Switching Electricity Companies

Solar Power May Struggle Ahead as Tax Credits Decrease

In the U.S., a new solar project was installed every three minutes in 2014, and jobs in the solar industry rose from 15,000 employees in 2005 to nearly 174,000 today. This substantial growth is in large part thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005’s 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for commercial and residential solar energy systems. In 2007, after only one year of implementation, the ITC led to the doubling of installed solar electric capacity. In 2008, Congress passed an eight-year extension of the ITC, allowing solar to become the fastest growing energy source in the U.S. Solar… Read more.

Millions of Residents are Switching Electricity Providers

Across North America, millions of electricity customers live in areas that allow them to exercise electric choice. In deregulated states, residents and businesses are allowed to shop for electric service. In total, 17 million residential consumers have exercised their right to choose an alternative electricity provider along with numerous business consumers, according to the Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS), a report released by Distributed Energy Financial Group LLC (DEFG). “People choose from an ever-increasing diversity of retail electricity products,” said Nat Treadway, DEFG managing partner and lead author of the report. “In Texas,… Read more.

Electric Supplier Starion is Under Investigation by the Public Service Commission

An electricity supplier is under investigation by the Delaware Public Service Commission (DPSC). As part of deregulation, companies are allowed to compete with Delmarva Power for the right to serve its customers with electricity supply. Delmarva remains in charge of delivery and billing for all of its customers, regardless of whether a customer chooses to use Delmarva’s standard service for their electricity supply, or go with a competitive electricity provider. Starion Energy was certified as an electric supplier for residential customers in Delaware on October 2012 by the Public Service Commission. In December, the PSC began receiving “numerous complaints” about… Read more.

New Renewable Energy Options in North Aurora, Illinois

North Aurora Village, located in Illinois, will soon have the option to utilize green electricity starting September 1, 2013. Residents and small businesses will be able to power their locations with electricity generated from wind and solar. The Village Board finalized a one-year contract with Verde Energy USA. Verde will provide renewable power for non-industrial customers, opposed to coal or gas-fired generated power. The initial rate provided by Verde will be 5.33 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Trustees of the Village Board agreed to seek an environmentally friendly power company for the community. After receiving a quote from Commonwealth Edison… Read more.

CL&P Prepares for the Summer Months

With electricity demands at their highest in the summer months, Connecticut Light and Power(CL&P) is taking preparatory steps to ensure proper service to all customers. “While we work year-round to make our system stronger, the specific preparations for the summer months actually begin during the previous fall,” said Ken Bowes, Vice President of Energy Delivery Services at CL&P. “This year, we’re investing about $30 million in our system for greater reliability and to reduce the possibility of service interruptions for our customers, especially during the hot summer months when our system is pushes to its limits.” To prepare for the… Read more.

UI Files Rate Hike Request – AG Says Rates Should Go Down

May 6, 2013 United Illuminating Company (UI) has made a formal request with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to increase electric distribution rates by $95 million over the course of two years. Attorney General George Jepsen, among others, is in opposition to the increase, stating that the utility rates should be decreasing rather than increasing. If the rate increase is approved, distribution rates would increase by 26 percent in the first year ($69 million) and by an additional 9 percent in the second year ($26 million). For the average residential customer, this means an 8.7 percent increase on electric… Read more.

Arizona Electricity Market May Open Up To Electric Choice

May 17, 2013 Free market competition in Arizona’s electricity market is likely, says energy analysts. Those in charge of utility regulations in Arizona support reviving deregulation and opening electric choice to not only larger businesses but residents and small businesses as well. Deregulation would mean that electric customers would be able to purchase their electricity supply from competing retail electricity providers instead of being forced to purchase directly from the default utility, either Arizona Public Service Co. or Tucson Electric Power. Bob Stump, Chairman of the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC), which oversees public utilities in the state, said in a… Read more.

Just Energy Launches Carbon-Offset Business Advantage Program

Just Energy’s JustGreen® Lifestyle initiative has just launched its JustGreen Business Advantage program that will allow businesses to reduce their carbon footprints by investing in carbon offsets. Just Energy is a leading retail electric and gas provider, with substantial investment in green energy programs and initiatives. JustGreen Lifestyle is Just Energy’s green energy initiative that helps businesses and residents help reduce their environmental impacts through carbon offsets and renewable energy credits. When businesses sign up, they receive a monthly membership plan that is customized to that company’s particular needs depending on size and energy use. Business members also benefit from… Read more.

Illinois Governor Vetoes ComEd Smart Grid Rate Hike

May 7, 2013 Last week, Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn vetoed legislation that would have increased electricity rates for Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) customers in order to modernize the state’s smart grid infrastructure. Gov. Quinn stated that the bill would have undermined oversight and forced automatic rate increases on the public. Of course, legislators can still override the veto later this month. Funds from the bill, which would allow ComEd to raise $2.6 billion over 10 years through customer rate hikes, would go toward digitizing the state’s grid through the installation of smart meters as well as operational and infrastructure changes. The… Read more.

BGE’s Electric Supply Rates to Increase Following Distribution Rate Hike

Electric rates for non-shopping Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) customers are scheduled to rise by about $6 per month beginning in June. Customers that have already switched to a retail electricity provider for their electric supply will not be affected. Currently, BGE’s Price-to-Compare (the average residential supply rate) is around 8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The new rate, which will last from June 2013 to May 2014, will be 10.474 cents/kWh. Customers currently shopping around for an electric provider with lower rates should look for plans that have rates below the 10.474 cent/kWh mark. In late February, the Maryland… Read more.