Energy News

June 29th, 2015

Executive Summary

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Cooler than normal weather is expected in the Northeast and Midwest through July 5. This is a welcome change compared to last week where population weighted cooling degree days were 24% above normal. Last week’s warm weather hindered the latest storage injection which came in at 75 Bcf. This is down from 89 Bcf the week prior and less than last year’s 110 Bcf injection. It also came in below estimates of 76-80 Bcf.

Natural gas demand is up 17% this year to date compared to last year. A large part of this increase in demand has been led by power generation. Consumption of natural gas for power generation increased by 6.1% last week – 24.2% higher than the same week last year.

Long Term

US natural gas exports to Mexico reached a record high of 3.5 Bcf on June 18 (Bentek) bringing exports 33% higher year to date over 2014’s levels. Exports from the US to Mexico are expected to continue expanding with several pipeline projects in the works. Mexico’s increase in demand for natural gas is due to their commitment to reduce their dependency on fuel oil for electricity generation.

Exports to Mexico

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June 26th, 2015

RPM Brings on a New Associate Energy Manager

Brett_1_SmallerRapid Power Management (RPM) is excited to announce the appointment of Brett Thompson as our new Associate Energy Manager.  Brett joins RPM with an extensive economics background and understanding of the business cycle.

Brett is currently tasked with assisting the needs of our pricing coordinator. He’ll be responsible for matching our sales team’s needs with the knowledge and insight that has propelled Rapid Power Management to the front ranking of energy consulting companies in Texas.

With a dedication to expanding knowledge, Brett will use an educative approach to maximize the effectiveness of his position before moving on to sales. He holds a BA degree in economics from Texas State University.

Please find Brett’s contact information below. You may begin copying Brett on pricing and contracts as he works to assist the pricing coordinator. If you have any questions or concerns about this request, please let us know.

Brett Thompson | BThompson@rapidpower.net 

rpm | rapid power management

t 469-759-1461 | f 972-820-0111

linkedin | twitter | google+ | youtube

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June 22nd, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Natural gas storage remains healthily above last year’s level and just 46 Bcf above the five year average. Last week’s 89 Bcf injection was below estimates of 91-95 Bcf and less than last year’s 112 Bcf injection for the same week. The market remains subdued but analysts believe that smaller injections, like last week’s, can be expected moving forward.

Eastern US power burn is increasing due to both temperatures and long term structural changes. According to NOAA, the Northeast recorded its warmest May ever and 12.1 GW of coal plants will retire by the end of this month. See chart below:

Nat Gas Consumption

Above normal temperatures are likely to continue through the week across the southeast and west. The Midwest and Texas will see mostly normal temperatures before cooling off a bit this weekend.

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June 18th, 2015

TACCBO 2015

TACCBO 2015

David Knight, Energy Manager with RPM, discussing the benefits of LED technology with a TACCBO attendee.

 

It was Rapid Power Management’s ninth consecutive year to attend the TACCBO Conference. We are proud to support such a great organization!  Congratulations to our GRAND PRIZE winner Sherry R. Heffner on receiving an LED office fixture and a free lighting audit at Tarrant County Community College. Our Nanoleaf* winners are listed below:

1. Dawn Jones with Houston Community College

2. Ginger Wooster with Brazosport College

3. Gaynelle Hayes with Galveston College

4. Pamela Mays with Northlake College

*We were only able to give out 4 of the 10 Nanoleaf Bloom LED lights because 6 were taken from our booth without our knowledge/consent.

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June 18th, 2015

The Human Solution Reduces Carbon Footprint

The Human Solution, an ergonomic office furniture dealer located in Austin, TX, is working to reduce their carbon footprint via LED technology. The company plans to eliminate the use of any traditional lighting in their warehouse and retrofit with LED bulbs/fixtures.

The fixtures, provided by Rapid Power Management, are improving the employee work environment and bring a 64% reduction in electricity use versus traditional lighting fixtures.

lights1

“Replacing our old fixtures with new LED fixtures have markedly improved our workplace environment,” said Bryce Bowerman, Operations Director for The Human Solution. “We’ve seen gains in worker morale and productivity due to an improved ambiance and a significant reduction in worker errors due to sight clarity.”

As a company focused on optimizing work environments The Human Solution is definitely practicing what they preach. They help customers find products and tools based on ergonomic principles that offer daily comfort and support.

If interested in the products and services that The Human Solution offers, please contact them at info@thehumansolution.com or 512-697-9330. Their website also offers a wealth of information!

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June 15th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Natural gas prices are beginning to rise thanks to hotter weather. Summer temperatures put pressure on the market by increasing demand on electric power needs. The temperature outlook remains bullish as extreme warmth is expected for densely populated areas in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest. Additionally, El Nino conditions are certain to last through summer. The results will be hot temperatures in the Eastern and Central US, especially later in the season.

Supply and production remained nearly flat from last week which could pose an issue as electricity demand continues increasing. Analysts expect that the demand on natural gas increase from last year due to a combination of summer temperatures and the coal retirements due to EPA regulation.

While the 111 Bcf storage report was on the low end of expectations, it remains above both last year’s storage level and the five year average storage level. From April 3, 2015 (the start of injection season) to June 5, 2015, injections totaled 883 Bcf – 16% more than the 758 Bcf injected during the same period last year.

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June 8th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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US natural gas storage increased by 132 Bcf, the second largest weekly injection on record. This storage injection was about 10 Bcf above market expectations of about 122. Storage currently stands 751 Bcf above last year’s levels and 22 Bcf above the five year average. This is the first time stocks have had a surplus to the five year average since March 2013.

Largely contributing to the healthy storage injection is the lack of demand – power burn demand averaged 55.7 Bcf/day, the lowest levels of the year so far.

US total industrial production slowed to 3.2% and is currently in a slow growth phase according to the Institute for Trend Research or ITR.  Overall, the US economy is currently decelerating due to several factors including low energy prices but is expected to pick back up again in 2016. The recovery has been slow and we have yet to see an annual growth in excess of 2.5%.

The western and eastern thirds of the country are expected to see warmer than average temperatures with the central US experiencing normal temperatures.

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June 1st, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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For the 4th week in a row, the top stories close to the energy industry are still related to weather and storage.

According to the National Weather Service, their forecast is calling for an elevated probability of above-normal temperatures across parts of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Rockies and the West.  It is also calling for a probability of below-normal temperatures across parts of Texas and New Mexico. Still in the news, forecasters are still predicting El Nino conditions.  That means warmer temperatures and increased hurricane activity through the summer will potentially drive prices up.

On to storage . . . fears of oversupply, forecasters were anticipating the storage report before it was released.  When the report was released, it showed a higher injection that expected.  Storage increased 112 Bcf to 2.101 Tcf.  The net injection was above expectations of an injection between 97 Bcf and 101 Bcf.  The forecasted injection for next week is around 125 Bcf, well above both last year’s Bcf injection and the five year average of 92 Bcf.

Analysts are surprised at the large injection which has taken the market down a notch to its lowest prices since April.  Further, the market remains oversupplied, but has not shifted to justify the higher prices.

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May 26th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Weather is a hot topic and continues to be the top story across all the energy commentary, this past week.   Heavy rain is forecasted across the southern Plains and severe thunderstorms are possible across parts of the southern US and mid-Atlantic.  What does this mean to the power consumer?  It is reported that these declining temperatures cool the power demand and falling temperatures pulled the power burn down in regions by a combined 1.2 Bcf/d.

As much as weather is the top story, it seems timely to highlight an article released by the US Department of Energy.  The article highlighted our nation’s wind potential.  We have seen first-hand the power of wind in our own geographic area, as well as, images in the news.  It’s reported that wind supplies nearly 5 percent of our nation’s electricity demand across 39 states, and it’s getting cheaper every year thanks to wind technology and policy.  Further improvements are poised to make wind economical in every state.

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May 18th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Weather is a hot topic right now as we are seeing what the atmosphere is capable of; severe thunderstorms, hail, and damaging wind gusts throughout the west and southwest.  According to NOAA, El Nino conditions are in the Pacific Ocean.  An El Nino is an irregularly-occurring ocean-atmosphere oscillation that affects weather around the globe.  This weather phenomenon intensified from ‘weak’ in April to ‘weak-to-moderate’ in May.  What does that mean for the US?  The prediction is warmer temperatures this summer compared to last year’s mild summer. It also means a busy hurricane season which could cause energy disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico.

The EIA reported storage injection of 111 Bcf for the week ending May 7th. The injection was below expectations calling for an injection between 115 and 119 Bcf.  US inventories now stand at 1,897 Bcf, which is 752 Bcf higher than this time last year and 38 Bcf below the five-year average.

Gas failed to follow through on the strong rally that started last Friday.  Weakening industrial demand throughout the eastern US, particularly in the Midwest, are contributing to the overall demand decline.  Demand is down 1.3 Bcf/d, while industrial demand shrunk by 0.1 Bcf/d.  Demand is expected to continue to fall heading into the weekend, before warmer weather early next week boosts power demand throughout the Northeast and Southeast, raising overall demand.

According to Platt’s, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission expects power generation capacity and fuel supply to be ample this summer. FERC believes the system reserve margins across all regions will be adequate. It is important to note that this is the first summer in which the Mercury Air and Toxics Standards went into effect and there is still a positive report on reserve margins.

Because of the low natural gas prices, natural gas power burn continues increasing. The EIA predicts that natural gas generation from April and May will nearly reach the level of coal generation – the first time the shares have been this close since April 2012.

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