The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC) provides a program to assist commercial and residential customers with the purchase of electricity and natural gas supply services. Joining one of its energy cooperatives (co-op) is an easy way to manage rising energy costs.

There are many benefits of joining the co-op.

  • Customers receive an all-in fixed rate for supply services on electric and natural gas bills that will not change during the contract term.
  • The co-op offers Chamber members the group buying power of the co-op, which results in lower rates.
  • The co-op consultant, CQI Associates, licensed by the state of Maryland, professionally manages the co-op program and has 21 years of industry experience in Maryland.
  • The co-op offers options to obtain up to 100% clean, renewable, wind-powered electricity service.
  • Pricing for 12-, 24- and 36-month contracts will provide long-term budget stability to help manage energy costs well through to 2020.

Expectations

What can be expected in the future, and what are the trends in energy pricing? Market rates in October 2015 were at 20-year historic lows. Since that time, rates have been increasing 1% per month on average. There are several factors that affect the cost of the electricity and natural gas costs.

Here’s a summary of these factors and what one can expect in the future.

  • Coal: Coal consumption in the U.S. electric power sector declined 31% from 2008 to 2015. The trend away from coal-fired generation will only increase as the coal plants continue to age and the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is implemented. The CPP aims to reduce emissions by 32% from 2005 to 2030 (www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan).
  • Natural Gas: Natural gas consumption in the U.S. continues to increase as a result of the coal plant retirements and the EPA requirements for cleaner-burning electricity sources. The chart shows the future price increase in the NYMEX forward market. Cost increases are impacting contract offers past 2019.
  • Electricity Capacity & Transmission Fees: The fees being charged by the utility grid managers for capacity services have increased significantly in the past 12 months.

Historically, the energy commodity accounted for 70% of the overall electricity supply price. Today, the energy commodity accounts for only 55% of the overall electricity supply price. The capacity and transmission components are demand-based costs that continue to increase the total cost of supply. These components can be managed through various energy savings projects and employee energy awareness programs.

Learn how your business and home can benefit from joining the Commercial Energy Purchasing Cooperative by calling the BWCC at 301-725-4000 or 410-792-9714, emailing bwcc@bwcc.org or visiting its website at www.bwcc.org.