Wednesday, August 30, 2017
RESA: Many Competitive Electricity Offers Available Below The Cost Of Utility Standard Service Rate
An analysis of Connecticut's competitive electricity market shows many competitive offers below the cost of utility service, and if all Connecticut electricity consumers taking utility standard rate service switched to these lowest available competitive offers, the potential savings are more than $18.5 million for July, the Retail Energy Supply Association said today
"Some have questioned the value of Connecticut's competitive energy market, suggesting that utility service offers a better option than signing up with a competitive supplier. But this simplistic equation ignores the values beyond price that competitive suppliers bring to the marketplace," said Retail Energy Supply Association spokesman Bryan Lee.
"Nevertheless, this analysis shows that if a shopper's only value proposition were price, many competitive suppliers offer electricity at prices below the standard service rate. If all the state's electricity customers receiving utility service instead chose the lowest available competitive offer, considerable potential savings would be realized," Lee said.
RESA said that, as of July 21 in Eversource's territory, 97 competitive supply offers were available from 23 competitive suppliers. Of those, 21 would provide a fixed rate below the utility rate and 24 offered 100 percent renewable energy green offers, some of which were below the utility's rate. The total potential savings available to standard offer customers amounted to nearly $15.7 million, RESA said
As of July 21 in United Illuminating's territory, 94 competitive offers were available from 24 competitive suppliers. Of those, 13 were below the standard offer rate and 24 offered 100 percent renewable energy green offers, some of which were at rates below the utility's standard offer rate. Total potential savings available to the utility's standard offer customers amounted to more than $2.8 million, RESA said
"Price is only one factor consumers weigh when choosing electricity supply," said Marc Hanks, RESA's New England chairman. Hanks further noted that suppliers are innovating and developing value-added products and services that go beyond price to differentiate themselves from competitors. RESA noted that while some suppliers provide incentives like gift cards and loyalty points, others offer smart thermostats, smart devices and energy services that allow consumers to take charge of their energy usage. Chief among these value-added products are green energy options that allow consumers to express their environmental preferences through their electricity purchase, RESA said
"Connecticut's consumers are benefiting from a range of developing value-added products and services available through competitive supplier product differentiation. Price is only one consideration," Hanks said. "Encouraging the public to only consider utility standard offer service is a disservice to consumers and the emerging innovation available through the state's competitive energy market."
The analysis of potential savings is based on information available through www.energizect.com, the Connecticut Public Utilities Authority's official rate board website. "The Authority has developed an excellent and comprehensive tool to inform, compare and filter the many choices designed to help consumers find the option best suited to meet their energy need," Hanks said.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
However, there are plenty of ways to save on energy costs in your home. Follow some of these tips and tricks and your wallet will thank you!
Make sure to turn off all electronics when you are done using them. Even if they are turned off they can still be sucking energy from your home, so simply turn them all the way off when you're done. This includes your computer, your television, and your microwave.
Install a programmable thermostat. Doing so will save you up to 10% on cooling and heating costs as you'll be able to plan exactly when your home will use its energy efficiently.
Ditch your newspaper and magazine subscriptions -- you'll be able to read them online for a similar price but save loads of paper in the process.
Get rid of your paper towels and invest in cloth. It may take some time getting used to, but you'll be shocked at the amount of paper you use every day that just goes into the trash!
Time your showers. Play your favorite song and see if you can get in and out by the time it is done.
Buy a lunch box instead of using plastic bags every day. Not only will you reduce your plastic consumption, you'll be inspired to pack your lunch every day because of your nice new bag.
Contact your utility provider as they may have some sustainable energy options for you to try out including solar, wind, and geothermal.
Put a recycling bin on every level of your home so there is no excuse for your family not to recycle.
Pay all of your bills online. Less paper equals less energy used overall -- and direct deposit means you won't have to worry about a thing!
These simple tips and tricks will go far when it comes to investing in taking care of Mother Nature.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
9.8 million people were employed by the renewable energy industry during 2016 according to the Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017 report issued by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
But not all types of renewable energy are growing at the same rate. Roughly 1.5 million sustainable energy jobs are in large hydropower plants, which did not see any significant growth over the last year. Instead, other renewable energy sources such as solar (3.1 million jobs) and wind (1.2 million jobs) grew considerably – doubling the number of jobs from four years ago.
The largest creation of these jobs was in Asia -- China saw a 3.4% improvement alone, now employing 3.64 million people. Africa also made great strides forward, with small scale developments proving particularly useful in helping to develop sustainable energy in regions that have never had the infrastructure for a utility provider before.
Domestically, the explosion is even more dramatic. Solar-energy jobs in the United States are growing faster than the United States economy.
According to another new report, published by the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) Climate Corps program, wind turbine technician is the fastest growing job in the country.
The same EDF report has fossil-fuel jobs in 2016 decreased 4.5% from 2015, as more and more people opt for green sources of energy. Solar energy use, for instance, replaces 75 million barrels of oil annually.
The two predominant causes of this surge are the increased affordability and a greater effort to create policies that removed barriers for green energy across the globe. The cost of producing solar panels, for instance, dropped 72% from 2010 to 2015. This has enabled a much higher amount of energy generated by solar means, growing from 876 megawatts in 2010 to 10,727.
One of the more interesting figures to come out of these surveys is that 70% green energy jobs are with companies that employ 10 or fewer people. The implication is that most energy efficiency companies tend to serve a more local client base.
But whether or not customers have access to greener technology is still largely determined by whether or not they live in one of the deregulated energy states. Those that do have a much broader choice of where they get their energy, and what types of renewable energy they would like to utilize. If they don't live in a state with energy deregulation, they likely have many fewer choices.
Still, it looks like all types of renewable energy jobs will continue to grow in the United States, with solar power being poised for the most growth.