Jul
17
2018

Pipeline Security - We're All in this Together

Today’s PACE Blog is an abridged version of a PACE column published yesterday by Morning Consult.

When it comes to ensuring a resilient energy grid capable of serving American customers no matter what comes our way, there are few things more vital than safeguarding the security of our energy and electricity delivery systems.

Despite cybersecurity being front and center across the energy and electricity value chain for years, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently asserted that pipeline operators in the U.S. are not adequately prepared for cyber-attacks and that natural gas pipelines specifically are “increasingly vulnerable to cyber- and physical

Jul
11
2018

Hedging 101, Part 2

This week, we continue our conversation with hedging expert Andy Whitesitt. Over two decades, and as a senior executive with ACES, he’s helped dozens of utilities smooth cost curves and mitigate risk. Hedging helps consumers across the country every day.

What’s the difference between financial hedging and physical hedging?

Financial hedging is locking in only the price risk by utilizing either a futures contract or a swap. After locking in the price, the utility still must go out and procure the natural gas needed to run the generation unit.

Physical hedging is a purchase of physical gas to be

Jul
04
2018

Freedom from Worry

Recently, Energy Fairness asked Andy Whitesitt, Vice President of Business Development & Customer Service at ACES, to talk with us about hedging basics.

We hope the following Q & A interview will help you understand how utility hedging programs work to remove some worry about future costs. Next week, we’ll follow up with some additional insights about this common business practice many utilities routinely deploy to protect consumers.

Can you provide a 101 explanation of hedging?

Hedging is simply locking in the price of a commodity in order to reduce the risks of potential impacts. When electric utilities use

Jun
27
2018

Energy Debates Help Summer Heat Up

Energy Fairness is on the road again, enjoying 110 degree highs in Phoenix. Back in D.C., energy debates are heating up the Beltway atmosphere, but we also found some bright spots to share.

The Senate is working on appropriations bills, but partisan divides mean that many “riders” aimed at rolling back rules and programs set in motion by the Obama Administration aren’t viable this year. For example, language that would halt the unpopular and sweeping “Waters of the U.S.” rule won’t be included.

With Energy Fairness now formally a part of the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC)

Jun
18
2018

Net Metering Debates Heat Up

Net metering policies evolved in several states this year, including Michigan, Connecticut, and Maine. Meanwhile, other states such as Kentucky saw heated battles sure to return. PACE supports changes in net metering laws that bring more fairness to the system – paying retail rates instead of avoided costs for net metering subsidizes electricity bills for a small number of residents and puts more costs on low and fixed-income families. Increasingly, states are taking a hard look at their net metering policies and aiming to bring payments in line with market rates, despite strong pushback from the renewable energy industry.

Jun
14
2018

Hedging Happens Every Day

Everyone needs to manage risk. We do it in our daily lives both personally and professionally. Utilities are no different. PACE has spent the last few weeks highlighting natural gas hedging after the Missouri legislature passed a resolution supporting the continued use of this essential, though often misunderstood practice.

Today’s infographic explains the top five benefits of natural gas hedging, from protecting consumers to supporting national security. We hope you will find this graphic useful as you think about all the ways you manage risk every day. #HowDoYouHedge?

Jun
12
2018

A Sea of Change in Charleston

It’s 90 degrees in the shade here in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (SEARUC) has gathered for its annual meeting. Eleven states’ public utility regulators, from Texas and Arkansas to Florida and the Carolinas, are represented. This year’s theme is “Effective Utility Regulation – All in the Public Interest.” In a time of increasing cynicism about government, it’s uplifting to focus on elected officials and professional staff who work hard for consumers each day.

It’s also refreshing to be with so many who accept that appropriate regulation is needed to monitor and provide course

Jun
07
2018

Walking a Few Feet in Poverty

Since the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy joined the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition earlier this year, I’ve searched for ways to get smarter about home energy assistance and to deepen the Energy Fairness commitment to consumers. In late May, I attended a “poverty simulation.” Regular readers of the Energy Fairness newsletter know I eschew hyperbole, but here, the description “truly meaningful” fits the experience, a sentiment shared by many other participants.

This is the second time Entergy, the investor-owned electric utility serving New Orleans, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas has partnered with Catholic Charities to

Jun
05
2018

Hedging Happens Every Day

Following up from our column last week in Morning Consult, we wanted to create a simple way to explain natural gas hedging. As our infographic shows, gas hedging is no different than common, everyday steps families and individuals take to protect themselves from risk, whether that’s having a home insurance policy or bringing an umbrella with you in case of rain. Simply put, natural gas hedging helps utilities plan against risk and provide a stable and affordable supply of energy for consumers.

Please feel free to share our infographic on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, or forward to your

May
30
2018

Natural Gas Hedging - Smart Tool for Diverse Energy Portfolio

PACE thanks Morning Consult for publishing this op-ed as original content. https://morningconsult.com/opinions/hedging-smart-tool-diverse-energy-portfolio/.

As the U.S. energy portfolio continues to diversify, the tools and tactics electric utilities use to protect consumers and stabilize costs must keep up with the times to accommodate the growth of natural gas, renewable resources, storage and other innovations.

One of the most critical tools is hedging, a fact frequently discussed and underscored by state lawmakers. As an example, Missouri recently passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 43 that reaffirms the state’s policy of allowing electric utilities to hedge natural gas contracts and supports