will include the energy charge plus the previously set capacity rate of $4.16560/kW-month for the CMP large class.

Maine Businesses Facing Higher Electricity Supply Rates

7/30/13 | Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Medium-sized commercial and industrial customers in Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro Electric Company's service areas are facing hikes of more than 23 percent in so-called "standard offer" rates.

State utility regulators have accepted bids and set new prices for so-called "standard offer" electricity supply for medium-sized commercial and industrial customers in Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro Electric Company's service areas.

And the new prices are quite a bit higher than the current rates - more than 23 percent for customers of each company.

How utilities can find new revenue from their business customers

6/19/13 | Smart Grid News

More than half (52 percent) of SMBs in non-competitive markets and more than a third (37 percent) in competitive markets believe that utilities should help them better manage energy costs. More than half (52 percent) reported that their electricity expenditure exceeds 10 percent of their annual revenue. In fact, in competitive markets, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of businesses reported they would switch providers if that would result in a reduced bill.

National Grid overcharged Brooklyn and Queens residents for gas

6/19/13 | The Daily News

Nearly a million Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island residents were overcharged on their natural gas bills for two years - prompting investigators to freeze rates until 2015, state officials said.

The state's Public Service Commission found National Grid charged customers around $2.90 extra a month in 2010 and 2011 - adding up to a $68.9 million payday for the utility company. The news was first reported by New York Power and Light, a new website watchdog.

PSNH requests 10% electricity rate cut

6/17/13 | Foster's Daily Democrat

The company is requesting its Energy Service rate be reduced nearly ten percent, to 8.62 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) from the current 9.54 cents/kwh.Customers purchasing energy from PSNH will see an average overall rate reduction of about 4.3 percent, if the requested rates go into effect. Hearings are expected to begin next week at the NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on PSNH's rate requests. If approved by PUC, the rate changes are set to take effect on July 1.

BGE seeks increased gas, electric rates

5/21/13 | The Daily Record

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has filed a request with the Maryland Public Service Commission to increase its gas and electricity distribution rates to its 1.2 million residential and commercial customers in Central Maryland by an average $7 a month.

The utility said it needs the increase to fund improvements to its distribution systems to enhance their safety and reliability. BGE said the proposed increases, if approved, would boost a typical residential electric bill by $4.41 per month, or approximately 4 percent.

Retail Electricity Shopping Hits a New Milestone in Illinois

5/8/13 | Compete Coalition

As of March 31, there were 3,142,158 Illinois customers purchasing electricity from competitive retail suppliers, and more than 60% of electricity usage in Illinois was served by competitive suppliers.

Illinois is demonstrating for other states in the Midwest how vibrantly competitive retail electricity markets can provide demonstrable value to consumers and bolster economic competitiveness.

US Household spending on home energy fell last year

4/24/13 | Oil & Gas Journal

US average consumer spending on home energy fell $12 billion in 2012 compared with 2011, the Energy Information Administration reported.

Last year’s energy spending was 2.7% of household income, hitting the lowest level in 10 years, EIA said.

New England ratepayers need greater access to natural gas

3/25/13 | South Coast Today

New England suffers from the highest electricity costs of any region in the lower 48 states. According to the most recent government data, regional electricity prices in the U.S. vary from a low of 7.97 cents per kilowatt-hour in the Plains to a high of 13.79 cents per kWh in New England — with each state in New England in the top 10 in electricity costs nationwide. At the same time, manufacturing jobs in New England are on the decline even as we see manufacturing recoveries in the Midwest, Texas and other parts of the country.

The recent natural gas exploration and production boom has led to growing natural gas supplies, resulting in lower natural gas prices and lower energy costs. These lower prices have led to increased electricity generation from gas-fired generators in New England, nearly tripling from 15 percent in 2000 to 42 percent in 2012. Unfortunately, pipelines into the region haven’t expanded incrementally with the rising natural gas demand.

Maine PUC Sets New Standard Offer Rates

3/20/13 | Energy Choice Matters

The Maine PUC has set Standard Offer prices for large non-residential customers at Central Maine Power and Bangor-Hydro Electric for April. The rate at CMP is $0.051949/kWh plus $3.53323/kW-mo for capacity, and the rate at BHE is $0.052734/kWh plus $3.790/kW-mo for capacity

In New England, a Natural Gas Trap

2/18/13 | The New York Times

Electricity prices in New England have been four to eight times higher than normal in the last few weeks, as the region's extreme reliance on natural gas for power supplies has collided with a surge in demand for heating. Frigid temperatures and the snowstorm that hammered parts of the Northeast last week have revived concerns about the lack of alternatives to natural gas. Many plants that ran on coal or oil have been shuttered, and the few that remain cannot be put into service quickly enough to meet spikes in demand. The price of electricity is determined by the price of gas.

Yearly Electricity Auction Yields Mixed Results for NJ Consumers

2/11/13 | NJ Spotlight

At a time when natural-gas prices are near historic lows, the auction yielded savings for residential and small commercial customers for three of New Jersey's four electric utilities, with prices dropping by 3 percent to as much as 5.4 percent, effective June 1. But for larger commercial and industrial customers, prices basically doubled for the electricity they will need, according to a consultant for the state Board of Utilities, which conducted the auction over the past few days. For both residents and larger customers, any increases apply only to the portion of the bill covering the cost of generating electricity, which accounts for about two-thirds of the cost paid by ratepayers.

Pennsylvania's Retail Electric Market Exceeds Two Million Shopping Consumers

2/6/13 | Fort Mill Times

Pennsylvania Unlocking Millions of Consumers from Historic Monopoly Power Practices and Rates The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) and its members congratulate the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PAPUC) and its Staff, competitive suppliers, electric utilities, the Office of Consumer Advocate, especially homeowners, commercial and industrial electric consumers on achieving the milestone of over Two Million Shopping Electric Consumers. “Pennsylvania's extraordinary success in permitting private capital rather than state-backed captive customer guarantees to serve two million consumers in just three years represents a national record for serving the public interest,” said Craig Goodman, President of NEM.

Constraints in New England likely to affect regional energy prices this winter

1/23/13 | EIA

Since November, New England has had the highest average spot natural gas prices in the nation. Average prices at the Algonquin Citygate trading point, a widely used index for New England natural gas buyers, have been $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) higher than natural gas prices at the Henry Hub, and more than $2 per MMBtu higher than average spot price at Transco Zone 6 NY, which serves New York City and has historically traded at prices similar to those in New England.

Full pipelines from the west and south limit further deliveries from most of North America, while high international prices and declining production in eastern Canada pose challenges in making up the difference from the north and east, except at higher prices. As a result of these market conditions, New England natural gas and electric power prices this winter could be volatile at times. During November and December, spot natural prices in the northeastern United States seesawed in relation to weather-driven pipeline constraints. This price volatility has continued into January 2013 to date.

Maine PUC Sets New Standard Offer Rates

1/23/13 | Energy Choice Matters

The newly updated energy "components" in the default price are $0.0692/kWh for CMP and $0.06591/kWh for BHE. The resulting "energy" prices included in the Standard Offer rate for February 2013 will be $0.077541/kWh for the CMP large
class and $0.076533/kWh for the BHE large class.

US electricity use has flattened

1/7/13 | MSN Money

The Wall Street Journal cites projections from the Energy Information Administration, which says that electricity use will only grow 0.6% a year for industrial users and 0.7% for consumers through 2040, a huge change from the past when growth was topping 8% a year. There are several reasons for the slowdown in growth, the Journal reports. Here are some of them. More efficient products. Appliance makers have made huge progress in developing products that use less energy. The use of compact fluorescent lightbulbs also makes a difference. Less U.S. manufacturing. Industrial companies are also getting efficient. And their numbers are declining as well as manufacturing has shifted elsewhere in this global economy. A population shift to the South. The Economist reports that Americans are moving from Northern states to Southern states. As a result, they aren't running their heaters as much. Although air-conditioning uses more energy than heating, people don't need to use air-conditioning as much. Better insulation. The Economist also notes that U.S. homes and businesses have better insulation, so we don't have to run our air conditioners and heaters as much.

PPL Electric Utilities distribution rates to rise about 3 percent in 2013

1/2/13 | Express-Times

PPL Electric Utilities customers will see an increase of about 3 percent in their electricity bills starting Tuesday, money the company says will pay for system upgrades. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved an increase in PPL's distribution rates that will provide about $71 million in additional revenue, PPL said in a news release today.

As Conn. electricity rates fall, officials urge consumers to shop around best price

1/2/13 | Associated Press

As electricity rates fall in Connecticut, officials are encouraging consumers to take advantage and shop around for the best price. Service rates offered by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating are falling slightly due to changes that were approved recently by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and take effect on Jan. 1.

Ohio Asks Whether Default Service Should Continue

12/17/12 | Energy Choice Matters

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has initiated an investigation of the state's retail electric market, asking, among other things, whether default service should continue in its current form. Aside from the ongoing changes from functional to structural separation of generation and distribution occurring at several utilities, PUCO cited, in particular, capacity constraints in certain regions of the state, due to generation retirements, as prompting a need to review the market. As a result of a constraint in the May 2012 Base Residual Auction, “the price for capacity significantly increased in parts ofOhio including separation of a new Locational Deliverability Area (LDA) in northeast Ohio,” PUCO noted.

Atlantic City Electric seeks 7 percent rate increase

12/12/12 | Shore News Today

Atlantic City Electric has announced plans to seek a rate increase that would increase average electric bills by 7 percent. Atlantic City Electric asked the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to authorize a “base rate adjustment” of approximately $69.7 million to help pay for reliability investments. The utility notes in a news release that has been making significant investments in New Jersey and plans to make additional infrastructure investments of more than $700 million over the next five years to better serve its customers.

Bangor Hydro-Electric, Maine Public Service May Merge Service Areas

12/4/12 | Energy Choice Matters

Affiliates Bangor Hydro-Electric and Maine Public Service have petitioned for the Maine PUC for approval of an internal reorganization which would see the companies merge into a single entity (yet unnamed), and which may also result in, for rate purposes, a single service area with uniform, territorywide rates.

Jersey Central Power & Light Files for Rate Hike

12/4/12 | Nasdaq

Utility major FirstEnergy Corporation ‘s ( FE ) electric subsidiary, Jersey Central Power & Light (“JCP&L”), submitted an application to the Jersey Board of Utilities (“BPU”) for modification in base rates. On receiving approval from BPU, electric rates will rise 1.4% on an average for a JCP&L customer.

PPL to lower its rates

11/28/12 | Nasdaq

PPL Electric Utilities will change its generation service charge Dec. 1 based on the latest costs to supply service to customers who do not choose an alternative supplier in the competitive power market.For small business customers, the new price to compare will be 10.206 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with 10.346 cents per kilowatt-hour currently.

Maine Sets New Standard Offer Rates at CMP, BHE for December

11/19/12 | Energy Choice Matters

The energy components are $0.06639/kWh for CMP and $0.06536/kWh for BHE. The resulting “energy” prices included in the Standard Offer rate for December 2012 will be $0.076445/kWh for the CMP large class and $0.075446/kWh for the BHE large class. The energy prices reflect all Standard Offer components of the price that are billed on a kWh basis, including the above-listed energy components, line losses, and adders.

Maine Sets New Standard Offer Rates at CMP, BHE for December

11/5/12 | Bloomberg

Wholesale electricity prices from Maine to the mid-Atlantic states advanced as forecasts for colder weather signaled stronger heating demand.

Winter on-peak power at PJM Interconnection LLC's West Hub, the benchmark for the 13-state eastern U.S. grid, rose $1.20, or 2.5 percent, to $49.25 a megawatt-hour, yesterday at 1:38 p.m., the highest price since Oct. 24, 2011. The winter power price covers January and February. The grid delivers power to 60 million people from New Jersey to North Carolina and Illinois.

Prices on the grid operated by ISO New England Inc. climbed 12 percent to $76.25 a megawatt-hour for the same winter months, said Tom Hahn, vice president of U.S. power derivatives at brokerage ICAP Energy LLC in Durham, North Carolina.

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