Monday, November 20, 2006

Is it really worth it?

Some customers have said that the price differences between the afiliate provider and other electricity provider plans are just not that different...a penny here..a penny there. So, is it really worth switching?

What's the difference between one penny in electricity costs per kilo-watt hour? Well, quite a lot actually. If you are an average homeowner and use 1,500 kWh's per month - that 1 penny equals $180 per year in savings. Funny thing is - some of the price differences are more than 1 penny - some are actually 2-3 - and many people use quite a bit more electricity than the 1,500 kWh's per month - which can all add up to some very significant savings.

Let me ask you this - do you pay sticker price for a car? No. Do you look on travel sites and pick the most expensive flight listed? Obiously not if you are looking on travel sites. When you bought your house, did you shop around your mortage rate? You probably did - I know I did.

Well, that's what choice is all about - you have a choice when you buy a car, shop for flights, and when you buy your house - you don't always have to take the first offer that is made to you. So, why do over 50% of Texans elect not to do anything and pay a much higher rate for their electricity? Just as you shop around for flight costs, mortage rates, and other items, shopping for your electric provider needs to be added to that list.

So, shop around for a better rate or a cleaner electricity plan - For 5 minutes of your time, you could be saving money...quite a bit of it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

CE Forecast

Since we can't be there with everyone when they are selecting an energy provider for their home or busines - we recently added a feature to our site called CE Forecast. CE Forecast makes recommendations to help you make the best energy buying option for your home or business.

How does it work? CE Forecast analyzes the energy cost components that make up electricity costs for your home and business then presents color coded "CE Outlets" based on that information. If rates are low and holding steady, the CE Forecast will present you with a Green color coded outlet - which is a high recommendation to "Buy Now" and lock in a long-term energy agreement and order service today. If rates are currently high it will present a Red color coded outlet - which tells you to wait until prices come down - or lock into a short-term contract.

We hope this will help you make the right energy buying decision and keep energy costs down in your home or business.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Natural Gas - What Factors Impact Gas Prices

Many people have asked - what are some of the factors that impact natural gas prices and why have natural gas prices steadily risen over the past few years?

Eventhough gas prices have moderated a bit this year after the supply distruptions from the hurricanes last year, we still have not seen the low levels like we did thoughout the 1990s. A number of underying factors have contributed to the price volitilityof natural gas this year.

1 - Production - The production of natural gas impacts not only the supply that is available but also the price. Through August of this year, production is slightly lower than recent years.

2 - Imports - Although the U.S. produces quite a bit of natural gas, we still import much of our supply. Most of this comes from Canada, but some comes in the form of liquified natural gas (LNG) from overseas. Recent EIA estimated project that for 2006, total imports will decline about 6.1 percent from 2005 levels.

3 - Storage - Throughout the year, natural gas is injected into the nderground storage facilities to help keep up with increased demand during the winter heating season. This year, we have seen consistently high storage levels that are projected to be above the 5-year average during the heating season.

4 - Demand - Demand impacts supply which impacts price. As of August of this year, natural gas consumption is about 2.5 percent below levels seen in 2005. The EIA projects natural gas demand will show no growth for 2006.

5 - Oil Prices - Crude oil prices reached record levels this year - averaging over $74 per barrel in July. However, we have seen these prices decline in recent months - averaging about $59 per barrel in October. The EIA projects that crude oil prices will average about $66 per barrel for 2006, which is a 17 percent increase over 2005 prices.

These are some of the main factors that contribute to natural gas prices in today's market. The EIA has predicted that natural gas prices paid by commercial and industrial customers should be on average about 22 percent less this heating season that last. This is only a forecast, and any forecast could be impacted by a number of factors - a prolonged cold spell, an interuption in supplies, or a disruption in other fuel supplies such as petroleum or electricity could all impact natural gas prices.