Two weeks ago The Washington Post published an article that explored the connection between significant weather events, like the heat wave last summer here in Texas, and global warming. According to a report published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, “Global warming has made such a Texas heat wave about 20 times more likely to happen during a La Nina year.” If that is true, it would certainly account for the record temperatures we saw last summer.
Weather like that has an undeniable impact on commercial electricity rates. The heat wave last summer, a record-setting event, brought with it day after day of 100+ degree temperatures and, as a result of increased demand, rolling blackouts. When demands spikes, so do prices.
Several times in the last couple of months, this blog has reported news of the PUC’s (Public Utility Commission) consideration and ultimate approval of a raise on the cap for wholesale electricity pricing. The PUC and ERCOT (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas) hope this will encourage generators to build more power plants within the state. We certainly need them. Without additional generation, we simply don’t produce enough power right now to meet the growing demand in future years.
Knowing our need for additional commercial electricity generation, and seeing the impact severe weather can have on business electricity rates, one can’t help but wonder how energy costs might be affected by weather events in the next couple of years. If we’re hit with another intense heat wave, prices could rise again and rolling blackouts could become far more normal than any of us care to think.
As a business owner, managing your commercial electricity account during times such as these is difficult at best. While tornado season (March-June) is behind us, hurricane season (June-November) has barely started, and we’ve not yet made it to August, a traditionally hot month. The weather, always a significant factor for commercial electricity rates, could yet surprise us.
Now, all of that is not meant to alarm you. Indeed, weather always has the potential to drive up the cost of business electricity, no matter the time of year or condition of the market. Rather, given the fact that regulatory changes are a certainty in the near future, business owners would do well to consider the time of year and the potential for the weather to further impact the market.
It would be nice if we could fully anticipate the weather, but we simply cannot. What we can do, however, is plan for it, developing commercial electricity strategies that take into account seasonality and temperature increases so that your energy costs are affected as little as possible. And Live Energy, one of the first brokers to serve clients in the Texas deregulated market, can help you do that.
At Live Energy, we have a team of expert consultants and analysts who watch the market like hawks. We carefully consider all the factors that could impact your commercial electricity rate: regulatory changes, weather patterns, the cost of fuel (such as natural gas) and more. This gives us an edge when we sit down to develop a business electricity plan with our clients. We don’t know the future—no one does—but we know how the market is trending and we can use that knowledge to help you select an electricity rate that will save you money even when severe weather hits.
If you’d like to learn more about how Live Energy can help you develop a energy plan that works for your business, please contact us today at (817) 810-7770. The weather is unpredictable, but your commercial electricity costs don’t have to be.