Is Your Energy Strategy Ready for Summer?
As we quickly approach the summer season, your thoughts may be drifting towards BBQs and impending summer vacations. Before you go into vacation mode, you may want to think about your energy strategy and if it’s ready for potential price volatility this summer.
Despite the current low energy price environment, the potential for price volatility in the market still exists. Peak demand associated with an anticipated warmer-than-normal summer along with the increased demand we are seeing as many states start reopening their economies are just a couple factors that will impact prices.
Additionally, our meteorologists recently shared in our monthly Market Intel Webinar that an above-average hurricane season is forecasted due to warming water temperatures. Estimates of 15 to 20 hurricanes will likely impact the U.S., with a very high risk of a hurricane impacting the Northeast. Hurricanes could lead to demand reduction from power outages and could shut in liquefied natural gas terminals, which would temporally strand gas locally.
They also shared that an ongoing drought in the West is likely to result in warmer-than-normal temperatures as well as increase the risk of wildfires, disrupting energy reliability. Therefore, price spikes in the index power and gas markets are never out of the question.
Customers on index energy contracts that have not locked in fixed prices for 100% of their summer usage have at least some financial exposure to potential higher prices and will want to closely pay attention to their energy usage and expenditure.
The emergence of new technologies to manage energy
To better navigate the unpredictability of the volatile energy market, a need for budget certainty and increased pressures to manage environmental impact, energy companies are investing in data and analytics technologies, according to an MIT report.1 These programs are being offered to end users by some energy suppliers, such as Constellation, and may help customers efficiently manage energy expenses and find areas to reduce costs.
Complimentary to Constellation’s natural gas and electricity customers, Energy Manager, a free digital platform that can be used on mobile and desktop, provides customers with invoices and the ability to pay bills as well as view energy usage data for their facilities 24/7 in order to make proactive decisions.
For customers that want to get more advanced data, the Pear.ai platform provides businesses with utility expense management and centralized, streamlined access to all of their utility data as well as meaningful analytics.
The Pear.ai technology processes thousands of bills per week to identify bill anomalies, generate insights, and model predictive behavior through machine learning. Pear.ai also sends customer alerts to correct issues proactively using a direct conversational functionality that eliminates the need to wait, or pay additional fees, for information from an account or support representative.
The platform has provided industrial, healthcare, retail store, and higher education customers, among others, with meaningful savings.
With access to our two essential digital platforms, you can get access to regular energy market intel via Constellation’s regular email communications, such as the weekly Gas Storage Report, weekly Energy Market Update and our monthly Energy Market Intel Webinars. Subscribe at www.constellation.com/subscribe.
*This blog post is a part of our “Supplier to Strategist: A Blog Series on Sustainability, Efficiency and Technology” where we will provide the framework for customers on how to develop and achieve their long-term sustainability strategy and goals, and understand the innovative management products and solutions that can make a direct impact on their bottom line.