Starting next month we will be providing competitive rates to commercial customers in Bangor Hydro – Mint’s second Maine Utility.
Along with Central Maine Power customers, BHE customers will have an opportunity to choose from our WEPS (Wholesale Electricity Purchasing Solution) and our Power Select product which enables customers to allocate usage blocks among fixed price and fixed-adder solutions.
New Product Rollout
In February, Mint rolled out the Power Select product which provides aggregators, brokers and consultants unique product offerings to their clients. With Power Select, customers can manage their budget, volatility and cost by choosing a blend of fixed and variable pricing. Mint will be conducting on-site and web-link training for the new product and as always will provide top notch customer service support for this new product.
More Info: http://mintenergy.net/power_select.php
This month Mint will be rolling out its newest “green” product, called Green e-Select. With this option, customers have a chance to purchase additional green-e certified renewable credits that can be used to gain points toward LEED certification for high energy-efficient buildings. These green-e certified credits are purchased and stored in an account set up by Mint for the sole benefit of the customer. Mint will track the purchases as well as provide competitive rates for acquiring these certified credits, allowing customers to increase their mix of green-e certificates during the term if desired.
Hot Index Opportunities
Central Maine Power CMP Default
The Maine Utility is bidding out the default service customer load for its largest industrial and commercial accounts that have not chosen competitive supply. The CMP Large Standard Offer starts March 1st for customers > 400 kW demand and will be in effect for one year. The Index rate is tied to the Massachusetts HUB Day Ahead Future plus a Fixed Adder. Our Mint Index product offers Maine Zonal pricing plus a Fixed Adder. The spread between the Mass Hub (which is the basis of their proposed Default service rate) and the Maine Load zone continues to increase in both the day ahead and real time markets from 4 to 8% respectively.
Connecticut Light and Power Variable Peak Pricing (VPP)
Connecticut’s CL&P utility started offering variable peak pricing to their interval customers that are on default service a couple of years ago as a form of time-of-use pricing where CL&P sets the peak price on a daily basis but the off peak price is set on a monthly basis. In a falling market (falling in peak and off-peak prices) the customers on this plan will not see the benefit of the off-peak power decrease until the rate is set by the start of the following month. This happened to CL&P customers in January and February. Mint’s WEPs product ties the peak and off peak rates to the hourly market, ensuring that the index rate is reflective of the current wholesale market. Customers with rate codes of 41, 55, 56 could have chosen this rate plan.
Winter Rate Hike
New England wholesale energy markets continued to experience volatile and high price signals throughout the month of February across both power and natural gas commodities. The increase is a reflection of the spot market, which has impacted index-based rates as well as utility default supply rates. As a result, all customers that were on a variable rate plan linked to the wholesale hourly market saw an increase in their bills. These increases were due to unusually cold weather and a number of storms that continued longer than expected, driving the need for heating fuel which in turn put upward pressure on the spot natural gas prices. Additional factors that played into the temporary rate increases can be attributed to ISO-New England’s need to utilize back-up generators more often this winter to account for the surge in demand for the fuels that feed the primary generators in the region. These back-up generators are more costly to run . Our outlook for the spring is that similar to last year, the prices for fuel and consequently electricity will likely decrease over the next several months. This is bearing out in the futures market for electricity (see graph).