May 15th, 2013
“A surplus of electric power in the Midwest, low wholesale power prices, a jump in retail rates, and the dramatic growth in customer choice participation in Illinois and Ohio are prompting at least two states in the Midwest to look again at the merits of letting retail customers pick their electric supplier.
On April 30 in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence signed into law a bill that among other things requires a state legislative committee to perform a study on the merits of retail electric customer choice.
Meanwhile in Michigan, which has the highest electric rates in the region, lawmakers are hearing testimony on whether to lift that state’s choice cap of 10 percent of total retail load. Read more »
May 13th, 2013
“National Grid’s electric and natural gas customers across Upstate New York will begin to see the impact of reduced delivery prices this month as a recently approved, multi-year rate plan went into effect April 1. The new rates will help reduce electric bills and hold natural gas rates steady for the next three years.
This is the second straight year that electricity delivery costs declined, following a cut in January 2012 of as much as 10 percent for residential users.
The new rate plan, recently approved by the New York State Public Service Commission, will reduce energy deliver costs for the next 12 months, followed by modest increases in the second and third years of the plan. For electricity customers, delivery bills in March 2016 will be lower than they are today assuming equal usage. Gas delivery rates also are declining starting this month, with modest increases in years two and three of the plan that would result in delivery prices rising at less than the expected rate of inflation. Read more »
April 30th, 2013
By John C Funk of the Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The monthly fixed fees that Dominion East Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio charge customers are going to increase, mostly because of on-going projects to replace aging pipelines.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio this week approved annual adjustments to the fees after months of review by the commission staff and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.
Dominion’s monthly residential customer charges which now total $20.95 will increase to $22.01 beginning with May billings. Read more »
April 26th, 2013
$6-a-month extra for typical residential consumer without outside supplier
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun
“Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said Thursday that energy prices will rise $6 a month for the typical residential electricity customer who doesn’t use an outside power supplier, the first jump in energy prices in four years.
That rise in costs, running from June through next May, comes on top of a distribution-rate increase approved in February. The state calculated that distribution rise at $3.33 a month for the average residential electricity customer, though BGE said typical customers — halfway between the biggest and smallest power-users — would pay $2.66 a month extra. Read more »
April 24th, 2013
By Dan Gearino The Columbus Dispatch
“Rising natural-gas prices mean American Electric Power is burning more coal and less gas compared with a year ago, according to the company’s chief executive.
“Our coal generation has picked back up considerably,” said Nick Akins, the president and CEO, in an interview.
AEP is one of the largest users of coal in the country. But the coal industry has suffered as AEP and other utilities have made use of what had been less expensive natural gas. Read more »