Energy News

March 30th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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The 12 Bcf storage injection on Thursday was the first injection of the season.  This injection compares quite bearishly against the 56 Bcf withdrawal from last year and the five year average withdrawal of 19 Bcf. Storage currently sits 63.6% or 575 Bcf higher than last year and 11.6% or 194 lower than the five year average.

Weather remains normal to above normal in most parts of the United States through April 5. The Northeast is expected to see some cooler than normal temperatures before shifting warmer.

The Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) goes into effect next month. Demand for power is averaging 3.8 Bcf/day higher than in March 2014. This increase is attributed to coal to gas switching due to low gas prices and the MATS compliance deadline. Data from Bentek shows that 6,400 MW of coal generation will be retiring in April.

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March 25th, 2015

Atmos Transportation Customers Can Expect Invoices to Increase Come June

Any customers transporting with Atmos will see increases on a few line items on their invoices come June 1. Final charges are not known as the rates are still under regulatory review. Atmos has proposed the following increases:

Current Proposed Percentage Increase
Monthly Customer Charge per Meter $665.00 $714.50 7.44%
Monthly Regulatory Surcharge $4.80 $4.80 0%
Monthly Comsumption Charge per MMBtu per Meter:
First 1,500 $0.1570 $0.1789 13.95%
Next 3,500 $0.1142 $0.1301 13.92%
All Additional $0.0181 $0.0206 13.81%

A decision will be made in late May in time for the increase to be reflected on the June invoices. View the Atmos letter here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Energy Manager.

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March 23rd, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Temperatures were warmer than normal last week in the lower 48 states; on average temperatures were .07 degrees warmer than the 30 year average. Cooler than normal temps have been forecast for the Midwest and Eastern regions for the next few weeks and Thursday night/Friday saw wintry precipitation in the Algonquin region. However, warmer weather continues to be the expectation as Spring begins.

Thursday’s 45 Bcf pull from natural gas storage which was 4 Bcf below market expectations ended a three week run of above-normal storage withdrawals. We currently sit almost 53% higher than last year’s levels but remain 13% less than the five year average.

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March 18th, 2015

Solar Power Generation Up More Than 100% in the US

2014 was a big year for solar power – the amount of electricity generated by US solar power plants was up more than 105% over the same period in 2013. This was the result of many large and highly productive projects coming online.

Net Generation Solar

These projects exist thanks to factors like: the 8 year extension of the Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy; state renewable portfolio standards; the Obama administrations pro-solar policies; cash grants; and the steady decline in price of solar cells.

Solar installation forecasts through 2016 show steady growth (see chart below) and forecasts by segment show an increase in solar installation by utilities. According to the EIA, continued growth in utility scale solar power generation will average 74 gigawatt hours (GWh) per day in 2016.

SOlar Installation

Source: Click Here

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March 16th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Temperatures were warmer than normal last week and will continue that way through the end of this week. Thursday night/Friday temperatures are expected to fall back below normal in the Northeast for at least a few days. The warmer weather has caused pricing to fall and indicate that spring weather is finally approaching.

Thursday’s 198 Bcf pull from natural gas marked the third week of above-normal storage withdrawals. We currently sit almost 47% higher than last year’s levels but remain 13% less than the five year average.  Production continues increasing and consumption does as well. In the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook, published on March 10, 2015, predictions for natural gas consumption or demand increases to 75.7 Bcf/day in 2015 from 73.5 Bcf/day in 2014. The growth in demand is largely driven by demand in industrial and power sectors.

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March 9th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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On Thursday, the EIA reported a 228 Bcf storage withdrawal which was in line with expectations. On the other hand, it was a record storage withdrawal for the reference week – surpassing the previous record draw of 176 Bcf in 2003. Early forecasts for next week’s storage withdrawal are around 200 Bcf which would register more than both last years and the five year average withdrawal.

The weather in the eastern two thirds of the country the last three weeks has been much cooler than normal. According to the EIA, temperatures in the lower 48 states averaged 28.3 degrees for the storage report week, 10.9 degrees cooler than the 30-year temperature and 11.3 degrees cooler than the average temperature during the same week last year. The weather combined with structural change has been a large driver for an increase in power burn (the use of natural gas for power generation). Power burn is also increasing due to an increased amount of natural gas generation capacity coming online and relatively low natural gas prices.

Average Daily Power Burn

According to AccuWeather and CenterPoint, warmth from the west will begin heading eastward finally warming things up this week. This weather pattern will bring the highest weekly temperatures since last December for many parts of the Midwest and East. After this week, though, there is a chance for below normal temperatures to reappear in the East.

ITR Economics is predicting that the US economy will soften throughout 2015. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) 1/12 rate of change signals slower growth in the economy that will persist through the rest of the year.

Information compiled from: EIA, CenterPoint, AccuWeather, NOAA, Bentek and ITR Economics.

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March 2nd, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Last week’s storage report came in well below market expectations. The actual withdrawal of 219 Bcf on Thursday caused the market to drop when predictions for a 239 Bcf withdrawal were not met. Two weeks ago storage surpassed the five year average for the first time since November 2013. That was short lived as we are back under the five year average by 1.5% or 30 Bcf but still remain 576 Bcf or 42.3% higher than last year’s storage number.

While weather is expected to remain cooler than normal this week, we shouldn’t see temperatures quite like the two weeks prior. The cooler temperatures have reflected on both storage withdrawals and natural gas consumption or demand for heating. US natural gas consumption remains at high levels – averaging 111.6 Bcf/day for the week ending February 20. Additionally, heating degree days (a measure of how cold a location is over a period of time relative to a base temperature, usually 65 degrees Fahrenheit) from January 1 through February 20 are about 11% more than normal.

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February 23rd, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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The widespread cold seen last week is expected to continue this week and next. As seen in the weather chart below, the eastern three fourths of the US will be cooler than normal through late February and early March.

Weather

Because of the cold, natural gas demand in the northeast hit 43.1 Bcf last Monday, the highest level in Bentek’s 10-year history. According to the EIA, this demand exceeded the previous high set during the 2014 polar vortex by 1.2 Bcf in January 2014. These demand spikes also put constraints on pipelines and led to price spikes. See chart below for regional gas prices this winter.

Regional Gas Prices

Last week’s natural gas storage withdrawal of 111 Bcf was larger than expectations of 105-109 Bcf. Storage is currently 678 Bcf above last year’s level and for the first time since November 2013, storage exceeds the five year average by 85 Bcf. This is not expected to last as early estimates for this week’s withdrawal are 240 Bcf and the following weeks report is also expected to exceed 200 Bcf. These would exceed last years and the five year average withdrawal by more than 100 Bcf (EIA, CenterPoint, Platts Gas Daily).

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February 20th, 2015

RPM Appoints a New Pricing Coordinator!

SONY DSCRapid Power Management (RPM) is excited to announce the appointment of Crystal Renyer as our new Pricing Coordinator.  Crystal joins RPM with an extensive accounting and customer satisfaction background to ensure the support and care we provide for our clients is never compromised.

“Crystal will work to get the most out of our vendors and the products they offer. She’ll also be responsible for matching our sales team’s needs with the knowledge and insight that has propelled Rapid Power Management to the front ranks of energy consulting companies in Texas,” said JD Dodson, President of RPM.

With a dedication to expanding knowledge, Crystal will use an educative approach to maximize the effectiveness of her position. She holds a BA degree in psychology from University of Texas Dallas and she and her husband participate heavily in agility competitions with their dog, Kaiser.

Please find Crystal’s contact information below:

Crystal Renyer

Email: crenyer@rapidpower.net

Phone: 469-759-1455

Fax: 972-820-0111 

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February 19th, 2015

Natural Gas Prices are Down – Take Advantage Now!

Energy markets across the board have dipped to multi-year lows over the past weeks. In fact, natural gas rates are at their lowest point since 2012 and prior to that, 2002. The main reasons for the historic levels:

  1. Low Demand – Winter blasts are hitting the Northeastern US but winter was non-existent in November and December.
  2. Supply – Natural gas production is strong from shale wells.
  3. Supply – Natural Gas storage is strong at levels higher than both last year and the 5 year average.

Click to Enlarge.

 

Take advantage of the opportunity to save money by locking in a future contract today! With liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports around the corner and the EPA’s plan to retire coal plants, demand for natural gas is set to increase, so how long will these low rates last?

Since you began working with Rapid Power Management, our strategy has been to let the market dictate action – not an arbitrary date in the future.  This strategy has been successful for our clients and we work toward lowering your energy costs with every action we take.

We are passionate about educating our clients to make smarter energy decisions.  Contact your energy manager today to discuss recent market developments and to secure updated pricing!

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