America's Energy Choice

The Year in Review for the Northeast Region

 

The Year in Review for the Northeast Region

Posted by Constellation on December 19, 2016

As a leading national energy solutions provider, Constellation helps about 2.5 million business and residential customers across the country meet their energy needs. We help businesses achieve goals with the right blend of products and services. But it isn’t enough to just provide energy to our customers—we also help educate them. A well-informed customer base is vital for strengthening our local communities and helping people to make responsible choices when buying, managing and using energy.

2016 was an exciting year for the energy industry in the Northeast. Let’s take a closer look at some of the events that defined the year and are poised to shape the year to come for businesses in the region.

Pipeline infrastructure is challenged across the region. 

While much of the debate around the nation’s pipeline infrastructure has been focused in the Midwest this year, the pipeline projects of Northeast energy suppliers were met with scrutiny as well.

Kinder Morgan's $3 billion Northeast Energy Direct’s Greenfield Pipeline project, set to deliver natural gas to underserved customers from upstate New York to New Hampshire, was cancelled in the face of growing protests from citizens and the growing scrutiny of state and federal officials. An Access Northeast pipeline project, set to impact five New England states, was also defunded. These choices seem to have set the tone for the region, leaving a number of future projects in the balance.

Consumers enjoy favorable conditions.

Consumers were given a break from high prices in 2016 thanks largely to the influence of Mother Nature. Last winter was the warmest on record. Combined with high natural gas imports, the warm weather helped to bring term power prices to all-time lows last March. In fact, locational marginal prices (LMP) were 57-65 percent lower last March than the same time period in 2015.

The summer months, when high prices and grid performance can be issues in the region, were also relatively calm for consumers. Power prices rose slightly, but remained fairly suppressed. Several peak demand days, during which high power consumption may lead to extra strain on the power grid, were expected. Though, infrastructure proved resilient, as the grid saw only one event that set peak demand, according to the New England ISO. Participants in load response programs helped prevent brownouts and blackouts several times in mid-August.

Warm weather persisted this fall as well. Energy surpluses, as well as the weather, have led to favorable conditions for consumers this winter. Lower prices and demand will help business leaders keep their facilities comfortable without putting much strain on their budgets.

A volatile 2016 obscures energy outlook for 2017. 

The debate is likely to rage into 2017 for proponents and adversaries of Northeast pipeline infrastructure after several battles were waged this year. The debate may revolve around the Northern Pass transmission project poised to bring hydroelectric energy from Canada through New Hampshire and into the rest of the region. 

Winter weather has a major impact on pricing and availability of energy. Only time will tell what the next few months will hold for consumers.

One certainty is that consumers should start to brace for the three-year price spike for capacity costs scheduled to take effect in 2017.   

Constellation helps customers make the right energy choices. 

Given the complexity of energy choices facing consumers in today’s volatile marketplace, we provided a sense of relief in 2016 with strategies to help best meet the unique needs of businesses.

We provided consumers with insights on historic pricing trends—notably last March—in order to help customers capitalize on record low pricing dips. For customers in the region facing price increases, we assisted them by helping to develop strategic energy solutions to meet demand within budget. 

We helped customers plan for price increases in areas where new infrastructure projects were being developed and even provided timely weather reports when it would impact consumption.

Participation in load response programs helped members of the community take energy supply into their own hands. Some customers were able to mitigate risk to the entire region’s electrical grid during peak demand days. 

Click here to learn how you can prepare to meet your energy needs in the new year.   

*Load Response is offered by CPower Corp. through a strategic alliance with Constellation.

Topics: Energy Management

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