Month: November, 2018

26 Nov

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

Dan Levin Energy Markets, procurement

Prices are still high and it’s only November.

The Bottom Line

If you do not have a fixed rate natural gas contract, you could see an estimated 30% increase in your heating and electric bills this winter. Mid-November we saw a significant increase in natural gas prices. Why? You can read more about it here, but the main takeaways: weather drove up demand, the natural gas supply is depleting, and financial speculation of the natural gas market compounded the issue. You should consider short-term winter buys or variable products which may perform better than long-term fixed rates. But you don’t have to go it alone – we can help make those options clear and explain the benefits and risks.

Take Action

Some of you will be more vulnerable to this price hike than others. Contact us as soon as possible if you:

  • Do not have fixed rate natural gas contracts
  • Are on the utility rate
  • Are on a fixed rate contract set to expire before June 2019

We will work with you to determine the best course of action based on your current rates, risk tolerance, and budgets.

What to Know About 2018

November has been one of the coldest on record since 1950, and as a result buildings across the country are using more natural gas than predicted. This is further depleting a supply that is already significantly lower than this time last year. Unsure how to proceed? Our energy markets experts are here to help and provide clear recommendations.

19 Nov

Bright Employee: Daniel Chen

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.

Daniel ChenMeet Daniel Chen, Project Manager, Western Region.

What are some of the things you like most about working at Bright Power?
I like how Bright Power continues to adapt and innovate our business to meet the constantly changing client needs and incentive program requirements. Combined with working with an intelligent and collaborative team has allowed me to grow my skills quickly. It has given me the opportunity to effectively audit portfolios of properties and implement measures like steam heating controls and occupancy sensor thermostats.

What are some projects and accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I’m proud that I’m one of the few to design and install heat pump water heating systems in the U.S. for multifamily applications. We have now installed a total of 9 systems in 7 different properties – with more to come! I’m helping to install a 150kW solar PV system in Sacramento. I also installed over 40 water heater plants in 2017. 

What’s something people might not know about you and your role at Bright Power?
Since starting in the West Coast office, I feel my role is constantly changing which has allowed me to learn and develop a holistic view of the business. I’m often required to put on different hats. I’ve been able to use a range of my skills like Auditing, Energy Modeling, Retrofit Installation, and Engineering Design. All while ensuring each project meets the requirements of half a dozen incentive programs across California. 

Who are some of the clients and partners you’ve worked with?
I’ve worked with some incredible clients. That picture of me is from my heat pump water heater work on a Mercy Housing retrofit. I’ve also worked with Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities, AIG, National Church Residences, LivCor, Bayside Communities, MidPen Housing, Sares-Regis, and MG Properties Group.

What’s the one service offering we have that you think is the most beneficial to clients and why?
Providing turnkey design-build retrofits to clients are most beneficial because they result in actual energy and water savings. Our ability to audit, analyze, and execute seamlessly provides a client with a high chance of success in reaching their sustainability goals. It’s also very easy on their end.

You’ve worked with innovative technologies like heat pump water heaters on the West Coast. What do you think would help more building owners get excited about using a technology like heat pump water heaters or other new technologies?
I think the largest benefit of implementing heat pump water heaters is the ability to electrify your entire property. If you tie in solar PV and energy storage it could lead minimal emissions to net zero emissions for the property. With California’s goal to be 100% renewable by 2045, owners can look to incentive programs to reduce any financial hurdles in transitioning to these technologies.

15 Nov

Natural Gas Prices Skyrocket: What it Means for You

Dan Levin Energy Markets, procurement

Yesterday there was an 18% increase in natural gas prices!  If you do not have a fixed rate natural gas contract, you could see an estimated 30% increase in your heating and electric bills this winter.

What Caused the Price Spike?
Two factors regularly impact natural gas pricing: the weather (demand) and the amount of stored natural gas (supply).

Weather Drives Up Demand: November is predicted to be one of the coldest on record since 1950, and as a result buildings across the country are using more natural gas than predicted.

Supply is Depleting: Normally, a strain on storage would not cause this unprecedented price reaction. But, if you saw our market update last month, you know that the U.S.’s stored natural gas supply is 15% lower than this time last year and 16% lower than the 5-year average – the lowest since 2003.

Price volatility in winter months is not unusual, but financial speculation of the natural gas market is compounding the issue, resulting in a 49% increase in just two weeks (see chart below).

Take Action
Some of you will be more vulnerable to this price hike than others. Contact us as soon as possible if you:

  • Do not have fixed rate natural gas contracts
  • Are on the utility rate
  • Are on a fixed rate contract set to expire before June 2019

We will work with you to determine the best course of action based on your current rates, risk tolerance, and budgets.

november 2018 natural gas prices