Skip to comments.Frigid winter sends electric prices soaring for NJ customers who switched power suppliers
Posted on 02/24/2014 3:50:21 PM PST by SMGFan
But Januarys polar vortex changed all that, as frigid temperatures sent prices soaring for thousands of New Jersey customers like Jung, whose alternative energy suppliers purchase electricity on the volatile spot market, which is subject to daily price shifts.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
For a while, these alternate suppliers constantly called day and night. They even came to my door and tried “slamming” me to change electric providers.
The spot level pricing was never brought up. One company tried to convince me all the energy would come from green sources.
Well, highly regulated industries have their own set of issues but do offer the consumer more protection than most realize.
A few years back WASHGAS offered a ‘budget plan’ as the price of natural gas was high and would spike in the winter.
The company just worked out a deal based on your average usage the past couple of years and allowed customers to pay the same rate year around.
After a few years, the price to the supplier plummeted and all of a sudden the customers DEMANDED a refund because of the lower prices and a court ruled in their favor.
Don’t have to tell you what happened when the price started going up and there was NO budget plan available.
Probably really surprised that the courts didn’t force the ‘public utility’ into something...
Of course for years the ‘public utility’ was allowed to claim a yearly ‘loss’ if they had projected a 3 mill profit and ‘only’ made 2.9 mill...they were allowed to declare a loss....
Not just New Jersey, I got caught out up here in Massachusetts. Supplier charge of 1.5 cents /kwh vs 9.4 cents for the incumbent supplier. Switched back but still cost me a couple of hundred bucks.
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$160 bucks a month? What are these, 1975 prices? Sheesh. Try multiplying that times 5 or 6.
1.5 cents per kwh is astounding cheap juice.
ooops, 14.5 + delivery charges.
well that’s not such a good deal....
People don’t get it until it shows up in THEIR bill. Knowing that power companies will pass costs on to consumers proves Barry knows SOMETHING about business economics. He conveniently forgets when talking up a higher minimum wage, though.
there is nothing worse than volatile utility bills
which the “alternative” suppliers are much more prone
to deliver than the majors with their own major power generation to the grid
and, I do not know if any of the alternatives deliver
what PSE&G will
a fixed monthly bill/charge that does not change except once a year, and during that year you are able to see how much, in usage and dollars, the agreed on fixed monthly bill/charge is exceeding, or less than, the actual monthly usage cost; so, months ahead of time you are able to see either a credit owed you building up, or an overage you will be billed for with the first bill after the annual change to a new monthly billing amount
most years the difference has not been great, with my electricity usage being “over” in the summer, but “under” in the winter, and the reverse of that with the gas (with water heater, stove and home heating in gas)
I hope to never go back, anywhere, to monthly fluctuatting utility bills - much harder for budgeting
Well he did a really poor job since the lesson to be learned was there in California's travails with the spot market.
Seriously? My electricity bill went over $175 for the first time in January, shocking me (not literally). Washington State.
A company in Maine, Zoom Electric, did the same thing, went from 6.9 cents a KWhr to 19.8 cents per KWhr with no warning.
Today I told them, I would see them in court, in court with a jury of my peers. This is not CMP, they have been great through out this, but Zoom can explain it to a bunch of Maine working stiffs, like me. By the way, the jury will understand jury nullification, if it takes me three days to teach them.
This is what you get when you don’t have enough capacity.
It's not the "power companies" It is the deregulated supplier outfits that put in bids to the grid for xxx amount of kwH and sign people up for that amount.
It's a good deal when you stay within your contract amount. But if you get over that, as many have done this winter, then spot market prices kick in, and you get slammed for the spot market price.
Even the traditional regulated utilities can get slammed with this if one of their plants go down and they have to buy off the spot market at times of high demand.
People need to understand when they sign one of these contracts with an alternate supplier, that their local utility in only transmitting the electricity. They are not responsible for what that electricity costs. The local utility only charges for sending the electricity to you house. The price of that electricity is not their doing.
It’s the cost of natural gas on the spot market, consumed by gas turbine peaking generators holding the grid up. The question is whether we will run out of winter before running out of stored natural gas.
My electric bill was $209 in January. It was about what I expected with electric heat and unusual cold. Normally, winter bills are in the $130-150 range, but it isn’t a huge apartment.