Aug
10
2018

Flexibility, Fuels & the Future

This week, Energy Fairness presented energy policy updates to the American Coal Council and conducted a workshop for state leaders at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting.

You can see some of the content and ideas we shared here. Download the presentation PDF.

Aug
02
2018

The Long Shadow of Negative Pricing

 

Top Takeaways:

Renewable energy plays a valuable role in the nation’s generation mix. But when renewable energy flows into the wholesale market at prices below zero, the generation mix is distorted over the long haul. There really is no such thing as “free electricity.”

Like many people, I love free stuff. Tote bags and coffee go-cups top my list of free energy conference swag. So, I can understand why renewable energy enthusiasts enjoy discussing “negative pricing” and the benefits for consumers’ electricity bills. Some trumpet “free electricity” in a manner that calls to mind cell phone advertising.

However,

Jul
25
2018

A Record-Setting Summer in Texas

Many eyes are on Texas this summer. Some are watching the Houston Astros to see if a repeat of the 2017 season is possible; currently they are leading the American League West by 6 games and occupy the number 2 spot in USA Today’s Power Rankings. I cannot report similar good news for the Atlanta Braves, although hope springs eternal.

However, those lucky enough to have a professional or avocational (yes, that is a word) connection to the energy industry are collecting a different set of stats by following the state’s roller coaster of summer peak temperatures and power prices.

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