Energy Professional Brings Meaning to the Madness of Power Pricing

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Perception is really everything you believe, whether it is actually real or not. In my earlier career where supply versus demand fundamentals did not necessarily determine the movement of the price of crude oil, refined products or natural gas, it dawned on me there must be other forces at play. One of those forces is “perception”.

Perception Outweighs Reality

It is the perception of supply and demand that creates the confidence or fear of price movement and the aggressive or passive approach of taking action (buying or selling).

Take natural gas as an example. In 1999, it was perceived there would be such a tremendous growth in demand, and that supply would not be able to meet that demand. I personally was responsible for buying a 5 year strip of natural gas for the company I worked for at that time at a price of $2.25 per MMBtu.

Within one year, that 5 year strip was over $10.00 per MMBtu. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars of actual price movement due to the perception there would be a shortage of natural gas.

Eventually the priced spiked as high as $15.78 per MMBtu in December of 2005. During that 6 year period of high prices, these increased revenues allowed producers to budget more for exploration. Because of that, supply has been able to meet and exceed demand so now natural gas prices have fallen to $2.409 per MMBtu, near the 10 year low of $1.620 per MMBtu.

With the advances in technology and the increased revenues companies are experiencing, we will probably see an increase in the fledgling natural gas liquids import market. This will probably keep the price of natural gas very low for the next 10 years.

Bringing Meaning To Madness

What does this mean to you? It means that the utility companies should be passing on these tremendous savings to you through lower energy bills.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Feed Your Mind Positive Information

Power Quote for the Week

Welcome to Sunday's regular feature. Every week you can look for a witty, wise, or profound quotation from assorted folks about power.

I choose these quotations about power as it refers to electricity, since that is what this blog is about. Sometimes though, I'll select a quotation about power, as it relates to the human condition.

The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said: "The energy of the mind is the essence of life."

Another way of looking at this is to say that what the mind can perceive and believe, it can transform into reality. What are you feeding your mind?

Bringing Meaning To Madness

Focus on positive solutions and changes will occur.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Introducing Tara Energy

Why do I promote a fixed rate company as well as a variable rate company? Because some people just like the budgetary comfort of fixed prices rather than the flexibility of variable pricing.

Tara Energy is another exceptional Retail Energy Provider, based in Houston, that's become well established in the state of Texas. They should be on your short list of REP candidates. Give them a chance to cater to your specific needs. Before you realize it, you will become part of their family, and you'll enjoy the experience.

Tara is very competitive on commercial and residential rates. Their business plan is simple: to provide the best possible service and the best price available in an ever changing dynamic marketplace.


1. If the business owner moves, sells, or closes the business, Tara will allow commercial contracts to be terminated without penalty.

2. For residential customers, they allow you to cancel without penalty in the event of a move. If you just want to change providers, there's a $250.00 cancellation fee.

3. They do not add any monthly administration or service fees to their commercial rates.

Tara’s family approach extends to Hotels and Restaurants to whom they offer exceptional flexibility and service. They're the only endorsed provider listed by the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association (THLA).

Tara also specializes in meeting the needs of community associations and their residents. The community of New Territory in Sugar Land chose Tara Energy as their provider of choice.

Want to help yourself, your neighbor and the community as a whole? Contact a Tara representative (like me!). Let’s plan a money savings program to meet your individual and community needs.

Bringing Meaning To Madness

There are a lot of choices out there. Tara is great for fixed rate plans, but do your own comparison so you can make a wise decision.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Switch Or Move In

So you are thinking about switching Retail Energy providers. Just what is a “switch”?

Switch Vs. Move In

A “switch” is a change of providers from one electricity company to another for a customer that already has electricity.

That's different from a “move-in” which is when a customer needing electricity is buying or taking over a business or starting a new business or moving into a new house.

What is the expected process time for these services to be completed?

A standard “move-in” still takes 3 to 5 business days. There are additional fees for an URGENT “move-in” which takes 24 to 48 hours (not counting weekends or holidays).

Rules and Regs

New Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulations for all residential and commercial customers govern “switch” process times. They should now be completed within a time frame of 1-7 business days (not the old 30-45 days). If a customer would like to have a faster switch, or a switch on a specific date, then they must request what is now called a “self-selected” switch date (formerly called out-of-cycle, or URGENT switch) which results in an extra, one-time charge from the local utility company (CenterPoint in the Houston area, or ONCOR in the Dallas, Ft, Worth area).

Please note that the new “switch” rules went into effect on Monday, August 17, 2009.


This is very important. If you are shopping around to find a new Retail Electricity Provider, you need to understand that “switches” are occurring faster, and therefore you need to be aware of your contractual obligations with your current Retail Electricity Provider and with your proposed new REP.

If “switched” too early, more than 14 days before end of term with current provider, you could be charged early termination penalties.

Bringing Meaning To Madness

Always read your contract and get your REP to confirm it for you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Introducing Glacial Energy

Today, I want to tell you about Glacial Energy, one of the best friends a business owner can have. If you really want the absolute lowest prices on electricity where the monthly savings will allow you to withstand a 3 month spike, you should consider Glacial Energy as your Retail Energy Provider (REP). They're a financially strong and growing energy provider now servicing 15 states.

Secret To Success

1. Glacial’s success is in their simplicity. They offer variable rate plans based on the low wholesale prices (MCPE). variable rates, little overhead, simple billing, electronic transfer of funds and no cancellation fees.

2. They have little overhead.

3. They have simple billing.

4. They offers electronic transfer of funds so you help the environment by being paper-free with their email billing and paper-free with no check to write since it's debited from your checking account like a car payment.

5. They require NO cancellation fees if you want to change to another provider.


Low wholesale prices are the Market Clearing Price of Energy. In Texas the MCPE is controlled by ERCOT which I have previously written about. These are the lowest rates most commercial users can obtain. They are subject to price movements, but they normally beat fixed price deals over a 12 month cycle.

Fixed rates may occasionally beat a variable rate, but not too often. Traditionally, the best deal comes from variable rates in the long run.


Of Glacial’s employees, 90 % are revenue producing and the remaining 10% handle billing and customer service. Keeping overhead to a minimum and service high allows for lower prices to be passed on to you, the customer.

Simple Billing

Glacial only has one price for energy, not tiers of different prices based on usage on the bill. With Glacial, usage is broken out by address if there are multiple locations. Bills can be sent to multiple locations or to one main location, based on your request.

Electronic Transfer Of Funds

ETF helps keep Glacial’s revenues strong and contributes to their ability to keep bad debt low. That translates into lower prices for you, the customer. You receive a bill 10 days before the funds will be transferred in order for you to review your bill and give them a call if something does not seem correct. That also gives you 10 days to make sure the funds are in your account. So you don't have an embarrassing mistake.

No Cancellation Fees

Unlike all their competitors, Glacial does not lock you in to a term contract with hefty fees required to cancel if you don't like them. If you don’t like Glacial, simply give them a 30 day notice and sign up with someone else.

However, when you figure out that they're really the best deal out there, they'll welcome you back without penalty.

Bringing Meaning To Madness

If you don't want to lock yourself in for 2 or 3 years or even longer in some cases, then the flexibility of variable pricing is for you. Why not sign on with a company that let's you walk away if you think you get a better deal elsewhere?
"If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching television by candlelight." ~ George Gobel

Copyright 2009 by Larry A. Reeves

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