Energy News

January 26th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Although last week’s storage report was the second largest this year, it came in below market expectations of 222-226 Bcf. At 216 Bcf, the withdrawal was larger than last year’s 133 Bcf withdrawal and the five year average withdrawal of 176 Bcf. Early estimations for this week’s storage withdrawal are at about 100 Bcf due to the relatively mild weather last week.

Forecasts show that a cold weather pattern will develop this week across the central and eastern US which will eventually migrate westward. According to WSI, if February and March trend cooler than usual, the natural gas market, coupled with lowering coal capacity, could be much tighter this spring than previously expected.

Two pipeline expansions were completed in 2014 adding approximately 1 Bcf/day of natural gas supply to the Northeast. As more coal plants retire, natural gas is the fuel most often used to replace those generators. Natural gas fired generation contributed to more than 50% of new electricity generation in 2014.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing, for the first time, to regulate oil and gas methane emissions. The EPA plans to propose to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% over the next 10 years from 2012 levels. The rules will be proposed this summer and finalized by 2016. While the rule will apply to only new or modified sites, the EPA plans to rely on voluntary measures to cut methane on existing oil and gas operations.

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January 19th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Revised weather reports show a higher probability for below normal temperatures in the south central US and parts of the Northeast.

weather

This report week’s storage withdrawal was larger than expected, larger than the five year average withdrawal and the largest withdrawal we have seen this winter. It was a result of the first cold snap of 2015, from January 7 through 10. During these 4 days average US consumption rose 23% compared to the average consumption for the week preceding the cold spell and averaged 31 degrees – 2.3 degrees cooler than the 30-year normal temperature but 5.1 degrees warmer than the same week last year.

The withdrawal brings total natural gas inventories to 2,853 Bcf – 282 Bcf greater than last year and 113 Bcf less than the five year average.

Across the US, utilities are replacing older power plants with new and cleaner natural gas fired units. This is increasing the demand on natural gas but will keep the grid running as more and more plants come offline when MATS goes into effect in 2016.

See below for five of the largest US energy projects completed in 2015. More than half of the 15,400 megawatts of new capacity that came online in 2014 iss powered by natural gas (www.anga.us)

Nat Gas Plants

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January 12th, 2015

Top 10 Benefits of LED vs. Traditional Lighting for Your Business

With the way things are moving, it’s no longer IF you’re going LED, it’s WHEN you’re going LED.

LED Adoption

statista.com

Listed below are the top 10 benefits of LED lighting vs. traditional lighting as outlined by JD Dodson with Rapid Power Management. Get a head start on your lighting upgrade by calling RPM today!

  1. Energy Savings – Annual kWh reductions range from 40 to 80%.
  2. Light Quality – Brightness, glare, color management and output consistency is far superior to traditional sources. Directional illumination control of LEDs allows for less light to be used while achieving the same level of brightness.
  3. Long Life / Lower Annual Replacement Cost – Traditional fixtures and ballast with an average life of 2 to 4 years have to be continually replaced. LEDs don’t use ballast and have typical life from 10 to 20 years virtually eliminating maintenance cost. Note: LEDs never burn out; they just lose illumination, or become dimmer, over time.
  4. Maintenance Labor Costs – With staff not having to replace fixtures and ballasts, additional hours can be spent on improving critical equipment or working on efficiency in other areas.
  5. Cooling Cost – Heat emitted from LED fixtures is typically 10 to 20 times less than fluorescent and metal halide fixtures
  6. Safety – Fragility of handling tubes and light bulbs is a safety hazard. LEDs are semiconductor chips that won’t shatter.
  7. Carbon Footprint – No Mercury, no PCPs, and the hassle of disposal goes away as LEDs contain no hazardous materials.
  8. Warranty – With such a long life, warranties are significantly longer than traditional sources.
  9. Instant Start – No warm up period.
  10. Flexibility – Fixture sizes and shapes are limitless.

Our mission is educating our clients to make smarter energy decisions. Please reach out to us for a free LED evaluation for your facility.

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January 12th, 2015

Executive Market Summary

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Last week was an interesting one. Our LNG exports hit the highest send out since April 2011 and NYMEX settled at the lowest level since September 24, 2012. The NYMEX February natural gas futures contract settled at $2.871/MMbtu on Wednesday, January 7.

Entergy Corporation’s 604-megawatt Yankee nuclear power plant in Vermont retired after 42 years of service. The generating station provided about 4% of the region’s electricity sales and its retirement will increase (even more) New England’s dependence on natural gas for power generation. See chart below for New England’s electric generation by type:

NE Chart

Several other nuclear and nonnuclear plants across the US have announced their retirement due to high maintenance costs and low profits – not to mention costs of compliance with environmental regulations. We can expect to see more of that when the Mercury Air Toxics Standard or MATS goes into effect in 2016.

In regards to weather last week, the Western half of the country experienced warm weather while colder winter conditions persisted throughout the Eastern half of the country. According to WSI and NOAA, above normal temperatures are expected throughout the entire country for the next 11-15 days putting downward pressure on natural gas prices even more. Neither forecast calls for below-average temperatures anywhere in the continental US.

Weatha

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January 2nd, 2015

Executive Summary

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The market has been falling as lower than expected storage withdrawals occur, relatively mild weather persists and production continues to increase.

Analysts estimated anywhere from a 35 to 41 Bcf withdrawal for last report week’s storage report and the withdrawal came in at 26 Bcf. Not only below expectations, it was also well below last year’s 108 Bcf withdrawal and the five year average withdrawal rate of 114 Bcf. Storage now sits 7.8% (232 Bcf) above last year’s levels and only 2.5% (81 bcf) below the five year average.

Weather has been relatively mild but the cool weather pattern that was situated over the Western US last week is expected to shift eastward near the beginning of this week.

STRIP

Happy New Year!

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December 22nd, 2014

Executive Market Summary

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Weather forecasts through the end of December show normal to above normal temperatures along the west and east coast with below normal temperatures in the Midwest. According to Direct Energy, early January forecasts show normal to below normal temperatures across the middle and eastern US. The west coast can expect normal/above normal temperatures.

Weather

Natural gas production continues increasing compared to 2013 levels. Production has averaged 70.8 Bcf/day since November 1 – an increase of 4.8 Bcf/day over the same period last year. Consumption is also lower – averaging 78.1 Bcf/day since November 1 compared to the 83 Bcf/day we saw last year. The moderate 2014 temperatures are contributing to both production increases and consumption decreases.

When the storage report was released the price for the January futures rose due to a larger than expected withdrawal. Coming in at 64 Bcf it was still smaller than last year’s 256 Bcf withdrawal and the five year average withdrawal of 157 Bcf.

According to Platts, the US power generation fleet is expected to grow. These new plants will replace retiring coal plants but about 63% of the new capacity will be renewables – which is expensive power.

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December 15th, 2014

Executive Market Summary

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Although the storage withdrawal this week was larger than expected, it was still well below historical averages. The 51 Bcf withdrawal was 21 Bcf lower than the five year average withdrawal of 72 Bcf and 41 Bcf lower than last year’s withdrawal of 92 Bcf.

According to Centerpoint, expectations for next week’s withdrawal are currently around 60 Bcf which is smaller than the 256 Bcf (record) withdrawal last year and the 157 Bcf five year average.

The National Weather Service forecast shows greater than a 50% chance of above normal temperatures throughout the US and NOAA’s 8-14 day temperature forecast shows above normal temperatures across the entire nation.

Overall, prices have remained generally flat at most locations.

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December 7th, 2014

Executive Market Summary

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The November cold snap led to larger than average withdrawals from storage inventories. Natural gas storage fell a total of 161 Bcf the first four weeks of November – the largest withdrawal for that period in more than 10 years. This was largely driven by the 162 Bcf withdrawal for the week ending November 21.

Change in Working Gas Inventories

Regardless of the November withdrawals, mild weather continues to outweigh most of the bullish factors. WSI, Platts and NOAA are all forecasting above average temperatures through mid-December across the entire country.

The warmer weather helped bring in a smaller than expected net withdrawal. The net withdrawal for the week ending November 28 was 22 Bcf – 28 Bcf lower than the five year average and 119 Bcf lower than last year’s withdrawal.

Production continues setting records. According to the EIA, production was more than 71 Bcf/day for all days in the report week and 2% higher compared to the previous week.

 

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November 26th, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from RPM!

November 24th, 2014

RPM’s 1st Annual Thanksgiving Potluck

Rapid Power Management celebrated the holiday with a Thanksgiving potluck.

A few of RPM’s Menu Items

 

Our staff enjoyed homemade Mexican-themed dishes featuring two of our local clients, Renfro Foods and Rico’s Products.

From Left to Right: Jared Patterson, Senior Energy Manager; Katie Casse, Marketing and Sales Support; JD Dodson, President and CEO

 

Renfro Foods manufactures and distributes packaged spices and pepper sauces throughout the United States. RPM president, JD Dodson, particularly enjoyed Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa which was debuted at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York in 2010.

Rico’s Products was the first to launch ‘nachos’ at Arlington Stadium in 1976. Their fried tortilla chips served with cheese sauce and jalapeno peppers is now the standard bearer for ball park nachos. Our team enjoyed the chips as an integral part of our Mexican-themed Thanksgiving feast!

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