Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Giving Back – Local Businesses Help West Houston Community Center Save on Summer Energy Bills

June 25th, 2014

With high temperatures coming, a state-of-the-art energy management system significantly reduces energy costs and provides WHCC with more funds to focus on what really matters – the community

 

HOUSTON – June 25, 2014 – The hot Texas summer is fast approaching and for the West Houston Community Center that means higher energy costs for air conditioning and an increased strain on its budget.

 

The West Houston Community Center (WHCC) is a nonprofit organization aimed at providing quality facilities that support the community. The center hosts Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Palmer Drug Abuse Programs (PDAP) for young and older youth, parent/child and multi-family programming, domestic abuse group counseling and Cocaine Anonymous.

 

To provide a comfortable environment for all of these programs, the center has historically seen a significant spike in the electricity bills during the summer months.  But this summer will be vastly different thanks to lower energy rates from Houston-based Entelrgy and an easy to use, energy management solution donated by EnTouch Controls.

 

Because its programs are hosted at various times and in multiple rooms throughout the WHCC facility, HVAC energy costs have become a significant expense for the organization.  One such program is the Family Point Resources, which focuses on programs that enrich the lives of low-income neighborhood children and their families. During the summer they conduct a variety of summer camps at WHCC including dance, art, drama, reading and sports. The camps greatly increase building traffic and are at all times of the day.

 

Before implementing EnTouch’s web-based energy management solution, WHCC guests were changing temperature settings themselves, or if they did not have access in a given room, they’d call the facility manager to come out to change the settings. The major issue was that when temperature changes were made in the evening, they’d be forgotten, leaving the air conditioning to run throughout the night when the facility was closed.

 

“Energy is our number one non-personnel expense, but there are simply too many programs and too many different groups within our facility for me to ensure temperatures are properly regulated,” Jorge Quinones, executive director, West Houston Community Center. “EnTouch’s solution completely simplified this process and we expect to see significant energy savings, which will free up our budget to focus on what’s most important to us – the community.”

 

Entelrgy adopted WHCC into its Community In Action Program, in which the company provides lower-priced energy costs and makes  donations to local community organizations and non-profits.  In the case of WHCC, Entelrgy professionally renegotiated their energy contract and reduced their annual energy costs by just over $3,000. And on May 8th 2014Entelrgy made an additional charitable contribution of $3,868 to WHCC.

 

Add to that the donation of the EnTouch Pro Thermostats and WHCC will be able to reduce its energy costs even more by reducing its energy usage.  With the EnTouch Pro thermostats in place, guests can text the facility manager for changes and he can manage temperature changes remotely from anywhere with his mobile phone. Additionally, security functionality of the EnTouch Pro allows the facility manager to select a desired temperature and ensure that onsite changes do not exceed +/- 3 degrees of the approved setting. If changes are made, the thermostat will automatically revert back to vacant set points each night.

 

“The West Houston Community Center is a valued resource providing essential wellness services to its community and it is a shame that so much of its funding was consumed by unnecessary energy costs,” said James Walton, VP of Business Development of EnTouch Controls. “We’re happy to provide the center with the EnTouch Pro thermostats and look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure maximum energy savings.”

 

“The goal of our Community In Action program in 2014 is to give $100,000 back to local organizations like the WHCC,” said F. Michael Lewis, Vice President of Operations for Entelrgy. “This is EnTouch’s first time teaming up with our Community In Action program, but the combination of our negotiated low rates and energy management is a good one for making the maximum impact on these organizations.”

 

For more information about how Entelrgy can help your community or business, please visit our website www.EnergyCompete.com or call us at 866-7ENERGY (866-736-3749)

 

For more information on EnTouch Pro, visit http://entouchcontrols.com/products-services/entouch-promotion-sensing-thermostat/.

 

About EnTouch Controls

Based in Richardson, Texas, EnTouch Controls is an industry-leading provider of data-driven energy management solutions (EMS). EnTouch Controls’ easy-to-use, web-based solution is designed to leverage real-time analytics to reduce energy consumption and maximize energy savings, to provide visibility across key assets while improving operational efficiency and enhancing overall customer comfort. EnTouch 360™ managed services takes traditional EMS to a higher level by providing dedicated support in managing energy usage and evaluating system issues. EnTouch Controls provides installation, professional services, technical support, energy usage monitoring, overall system performance and manages maintenance issues. Connect with EnTouch Controls on our websiteTwitter feedblog or email Tom Kay, Vice President Sales & Marketing at tom.kay@entouchcontrols.com.

 

Media Contact:

David Rodewald / Amber Hack

The David James Agency

805-494-9508

entouch@davidjamesagency.com

 

About Entelrgy

 

Based in the “Energy Capitol of the World”, Houston, Texas, Entelrgy LLC operates as an energy consultant and broker for commercial and industrial customers.  We handle national energy procurement and management for a variety of clients. While offering consulting not only on price and cost reduction, but also utility bill management, HVAC controls, utility construction, engineering services, demand response and lighting retrofits.

 

Media Contact

Erin Cutbirth

866-736-3749 x103

Erin.Cutbirth@Entelrgy.com

Market Commentary 5-27-2014

May 27th, 2014

Power prices for June across the major term trading locations continued to

show varied moves during the week ended May 23, as traders looked to continuing

losses for front-month natural gas futures alongside calls for widespread

warming in the weeks ahead that should boost demand for cooling.

 

The front-month gas contract today continued 6 cents higher to $4.46/MMBtu.

 

Short-covering leading into the long Memorial Day holiday weekend allowed

June natural gas futures to resume the upside Friday, May 23, with a 4.6-cent

advance to a finish at $4.405/MMBtu, even as fundamentals remain bearish. The

front-month gas contract ultimately ended the report period down 6.5 cents from

the Monday settle, for its fifth-straight week of decline.

Across the South, the value of June power parcels was pressured by weaker

natural gas futures, though the downside was limited by outlooks for warming

and robust cooling load in the weeks ahead. Power prices for June delivery at

ERCOT North eased 25 cents on the week, from $55.31 at the start of the review

period to $55.06 at the end of the review week.

NG 5-27

05/23/2014 Power Report: Dailies could advance ahead of Memorial

May 23rd, 2014

 

After easing a bit on Thursday, power prices at the daily markets could end

the workweek with gains Friday, May 23, amid generally stronger demand outlooks

through the start of the holiday-shortened workweek May 27 and a renewed upside

in natural gas futures trading.

 

Both power and gas markets are closed Monday, May 26, for Memorial Day.

 

At last glance, June natural gas futures were trading 2.3 cents higher to

near $4.382/MMBtu after tanking 11.4 cents in the prior session following the

report of a larger-than-expected and above-average build of 106 Bcf for the

week ended May 16. However, spot markets could favor the downside Friday, as

prices reconcile prior-day losses in futures and face a low-demand product

offering that will cover the three-day weekend.

 

In the South, demand in ERCOT is poised to reach a high at 48,570 MW on

Friday and 47,130 MW on May 26 before rebounding to 49,423 MW on May 27.

 

In the South, price action for June power slumped across the board to above

$57 at ERCOT Houston and to either side of $55 across the other ERCOT markets,

while power values for July were quoted in the low $70s overall.

Energy Research Council Report Explains How Record-Breaking Demand Affects Electricity Cost

May 23rd, 2014

Salisbury, MD, May  2014—Record-breaking levels of energy demand and consumption were recorded in January 2014. On January 7, PJM—a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of electricity in 13 states—recorded its highest winter peak ever—141,396 megawatts. Eight of the 10 highest winter demand levels for electricity ever recorded by PJM occurred in January 2014. PJM called an emergency load response event on January 7, and again on January 23. In contrast, PJM called only one emergency load response event in all of 2013, and that event occurred in September during extreme heat. Four other RTOs also reported record-breaking winter peak demand in January 2014. On January 6, 2014, temperatures in key consuming regions of the U.S. dropped to an average of -10 °F, with a wind chill of -33 °F. On January 7, 2014, record-breaking temperatures in the PJM territory dropped to 4 °F in Philadelphia, 10 °F in Richmond, and -16 °F in Chicago. During all of 2013, the average cost for PJM to ensure reliable power delivery was $53/MWh; in January 2014, the average cost was $150/MWh. Cold weather burdened all types of power generation, including gas, coal, and nuclear power plants. Some generators experienced extended run times, resulting in unplanned shutdowns. In the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) territory, two power plants tripped offline on January 6, and wholesale prices reached $5,000/megawatt hour (MWh) for the first time ever. Average electricity prices were greater than $1,300/MWh in ERCOT territory, which is 40 times higher than average. The Energy Research Council’s (ERC’s) report, “Polar vortex effect on electricity prices (click here),” discusses how peak demand led to increased ancillary costs, and describes how different “change-in-law” provisions are impacting customer electricity bills – See more at: http://www.retailenergyx.com/sy.cfm/295/Release-Energy-Research-Council-Report-Explains-How-Record-Breaking-Demand-Affects-Electricity-Cost#sthash.UpNtMV6M.dpuf

 

The previous post was a news release from the Energy Research Council, which is composed of several retail suppliers and brokers. RetailEnergyX.com disclaims any responsibility for the content of the release and makes no averment as to its accuracy

Natural Gas Bets Drop to Five-Month Low on U.S. Supply

May 19th, 2014

Faster-than-expected gains in U.S. natural-gas inventories are easing concern that a shortage is looming next winter, spurring speculators to cut bullish bets.

Money managers’ net-long position fell 9.1 percent in the week ended May 13 to the lowest level since December, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. Bearish wagers are the highest in more than four months.

Gas futures fell 9.2 percent in the period as stockpile gains topped analysts’ forecasts for a third week. Production from shale deposits in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest climbed to a record 16.1 billion cubic feet a day in the week ended May 9, Credit Suisse Group AG said in a report May 15.

“We’re on the path to a more comfortable supply situation by the end of the summer,” Tom Saal, senior vice president of energy trading at FCStone Latin America LLC in Miami, said by phone on May 16. “That’s giving the bears a little bit of ammunition.”

Natural gas slid 44.1 cents to $4.358 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the week ended May 13. Prices fell to $4.289 on May 15, a six-week low, and rose 1.3 percent today to settle at $4.47 in New York.

The Energy Information Administration said inventories rose 74 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 2. Analysts predicted an increase of 70 billion. Supplies climbed by 105 billion the following week, narrowing the deficit to the five-year average to the least since Feb. 28.

 

By Christine Buurma

May 15, 2014

May 16th, 2014

ERCOT Cash – printing $48 bucks on the super peak – whoop! Broke out from the
$20s prints. BUT load isn’t impressive – under 39k – so pricing will be
contained…Temps a creepin’ though. DAM cleared $34.65 and 34.19 on and offpeak.

PJM short term looks bearish as temps fall back into normal – next day Fin
trading $43 bucks vs. $75 bucks bal day…

ERCOT Forwards – Basis day – trading H/N basis on the Cal 15 for $1.70 – pretty
much the highlight on the day. And the Summer 2014 was offered lower than 20
heat rate, UNCHG on most everything else…Sum 14 19.75, Ca1 15 – 12.21 and Cal
16 – 12.19.

PJM Forwards – Bal Year slightly offered better and the backs were steady to
lower in PJM and NiHub – AD Hub slightly up relatively speaking. PJM Cal 15
$54.25 and Cal 16 $52.10

NG – EIA number came in 105 – and posted a down revision to last week’s
injection by 8 Bcf. NG settled up today

CL – lower on the day – according to Dow Jones Energy News, crude basically
followed equities on weak US and Global economic signals (more on this below) and
near record stockpiles of the black gold – YOURS for now.

Economy and Such – OK – welcome to the psychopath world of the “new normal”!!!
Last week – Peaches and Cream, this week the sky is falling and drag Global
Equities with it…YELLEN for help (ha-ha, crackin’ myself up). Janet Yellen
is the new FED president –  Hope the FED does nothing – otherwise it
will prove that the markets, and probably the US economy, can’t broadly survive
without its fix of QE. Not a fan of QE, it’s distorting interest rates and
forcing capital mis-allocation. In my HUMBLE opinion.

Wal-mart’s profit forecasts and slow growth weighed on the markets, as well as
industrial output fell – the ‘ol one two punch…

What happened to bad news is good?? Could we be headed to the old normal?

BITCOIN – $438
NG – $4.469
Crude – $101.56*
SP500 – 1870.85
US 10-Yr – 2.49
Gold – 1296.60

**near market close

D.O.E. Storage Report

May 15th, 2014

NEW YORK–Natural-gas futures took off for the first time in a week, rising

more than 2% Thursday on news that inventory additions fell short of

expectations.

 

Producers added 97 billion cubic feet of gas to storage for the week ended

May 9, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. That is 2 bcf less than

what 16 traders, brokers and analysts forecasted in a Wall Street Journal

survey.

 

Natural gas for June delivery recently jumped 12 cents, or 2.7%, at $4.487 a

million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It is the

first rise in prices in more than a week and pulled natural gas off the

six-week low it had touched in early morning trading.

 

NG 5-15-14

 

Market Commentary for 2014-05-14

May 14th, 2014

May 14, 2014

Cash ERCOT – another boring one. Some West pops, but nothing sustained. 70s in
Texas – in fact Houston and Cleveland are the same temperatures – one is much
above and one is much below — and both love Johnny Football too… DAM clear
$36.28 and $27.42 on and off respectively.

ERCOT Forwards – bullets months traded lower SLIGHTLY. Not much on the news
front. Summer 2014 = 20.00, Cal 15 = 12.23 and Cal 16 = 12.21 – power is
waiting for an inspiration.

NG – slightly higher on nothing – BUT wait… EIA tomorrow!!! Expectations around
100 bcf build. Last year built 99 and 5 year average is 88. Above 110 we test
$4.25, below 90 we reclaim $4.45 –
CL – up today on product demand numbers, however production grew to the highest
levels since 1987– 8.4 million barrels a day. Inventory ended the week with
398.7 million barrels (source Dow Jones News Plus – Energy Service)…we should
export some of this stuff…

Economy – stocks down,  they were tired of making new highs…So many
excuses why, my favorite is… banks followed the market down because the outlook
is poor for trading income…by the way this isn’t new news…duh that’s why the
banks aren’t fans of Dodd Frank.

Another good one…from the WSJ..”A selloff in home-builder shares helped drag
down the S&P 500’s consumer-discretionary sector by 1.1%. The iShares U.S.
Home Construction exchange-traded fund shed 2.2% as executives from
home-builder firms presented to shareholders at a conference in New York, and
ahead of housing starts data on Friday. Recent data has indicated that growth
in the U.S. housing market has cooled in 2014, amid an unusually icy winter.”

“The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they should focus on making more credit
available to potential homeowners, a shift in mission that could stabilize the
housing recovery.” Let’s just revisit our strict (ha!) lending policies – the
taxpayers got our back!

NG – $4.367

Crude – $102.37

SP500 – 1888.53

US 10-Yr – 2.544 – nice move yields down – a 2.68% move!!

Gold – 1305.4

**near market close

Market Commentary for 2014-05-12

May 12th, 2014

ERCOT Cash – basically the same as yesterday, but with clouds and general gloominess… Surprise today was lack of North to Houston Congestion with a major tie line out, but maybe pricing in yesterday’s DAM incented enough Houston generation. DAM cleared cleared stronger with loads up and wind down… North was $54.44 and $31.28 on and off.

ERCOT Forwards – UP UP and UP with stronger cash and NG falling off a cliff…having said that it was quiet in the power market.

NG – EIA day – number came out 74 on expected 65 to 79 Bcf build. Market reaction – BEARISH!!! Traders sold natural down over $.15 – personally I think I was an overreaction, but I like NG still. We just broke 1 Tcf in storage and much more to build. Next week could be a triple digit build;  that’s why the selling never stopped…. this a buying opportunity…

CL – down $.50 on the day, I guess the buyers yesterday were selling today….

Economy – Tesla down 11%, Solar City up 12% – on a generally neutral day in stocks…ECB looking to take on more extraordinary efforts to combat the deflation in EURZONE. “The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 1.1% after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that its governing council may take measures to push inflation higher when it meets in June.” – WSJ

BITCOIN – $429.00

NG – $4.572

Crude – $100.27

SP500 – 1875.63

US 10-Yr – 2.618

Gold – 1289.60**

**near market close

US Energy Information Overview: Week Ending Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April 2nd, 2014

Spot prices rose modestly at most market locations during the report week (Wednesday, March 19, to Wednesday, March 26) as temperatures cooled over the weekend and led to increased natural gas demand. However, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by 2 cents/MMBtu. At the Nymex, the April 2014 contract decreased for the second week in a row, from $4.484/MMBtu on Wednesday, March 19, to $4.402/MMBtu yesterday.

  • Working natural gas in storage fell to 896 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of Friday, March 21, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR). A net storage withdrawal of 57 Bcf for the week resulted in storage levels 50.1% below year-ago levels and 50.8% below the 5-year average.
  • The total rig count was 1,803 as of March 21, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. The natural gas rotary rig count totaled 326, which represents a decrease of 18 rigs from the previous week, following a drop of 14 rigs in the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas. The 326 rigs reflect a decrease of 92 units from the same time last year. Oil rigs rose for the sixth week in a row, by 12 units to 1,473, including an increase of 9 rigs in the Eagle Ford. The 1,473 rig U.S. total is 149 greater than last year at this time.
  • The weekly average natural gas plant liquids composite price decreased for the seventh week in a row this week (covering March 17 through March 21), by 2.2%, and is now at $9.85/MMBtu. This is $2.84/MMBtu less than at the end of January, when the composite price was $12.69/MMBtu. The price of ethane decreased for the fourth week in a row, by 5.5%, while the price of propane decreased for the sixth week in a row, by 2.8%. Butane and isobutane prices declined by 1.0% and 2.4%, respectively, and natural gasoline prices rose 0.4%.

 

Prices/Demand/Supply:

Henry Hub price decreases. The Henry Hub spot price rose from $4.44/MMBtu last Wednesday to $4.50/MMBtu on Tuesday, but then fell yesterday to $4.42/MMBtu, in anticipation of today’s warmer temperatures. The spot price climbed through Tuesday as temperatures cooled from 50 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend to an average of 41 degrees from Monday, March 24, through yesterday. However, the average Lower 48 temperature climbed to 48 degrees today.

Northeast prices drop yesterday, following significant increases through Tuesday. Spot prices increased moderately through Tuesday at most major trading hubs, except in the Northeast, where they increased significantly. In Boston, the average daily temperature reached 43 degrees on Saturday, but declined to 29 degrees yesterday. The natural gas spot price at the Algonquin Citygate hub serving Boston area consumers rose from $5.36/MMBtu last Wednesday to $14.76/MMBtu on Tuesday, but then dropped to $7.08/MMBtu yesterday. In New York, the average daily temperature reached 49 degrees on Saturday, but decreased through yesterday to 34 degrees. The Transco Zone 6-New York spot price rose from $4.45/MMBtu last Wednesday to $9.01/MMBtu on Tuesday, but then dropped to $4.57/MMBtu yesterday. Temperatures in both Boston and New York rebounded significantly today.

Nymex prices decrease slightly. The Nymex near-month (April 2014) contract settled at $4.484/MMBtu last Wednesday, and settled yesterday at $4.402/MMBtu, a decrease of 8.2 cents/MMBtu. The April contract decreased by 11.5 cents/MMBtu last Thursday, before increasing slightly through trading yesterday. The 12-month strip (the 12 contracts between April 2014 and March 2015) fell by 5.7 cents/MMBtu, from $4.559/MMBtu last Wednesday to $4.502/MMBtu yesterday.

Consumption increases week over week. Average natural gas consumption increased for the second week in a row, by 1.9%, to 81.4 Bcf/d. Increases occurred in all sectors except industrial. Despite seasonal, spring-like temperatures last Friday, which lowered total natural gas consumption to 71.6 Bcf on that day, the return of cooler temperatures over the weekend led to increased total U.S. consumption, which reached 87.6 Bcf yesterday. Overall, residential and commercial consumption rose 1.4% this week. Consumption of natural gas for power generation increased by 5.5% over last week, rising in every region except Texas. Net natural gas exports to Mexico increased by 6.8%, while average industrial consumption decreased by 0.3%.

Decreased U.S. net imports push down total supply. Total supply decreased 0.2% this week, according to data from Bentek Energy. Natural gas dry production in the United States increased for the third week in a row, by 0.4%, to 66.9 Bcf/d. However, the 0.2 Bcf/d increase in U.S. dry production this week only partially offset a 0.3 Bcf/d (6.2%) decrease in net natural gas pipeline imports from Canada. Net natural gas pipeline imports from Canada into the midwestern United States increased by 0.2 Bcf/d (14.7%), but decreased by a combined 0.5 Bcf/d into the western United States (0.2 Bcf/d, 9.4%) and northeastern United States (0.3 Bcf/d, 26.5%). Net imports of Canadian gas into the West and Northeast decreased most significantly through Saturday, when warm temperatures led to lower demand.

Storage

Cooler weather brings a larger-than-average net withdrawal. The net withdrawal reported for the week ending March 21 was 57 Bcf, 50 Bcf larger than the 5-year average of 7 Bcf, but 33 Bcf smaller than last year’s net withdrawal of 90 Bcf. Working gas inventories totaled 896 Bcf, 899 Bcf (50.1%) less than last year at this time, 926 Bcf (50.8%) below the 5-year (2009-13) average, and 721 Bcf (44.6%) below the 5-year minimum.

Storage draw larger than market expectations of 53 Bcf. When the EIA storage report was released at 10:30 a.m., the price for the April natural gas futures contract rose 4 cents to $4.47 /MMBtu on the Nymex. Prices remained at that level in the hour following the release.

All three regions posted larger-than-average withdrawal. The East, West, and Producing regions had net withdrawals of 39 Bcf (20 Bcf larger than its 5-year average withdrawal of 19 Bcf), 3 Bcf (compared with its 5-year average level showing no change for the week), and 15 Bcf (compared with its 5-year average injection of 12 Bcf), respectively. Storage levels for all three regions remain below their year-ago and 5-year average levels, and their 5-year minimums.

Temperatures during the storage report week cooler than normal. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states averaged 43.1 degrees for the week, 1.7 degrees cooler than the 30-year normal temperature, but 0.3 degree warmer than during the same period last year.