Month: September, 2018

26 Sep

What to Know, Now: Energy Market Update: September 2018

Dan Levin Energy Markets, procurement

Today’s prices are inflated. Next week or next month may likely be a better time to buy.

The Bottom Line

Volatility has returned to the market. Natural gas prices have fluctuated by nearly 10% each month since May. Recently, we’ve seen a change that would amount to an increase of ~$.03/therm on your 12-month natural gas fixed rate. Imagine how that could impact your whole portfolio! Historically, the shoulder months of October and November are the best times to buy energy. We recommend waiting until pricing softens if you are able. For those of you who need to lock in your budget now, give us a call and we’ll help you decide the best next steps to avoid risk. 

What to know about 2018

What’s the cause of this volatile market? Low amounts of natural gas in supply. The US maintains storage of gas that ensures we have enough gas for winter heating. But compared to this time last year, there is 20% less gas available. Although production has increased and will continue to pick up, we’re likely to continue to see a volatile natural gas market due to low gas storage. While we don’t recommend having accounts return to utility rates and receive default pricing, it may be beneficial to wait until October to lock in your winter and 2019 rate. Unsure how to proceed? Our energy markets experts are here to help and provide clear recommendations.

Temperature Probability Maps

This fall and winter are forecasted to have warmer than usual temperatures. The orange/red in the maps below indicate heat increases from normal. A mild fall that doesn’t require much heating in the North East would improve gas storage conditions and bring down prices. An average cold East Coast and Plains winter would reduce stored gas levels further and raise prices through all of 2019.

October, November, December 2018
October, November, December 2018
Winter 2019
Winter 2019
Summer 2019
Summer 2019
11 Sep

Bright Employee: Paul Banel

Bright Power Bright Employee

We’re proud of the intelligent, passionate, and hardworking people that make up the Bright Power team. Each month, you’ll get a chance to meet one of them, understand how they contribute to the organization, and what makes them excited to come to work every day.

Paul BanelMeet Paul Banel, Front End Developer.

What are some of the things you like most about working at Bright Power?

I like working with bright, like-minded people who care about the impact of their work and who can see beyond the small steps that lead to that impact. It’s great to create software to enable that work and to help find ways to promote energy efficiency and reduce waste on a large scale.

What are some projects and accomplishments you’re most proud of?

One of my early projects was to create custom Microsoft Office software to streamline the process of creating energy audit reports. Now our engineers spend less time writing and more time fixing and improving buildings. In another project, we created a small web application to work with building system designs from an ancient engineering software. That application reduced design time from hours to minutes and allowed us to scale those projects quickly.

What’s something people might not know about you and your role at Bright Power?

Paul runningI kind of founded Bright Power Boulder, an unofficial outpost. Another software teammate moved here in the summer. I moved to Colorado for running. I train with Run Boulder AC to race anything from 1500 meters on the track to 100 miles in the mountains of Leadville.

When I started at Bright Power I worked with a lot of different people to solve their random problems and created process improvements that have saved hours of work and are still used today. I aim to reduce waste in all aspects and I love using data and scripts to do that.

You work remotely in Colorado. How do you stay connected to folks in the NY and CA office?

I started working for Bright Power in the New York office and was there for a little over a year before I moved, so having those relationships helps. We use Slack and it allows me to stay in the loop. I can find the information I need to easily and if I need to reach out to people, they are there. It’s almost like being in the office with them and Slack is fun to use. 

What’s the one service offering we have that you think is the most beneficial to clients and why?

I think MoBIUS, our energy management service, has the potential to be the most impactful service on a day-to-day basis. Seeing what’s happening at a building in real time allows issues to be fixed before a resident notices and before it becomes a major problem for a client.