5 min read

Winterizing the Texas DR Program

By 5 on August 31, 2021

In ERCOT, energy users with “flexible loads” (i.e., folks that can dial back electricity usage on short notice) have a variety of demand response programs to choose from. These programs pay end users for their participation and performance and are designed to maintain reliability on the grid in times of stress. The causes for grid stress could include if either real-time energy demand is higher than what was forecast and/or because of delivery issues on the supply-side power resulting from forced outages at power plants, transmission lines, or both. Demand response is an energy management concept that has existed for over two decades and these programs are in use nationwide and around the world.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

There is no “i” in 5

By Jeff Schiefelbein on August 31, 2021

Since 5’s humble beginnings, we have continuously challenged conventional wisdom and explored alternative paths to create breakthrough results for others. We explore different methods and angles to every new issue or opportunity, brainstorming and celebrating fresh ideas along the way. One of the most fundamental, simple, and yet innovative discoveries in our business has been our team-based approach to almost everything. We extract such a tremendous amount of value from our team’s connectedness and diversity that we even made t-shirts that read “There is no ‘i’ in 5 (the number not the word).” Hopefully, you get the joke in that statement…

Topics: Culture
4 min read

Understanding RECs in New York

By 5 on August 31, 2021

New York, like many states across the country, has a standard by which certain qualifying renewable generation assets are awarded one Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) for each MWh of electricity delivered to the grid. RECs provide two main functions to the market:

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

Cryptocurrency: A Miner Energy Issue

By 5 on August 31, 2021

Aluminum manufacturers are among the most energy-intensive industries in the world. In 2010, the process used by smelters to refine primary aluminum from bauxite ore consumed approximately 3% of the entire world’s electricity supply. The vast amounts of energy used in this process have driven many aluminum manufacturers to locate their plants in parts of the world where bauxite is plentiful and electricity is relatively inexpensive. Today, there is a new energy-intensive industry that is driving demand for more electricity supplies: cryptocurrencies. According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, Bitcoin alone, one of the most well-known cryptocurrencies, uses 110 Terawatt-hours of electricity annually, or 0.55% of global electricity supplies. The fact that cryptocurrencies can use more electricity than some small nations has motivated companies that mine Bitcoin to find host locations where electricity is reliable, plentiful, and inexpensive. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others have used record amounts of electricity this year, raising concerns around the amount of energy these monetary systems use and the amount of carbon used to supply their facilities.

Topics: Markets Demand Response Education Resiliency
3 min read

How High Will Natural Gas Fly?

By 5 on August 31, 2021

There’s nothing like ending the month with a bang, which seems to be the trend for the settlement of the NYMEX Henry Hub prompt month natural gas contracts over the last three months. For most of August, the prompt trading month (September) was slowly churning lower, see Figure 1. By the middle of the month, prices even fell below the $3.90 to $4.10 per MMBtu trading range that was established in late July.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

SuSI Replaces Extinct TRECs

By 5 on August 31, 2021

“Sue” is the nickname given to the largest and most complete T. Rex specimen ever found. Today, she has a place of distinction in the Field Museum of Natural History of Chicago. And while Sue most likely died 67 million years ago, she seems to have come to life again in the wake of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) TRECs program through its successor - “SuSI”.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Celestial Beerworks

By 5 on August 31, 2021

The Celestial Beerworks taproom and brewery provides an otherworldly experience for visitors in more ways than one. Since its opening in 2018, the Celestial team has skillfully combined their favorite things: art, science, and delicious, fresh beer…and space. Their inspiration is manifested throughout each aspect of the company, from their wide variety of beers and meticulous obsession with hops to their masterpiece can-art and onsite décor. Bartenders are replaced by Startenders and flights of beers are ordered by their more Celestial name, Missions. Co-owners Molly and Matt Reynolds bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, including Matt’s history as a brewmaster for Malai Kitchen and his time making homebrews for his friends and family.

Topics: Clients Procurement Demand Response Resiliency
1 min read

Get to Know Chris Dillemuth

By 5 on August 31, 2021

Anyone that has ever met Chris Dillemuth can easily recall his positive outlook, his sincere warmth, and his incredible stories of real-life adventures. Without effort, Chris captivates friends, teammates, and clients when he speaks about his wife and their fishing or scuba diving exploits. Within the energy industry, Chris is a living legend and one of the top client advocates in NYC for over three decades.

Topics: People
1 min read

Go For The Gold by Partnering with 5

By 5 on July 30, 2021

In order to provide comprehensive energy advisory services to more clients in need, 5 is currently adding additional referral partners and strategic partners across the country. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who is looking to help others while also receiving an additional source of income or possibly beginning their career in energy.

Topics: Procurement
1 min read

High-Performance Cultures are a Great Place to Work

By Jeff Schiefelbein on July 30, 2021

Too often I hear business leaders try to separate great work culture from peak performance. Since many people have never worked for an award-winning, certified Great Place to Work, lack the firsthand experience to understand the key elements and drivers of great company culture. Instead of recognizing the core tenets of intentional culture building, including clearly articulated values, common vision, individual autonomy, integrity, appropriate risk-taking, accountability, excellence, dignified communication, shared experience, and the power of teamwork, people believe that gimmicky office accessories, like ping pong tables and beer taps, are the signs of good culture. That is simply not true.

Topics: Culture Education
1 min read

Client Spotlight: The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation

By 5 on July 30, 2021

The Washington Tennis and Education Foundation’s (WTEF) mission is to build life champions, giving children and youth a safe environment where they can excel. WTEF empowers them to achieve their highest potential by developing meaningful values and critical skills that lead them to life-long success through a pathway of continual academic, life skills, and tennis instruction during after-school and summer camp hours.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Sustainability Renewables Resiliency
2 min read

Get to Know Lilo Ramos

By 5 on July 30, 2021

Luziel “Lilo” Ramos was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Muntinlupa City, which is a suburb of that city. Her family permanently relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area in 2007. She got the nickname Lilo in middle school when one of her classmates mentioned that she looked like the fictional character Lilo from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch. From then on, she has been known as Lilo.

Topics: People
4 min read

Predicting 4CP Should be an Olympic Sport

By 5 on July 30, 2021

Our head of analytics and Sr. Zoltar, Eric Bratcher, is a big lover of the Summer Olympics, especially the less popular sports. On Tuesday this week, while Eric was watching ERCOT’s load again come in under forecast, women’s skeet shooting was on in the background. Eric was glued to the final round as USA’s Amber English held off Italy’s reigning champ to win her first gold medal in the event. An hour later, USA’s Vincent Hancock set an Olympic record of 59 of 60 targets, winning his event and being awarded with his third gold medal.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
4 min read

Gas Prices Vault Over Prior Lows

By 5 on July 30, 2021

Global natural gas markets are finally starting the rally that many producers had been anticipating in recent years. Last year, global demand for LNG dropped so precipitously that some LNG buyers elected to pay LNG liquidation terminals their contractually obligated tolling agreement payments and canceled their delivery of the actual commodity. Subsequently, last summer spot prices for the Japan/Korea Marker (JKM, the Asian LNG version of the Henry Hub natural gas trading hub in the US) traded below $3 per MMBtu. On July 28 of this year, the future contract for September LNG delivery was trading around $14.50 per MMBtu. Figure 1 shows that the JKM price for LNG has increased three-fold over the last year.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

PJM Capacity Auction Clears High Hurdles

By 5 on July 30, 2021

The big energy news in PJM this summer was the completion of the first capacity auction in three years, which was held in late May. This was an important event on several fronts. Most importantly, the price for capacity in all parts of PJM was set for the period of May 2022 through June 2023. As shown in Figure 1, the price of capacity is typically the second-largest cost component of a retail electricity agreement, and like any other commodity or security, uncertainty creates risk and increases cost. This recent capacity auction provides the transparency necessary to reduce risk premiums associated with this important cost component.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Synchronized Swimming for NY Capacity Prices

By 5 on July 30, 2021

For as long as we can recall, there has been a significant difference between the price of capacity in upstate New York compared to capacity prices in New York City. It was common for capacity to trade at $3 to $5/MW-day in upstate New York and $15 to $18/MW-day downstate.

Topics: Markets NYISO
12 min read

July 2021 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on July 20, 2021

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the second quarter of 2021. The unusual weather that caused historic outages and extreme electricity and natural gas prices in Texas in Q1 surfaced in other markets in Q2. Both the Pacific Northwest and the Western US faced extreme weather conditions, namely, heat. In Death Valley, temperatures hit 130 degrees on July 9, a world record for the hottest reliably measured temperature in recorded history.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas ERCOT Newsletters Education Resiliency
4 min read

Culture is Key in Mergers and Acquisitions

By Jeff Schiefelbein on June 29, 2021

How did Luthin Associates successfully assimilate into 5?

We found ourselves reflecting on the successful integration of 5 and Luthin Associates from a cultural standpoint with this week’s announcement of 5’s enhanced website experience that now combines the knowledge, tools, and passion from each of our brands. In just over two years, we have been able to take two very strong, client-centric organizations and leverage the best aspects of each to deliver best-in-class solutions to all stakeholders. After seeing so many mergers and acquisitions either fall apart or fail to produce meaningful value for clients and employees alike, we are compelled to share a few of the key actions we took to ensure a smooth transition that resulted in a win-win for all parties. While this list is certainly not exhaustive, here are five highlights of the process:

Topics: Culture
1 min read

Get to Know Guy Brooks

By 5 on June 29, 2021

Topics: People
1 min read

A Website Worth Experiencing

By 5 on June 29, 2021

Topics: Natural Gas People Culture Videos Procurement Demand Response Sustainability Education Renewables Resiliency
4 min read

Austin Delivers Lots of Bills but Little Relief

By 5 on June 29, 2021

Ever since Winter Storm Uri devastated Texas in February, politicians in Austin began to debate what went wrong and how to implement legislation that would prevent another storm from having similar effects. Both the House and the Senate passed multiple bills at the end of the state’s 87th legislative session on May 31, 2021.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
5 min read

Natural Gas Fundamentals, Not Fun at the Moment

By 5 on June 29, 2021

NYMEX Henry Hub Natural Gas prices continue the strong rally that began in March with a persistent increase in prices extending all the way back to the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. Natural gas prices for the prompt month, balance of 2021, and future calendar years are all moving in the same direction. These sharp price increases can be seen in the NYMEX forward curves in Figure 1. And while all gas prices in all calendar years are on the rise, the strongest rally is in near-term prices over the next 18-months (see black, blue, and green lines in Figure 1).

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

How to Manage Summer Peak Demand

By 5 on June 29, 2021

It comes as no surprise to energy managers that their electric bills are often the highest during the summer months. This is due, in large part, to the additional electric loads required to keep buildings and facilities comfortable during the hottest days of the year. While the impact on those summer bills may be obvious from a consumption perspective, a less obvious but equally important factor that affects electricity expenses is the installed capacity (ICAP) tag set each summer. In New York, every electricity customer’s ICAP tag is determined by the amount of electricity used when the power grid reaches its system peak. Current New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) rules state that the system peak must occur in the months of July and August on a non-holiday weekday. Last summer, the peak hour occurred at 5:00 PM on July 27, 2020, when the electricity demand on the grid was 30,660 MWs.

Topics: Markets NYISO
4 min read

Delayed Auction, Worth the Wait

By 5 on June 29, 2021

The big news story this summer in PJM has been the auction that set the price for capacity for the period of June 2022 through May 2023. This is newsworthy because there has not been a PJM capacity auction in three years. The delay had been caused by disagreements between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and PJM, which were at odds over the mechanism by which the price for capacity is set. This three-year delay created uncertainty in how capacity was valued in any forward electricity contract. And like any other security or commodity, uncertainty creates risk premiums and higher costs. Before examining the details of the most recent auction results, it is important to review capacity and why it is important to electricity buyers.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

NY is Unclear About Nuclear

By 5 on May 25, 2021

The State of New York may be a microcosm of our nation’s energy past and future. New York has been trying to balance nuclear power plant retirements with new gas-fired generation while also encouraging the development of renewable power assets. On Friday morning, April 30, the last functioning nuclear reactor at Indian Point was shut down. For the past 60 years, electricity from this nuclear power plant provided New York with 565 Terawatt-hours of electricity. Before the second reactor was shut down last year, Entergy, the operator of Indian Point, estimated that the output of the two reactors supplied the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City with approximately 25% of its electricity. Environmentalists and politicians alike have described Indian Point as a threat to the safety of the millions of people who live near the plant, located 35 miles north of New York City, and many cheered its removal from service.

Topics: Markets NYISO Sustainability Renewables Resiliency
2 min read

Controlled Expansion Versus Explosive Growth

By 5 on May 25, 2021

Given the massive drop in oil and natural gas prices last year, it is no surprise that producers reacted by dramatically reducing rig counts and the amount of gas supplied to the market. This decrease in supply was not only rational but also welcomed as it stabilized prices and storage levels. This past week, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) released their graph of historical natural gas rig counts. This chart, in Figure 1 below, shows the sharp decrease in active natural gas drilling rigs in the nation’s three largest gas-producing regions. The modest increase in total rig counts over the past six months shows that producers are unwillingness to spend significant capital to increase production, given today’s market prices.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

Last Minute Energy Legislation

By 5 on May 25, 2021

With the clock ticking on the current legislative session in Texas, lawmakers are anxious to get some legislation passed that addresses and corrects some of what occurred during Winter Storm Uri. In the weeks following the storm, there were several pieces of legislation that were gaining traction. Senate Bill 3 (SB3) gathered the most attention, which, in its original draft, sought a complete ban on real-time, index-based products, put limits on wholesale electricity prices, and addressed issues related to the winterization of generating assets. After several votes and amendments, SB3 passed the Senate and is now with the House, but it is unclear if it will be signed into law before the current legislative session ends on May 31. House Bill 16 (HB16), however, passed both the Senate and House this month and will likely be signed into law by Governor Abbott in the coming days.

Topics: Markets ERCOT Education
2 min read

Get to Know Ben Manna

By 5 on May 25, 2021

Ben Manna was born and raised in Dallas and graduated from Red Oak High School, about 20 miles south of the DFW Metroplex.  While in high school, Ben discovered his natural talents in both sports and music. He played clarinet in the marching band and in ensemble band competitions. Ultimately, he was recognized as an all-region clarinet player. Ben also distinguished himself in soccer as a midfielder and was a part of the 2003 4A State Champion varsity squad.

Topics: People
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Redeemer Health

By 5 on May 25, 2021

Redeemer Health has a 95-year history of providing compassionate care and healing to the communities it serves in Pennsylvania and New Jersey through the vision of the Sisters of the Redeemer. From its modest beginnings, the Sisters' mission to care, comfort, and heal continues to grow through the many programs, services, and facilities that comprise Redeemer Health. With a long-held commitment to older adults, the Sisters built St. Joseph Manor, a home for older adults, in 1934 on a 45-acre farm in Meadowbrook, PA. In later years, the Sisters established Holy Redeemer Hospital and several retirement and independent living communities. Today, Redeemer Health is a comprehensive health care system comprised of over 40 facilities across the Greater Philadelphia area and Southern New Jersey.

Topics: Clients Procurement Resiliency
2 min read

Why Chicago Might Fire ComEd

By 5 on May 25, 2021

Next week, the City of Chicago will evaluate Request for Information (RFI) submissions from parties interested in taking over the city’s electricity grid from ComEd. While at some level, this may seem impractical, the intent behind the RFI is to solicit new ideas for managing energy in the nation’s third-largest city in a way that is equitable, affordable, reliable, and promotes the city’s sustainability objectives. Chicago seeks to create a resilient and clean energy metropolis for the 21st century by upgrading its electricity delivery franchise authority. In accordance with state laws and the city’s municipal codes, the city requires a franchise to deliver electricity to its residential and commercial customers.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Read with 5

By Jeff Schiefelbein on May 25, 2021

Shared experiences drive deep human connection in the workplace. 5’s book club is one of the most impactful ways that we orchestrate these meaningful moments for our team. When we gather to review, discuss, and debate each new book, we begin to form a unique vernacular and a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives. Our conversations, about the book and subsequently about our business, create new avenues for organizational development and personal fulfillment.

Topics: Culture
3 min read

Biden's Energy Priorities

By 5 on May 25, 2021

There are several interesting developments in Washington D.C. that could impact the nation’s energy markets. With the death of Alcee Hastings (D-FL) last month, the Democratic majority in the House shrank to a mere six votes and the Senate remains split at 50/50. The razor-thin Democratic majority means it is unlikely that Congress will use the traditional legislative process to pass new energy-related legislation. Instead, as was the case with the stimulus bill, the Biden Administration is expected to use the budget reconciliation process to pass an energy bill at some point this calendar year.

Topics: Markets Demand Response Sustainability Education Renewables Resiliency
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Kenwood Country Club

By 5 on April 29, 2021

Kenwood Golf and Country Club has been in continuous existence since 1928. The clubhouse, golf course and its facilities cover over 100 acres of rolling countryside, located in Bethesda, Maryland. The Club is situated inside the Capital Beltway, only minutes from the Nation’s Capital, approximately seven miles from the White House and many other cultural and national attractions.

Topics: Clients Sustainability Renewables Resiliency
3 min read

SARA Smiles

By 5 on April 29, 2021

Late last month, ERCOT released their preliminary Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report. This is the seasonal report that identifies the output from all current, new, and planned generating resources and compares that amount to the forecasted peak load. Reserve margin is the difference between the forecasted peak load and the total amount of generation available to meet that demand. Recently, the reserve margin has climbed from a low of 8.6% in 2019 up to 12.6% in 2020.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Get To Know Anuniti Amireddy

By 5 on April 29, 2021

Anuniti is an energy engineer who is dedicated and passionate about doing something good for the planet. See the ways she helps our clients understand their energy usage and discover how a great culture can attract top talent without geographic boundaries.

Topics: People
5 min read

Commodity Oddities

By 5 on April 29, 2021

To say that commodity markets have been volatile during the last 12 months is an understatement, especially for natural gas. This volatility had many drivers including one of the most active hurricane seasons in over a decade, big drops in LNG demand over the summer followed by a rebound in the fall, one of the warmest Novembers on record, and the frigid temperatures at the beginning of the new year. These factors all contributed to significant price swings in spot natural gas prices.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Is there a DR in the house?

By 5 on April 29, 2021

In the PJM power market, June 1 officially marks the beginning of the 2021/2022 delivery year. This is an important date for clients that will participate in PJM’s various demand response (DR) programs and those who are actively managing capacity tags through peak shaving. DR participation and capacity tag management allow clients to realize an additional revenue stream for their business while reducing their electricity expenses at the same time.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Falling Capacity Creates a Good Buy for NYC

By 5 on April 29, 2021

Wholesale electricity prices in New York City have been rising for the last several months. Figure 1 shows how forward prices for calendar years 2022 through 2025 have been trading over the last five years. Note that wholesale prices were at a low at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Despite a correction in the late fall when the market dropped, the overall trend has been bullish for nearly a year. Additionally, this is a classic example of a contango market, where prices get more expensive with each subsequent time period in the forwards. Figure 1 also shows that the least expensive calendar year is 2022 and that 2025 is the most expensive.

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Hebrew Home at Riverdale

By 5 on April 29, 2021

The Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Living, located in New York City, serves older adults of all faiths through compassionate care and active community engagement. Guided by Jewish values for over 100 years, Hebrew Home is committed to healthy aging and the highest quality of life through innovative programs and services designed to meet the evolving needs of their residents. Hebrew Home is a nationally recognized long-term care facility that also provides specialized services, including elder abuse prevention and memory care to over 18,000 patients and residents.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Resiliency
3 min read

The 5 Values

By Jeff Schiefelbein on April 29, 2021

Changing the way businesses approach their overall energy strategy, while simultaneously raising the bar for the entire deregulated power industry, is an audacious goal. When we started 5, we knew that we would need to be intentional about every aspect of our culture to make an impact of this magnitude, starting with The 5 Values.

Topics: Culture
8 min read

¿Quieres saber más sobre la reforma eléctrica?

By 5 (Mexico) on April 28, 2021

Línea del tiempo con los hitos más importantes

29 de enero: AMLO presentó ante la Cámara de Diputados una iniciativa para reformar diversas disposiciones de la Ley de la Industria Eléctrica (LIE) con carácter preferente, por lo que la Cámara de origen cuenta con un máximo de 30 días naturales a partir de la fecha de su presentación para discutirla y votarla. La iniciativa propone 4 principales modificaciones para la LIE[1]:

Topics: Mexico
2 min read

Informe Del Mercado Eléctrico: México Primavera 2021

By 5 (Mexico) on April 28, 2021

ACTUALIZACIONES DEL MERCADO

Topics: Markets Mexico
1 min read

Spotlight – Savings and Flexibility for International Auto Parts Manufacturer

By 5 on April 21, 2021

5’s client in Mexico provides customers around the world with automatic transmissions, the brain of automobiles. As a manufacturer of Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT, hybrids) for automobiles, the client offers ecological products that maximize vehicle performance.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Resiliency
10 min read

April 2021 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on April 21, 2021

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the first quarter of 2021. This letter focuses on the latest Black Swan event, Uri, the winter storm that hit Texas in mid-February. The storm caused a catastrophic loss of generation and triggered an extended period of extremely high energy prices. This letter provides: (i) a summary and chronology of the legal and regulatory proceedings that Uri has spawned; (ii) a snapshot of how the storm has impacted a variety of market participants including municipal utilities, wind farms, renewable purchasers, commercial and industrial buyers, and the natural gas market; and (iii) an overview of legislative efforts to address electric reliability in ERCOT.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas ERCOT Newsletters Education Resiliency
2 min read

Client Spotlight: The Beck Group

By 5 on April 20, 2021

The Beck Group is an international architecture and construction firm that has designed and built some of the most well-known structures in North America. Based in Dallas, Beck also has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Fort Worth, Tampa, Mexico City, and Monterrey. Founded in 1912 by Henry C. Beck, the company began as a general contractor. It can trace its roots back to the original construction of the Cotton Exchange Building and the Cotton Bowl in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to its design-build expertise, Beck is also involved in sustainability and technology solutions that help its clients operate their facilities cost-effectively.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Resiliency
1 min read

Spotlight – ESG Planning and Implementation for Auto Parts Manufacturer

By 5 on April 20, 2021

A large global auto parts manufacturer, with multiple facilities across the country, was looking for assistance in developing a comprehensive approach to managing its electricity and natural expenses. Prior to working with 5, this Fortune 200 company was waiting until their current contracts were getting ready to expire before gathering quotes and soliciting offers from various suppliers.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Sustainability Renewables Resiliency
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Killeen ISD

By 5 on April 5, 2021

Killeen Independent School District (ISD) is a large school district in central Texas that serves the Killeen, Fort Hood, Harker Heights, and Nolanville communities. Approximately 45,500 students in Killeen ISD attend 32 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 4 high schools, 4 special campuses, a state-of-the-art Career Center, and an Early College High School. There are over 6,800 teachers and staff working across many campuses and facilities who are committed to providing a great education and learning experience to the students they serve.

Topics: Clients Procurement Demand Response
1 min read

Client Spotlight - Spring Creek Towers

By 5 on April 2, 2021

Spring Creek Towers (SCT), commonly known as Starrett City is a self-contained urban community home to approximately 18,000 residents spread out over 46 brick towers on 153 acres overlooking Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn. SCT offers residents a unique mix of amenities within its borders including schools, a shopping center, a post office, and a sports club.

Topics: Clients Procurement Resiliency
1 min read

Get to Know Ellen Northrup

By 5 on March 30, 2021

Ellen Northrup is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable members on our team. Learn how this problem solver's business career took off at such an early age and enjoy hearing about her the famous people she met during the Daytime Emmy awards in New York City.

Topics: People
3 min read

Microgrids are a Macro Deal

By 5 on March 30, 2021

Despite the name, microgrids are a big deal. In fact, microgrids are a hot topic of conversation lately because of the crucial role they play in business continuity and resiliency planning. Thanks to a handful of unpredictable weather events, a wide variety of stakeholders are turning to microgrids to keep power flowing when natural disasters or catastrophic grid failures disrupt the utility grid’s normal operations.

Topics: Demand Response Sustainability Education Resiliency
3 min read

A Return to Normalcy (Sort of)

By 5 on March 30, 2021

Throughout last month’s Winter Storm Uri, NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas prices increased in volatility. Multi-year highs for the prompt month contract (April) along with daily trading ranges almost as high as earlier this winter were experienced. By late February, the winter storm bulls had left the market, and the bears took over. By the middle of March, April’s contract had sold off from the closing price of $3.032/Dth on February 17th to a closing price of $2.483/Dth on March 15th.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

A Texas-Sized Band-Aid for Uri

By 5 on March 30, 2021

So far, it appears as if no one is ready to make price adjustments to customer bills in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri. Neither the Texas executive branch, the legislative branch, nor the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) are very eager to be the one that steps up to order the re-pricing of wholesale Real-Time Index or Ancillary Service prices that have been in question over the past month. Instead, it seems like everyone is resigned to allowing the lawyers to argue their cases and leave the outcome up to the courts.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Batman Believes Anything is Possible At 5

By Jeff Schiefelbein on March 30, 2021

We knew from the start that our unique approach to culture building and client value creation warranted an equally special focus on employee titles and team names within the company. When it came time to determine the best name for 5’s leadership team, we selected the name Batman, but not because of the Gotham City superhero. Instead, the name Batman comes from the inspiring personal story of Daniel Kish.

Topics: Culture
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Catholic Diocese of Dallas

By 5 on March 30, 2021

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas was established in 1890 and today serves an area of over 7,500 square miles across Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, and Rockwall Counties. The diocese operates 69 parishes, 2 seminaries, 3 high schools and 26 elementary schools. The Diocese of Dallas is one of the fastest growing dioceses in the United States, whose parishes and five missions serve approximately 1.2 million Catholics and a larger North Texas community of more than four million people.

Topics: Clients Procurement Demand Response Sustainability Renewables
3 min read

New Efficiency Standards for New York

By 5 on March 30, 2021

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released a status report on “Regulations Establishing Energy Efficiency Standards.” In addition to reporting on the status of energy efficiency regulations, this report includes recommended amendments to New York law that would add new categories to the state’s energy efficiency performance standards. These recommendations have been crafted into a “Program Bill” – legislation written by the Governor’s administration – which is being shopped around in the State Legislature for a sponsor.

Topics: Markets NYISO Resiliency
3 min read

A Rare Item Up For Auction: PJM Capacity

By 5 on March 30, 2021

It has been three years since PJM held its last capacity auction. That last auction, which was held in May 2018, established capacity prices for the May 2021 to May 2022 delivery year. Over the last couple of years, there has been a great deal of uncertainty in how capacity prices would be valued beyond May 2022. Before getting into details of the upcoming capacity auction, we should review what capacity is and why it matters.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Spotlight – Water Authority Wins with Proactive Risk Management

By 5 on March 30, 2021

5’s client, a major water authority in Texas, has provided wastewater treatment services to many municipal utility districts for more than 60 years with each member district sharing in the operating costs. In 2014, the client selected 5 to serve as their advisor for all energy-related matters.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Demand Response Resiliency
2 min read

Your Business Needs a Whole Health Energy Plan

By 5 on February 26, 2021

Since the dawn of electricity deregulation, most commercial and industrial clients have relied on brokers and sales reps as their primary source of education and strategy development. Clients meet with a different set of sales people to discuss procurement, engineering, demand-side management, sustainability, and resiliency, leading to a fractured decision-making process and piecemeal strategies that lack depth, diversity, harmony, and foresight. When energy prices are falling, the weather is following normal patterns, and suppliers are offering low bids in a race to the bottom, any sales rep or broker running a simple procurement process can appear to be adding value to your business.

Topics: Markets Procurement Demand Response Sustainability Education Resiliency
3 min read

Moments from Complete Failure

By 5 on February 26, 2021

From time to time, events occur that reshape and redefine an industry. These events can often prompt stakeholders, lawmakers and customers to question and reevaluate some of the basic premises on which an industry was built. This is the kind of event that happened across Texas during the week of February 15, 2021. While the power outages and the arctic temperatures sent shockwaves throughout the state’s energy markets, the personal toll was equally, if not more, devastating. Millions of Texans were without heat, electricity, and water for days where the thermometer struggled to climb above freezing. But, as is often the case, calamity brings out the best in people as neighbors came to each other’s aid to help wherever possible. And while this story will certainly be told and assessed through gigawatts, hertz and dollars, none of these units can begin to measure the human pain and suffering that was caused by this event.

Topics: Markets ERCOT Resiliency
4 min read

Near-Term Opportunities in '22 & '23

By 5 on February 26, 2021

Electricity prices in NYC are starting to show signs of consolidation. Earlier this winter, mild temperatures in the months of November and December placed downward pressure on both near-term gas and power futures prices. This can be seen in Figure 1, which shows wholesale forward electricity prices in NYC for calendar years 2022 through 2025. This market correction, which lasted through the end of December, created good purchasing opportunities for many in NYC. Since the beginning of the year, prices have rallied, increasing between 2.5% and 5.1% across all calendar years except 2023. Note the flat to downward slope of electricity prices for calendar year 2023 (black line). While near-term prices in 2022 have rallied, falling prices in 2023 and have produced a degree of consolidation and created good purchasing opportunities.

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

During Historic Cold Spell, PJM Keeps Its Cool

By 5 on February 26, 2021

PJM kept its cool last week as power markets in the midcontinent were struggling under the strain of record-setting energy demand due to a historic cold spell. Unlike what happened in Texas, grid reliability was maintained, and spot electricity prices remained under control. In PJM, the electricity futures market continues to trade sideways and largely rangebound between $26-30/MWh in the wholesale market across the entire region. Clearly, it will take more than wild weather to materially move this market.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

The Gas Price Rally That Never Happened...

By 5 on February 26, 2021

Valentine’s Day may warm our hearts, but it often coincides with some of the coldest weather of the winter, and this year was no exception. Last week, Valentine’s Day weekend was followed by Presidents Day, which means that gas traders must make their purchases for the long weekend on Friday to cover the next four days. The weather forecast on that Friday pointed to record cold temperatures across most of the midcontinent and extending into south Texas. The expectation of cold temperatures and high heating demand over the long holiday weekend started to produce volatility in natural gas markets as early as Friday afternoon.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

We All Need Somebody to Lean On

By Jeff Schiefelbein on February 26, 2021

The recent winter storm in Texas reminds us that living our mission of helping others starts by caring for our families, neighbors, and co-workers. Our team, like yours, has experienced firsthand the emotional and physical stress caused by natural disasters, family emergencies, terrorist attacks, and more. When the power went out for millions of Texans, many of whom also lost running water as well, those of us who were not in the dark joined together to continue advising our clients while also rendering aid to one another. Below is a brief look into two of our team’s stories:

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Get to Know Tommy Richardson

By 5 on February 26, 2021

If there were ever a person who was born to serve others through sales, it’s Tommy Richardson. Tommy was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and from an early age had a knack for building lasting relationships and making meaningful connections. When he was 6 years old, Tommy was known throughout his neighborhood for going door-to-door and shining shoes for 50 cents per pair. Tommy has also had a life-long love of all things on two wheels.  Growing up, he was into BMX and became an Eagle Scout through a bicycle safety program he developed for his community.

Topics: People
1 min read

Spotlight – Midstream Provider Implements Strategy for Uncertainty

By 5 on February 17, 2021

In 2020, a midstream oil services provider approached 5 to help manage the electricity for a new facility that was ramping up its operations in the Midland Basin. This new facility gathers and stores crude oil from various wellheads in West Texas and connects it to local refineries through its pumping stations. Most of the electricity at this midstream facility is used to power a series of 200 to 400 HP variable frequency drive motors that will deliver more than 100,000 barrels per day to several downstream delivery points. This client hired 5 to help in modeling the electricity usage as the facility went into operations and gradually increased its pumping capacity. The rapidly fluctuating demand for crude oil during the pandemic added to the complexity of forecasting and budgeting this facility’s energy costs and consumption.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Demand Response Resiliency
2 min read

Urgent Texas Electricity Update

By 5 on February 15, 2021

Conservation Needed

To all businesses and homes in Texas fortunate enough to still have power, please reduce electricity consumption throughout the rest of Monday and Tuesday. The Texas electric grid is experiencing unprecedented strain, and many have been without power since early Monday morning. You can help by reducing the setpoint on your thermostats, turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances, closing shades and blinds, and avoiding use of large appliances (ovens, washing machines, etc).    

Topics: Markets ERCOT Education
3 min read

February 2021 Weather & Market Update

By 5 on February 12, 2021

The entire mid-continent is bracing for an historic cold weather event over the next several days. In Texas, energy regulators, delivery utilities, and market participants are making advanced plans to keep the population safe and warm throughout this event. What's in store is not only an energy market issue but also a public safety concern as well. It goes without saying that electric power is a critical service in our modern lives and we should all take precautions against extended power outages over the next few days.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

Empire State Realty Trust Becomes Nation’s Largest 100% User of Green Power in Real Estate

By 5 on February 3, 2021

NEW YORK - February 3, 2021

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT) today added to its industry leadership in sustainability with the purchase of renewable wind electricity for its entire commercial portfolio. A new three-year contract with Green Mountain Energy makes ESRT the nation’s largest 100% user of green power in real estate.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Press Renewables
2 min read

Cuomo's State of the State for Energy

By 5 on January 27, 2021

In his 2021 State of the State address on January 11th, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as an opportunity for New York to stimulate the economy in the post-COVID world. Cuomo highlighted four components that need to be addressed simultaneously to seize the moment:

Topics: Markets NYISO
4 min read

Rising Temps, Falling Prices

By 5 on January 27, 2021

The price for this winter’s natural gas has seen its fair share of volatility over the past 12 months. Coming out of last winter’s abnormally warm weather, prices for the 2021 calendar year strip saw its all-time low of $2.27 per MMBtu on Friday, March 6, 2020. This was the last trading session before the Saudi Arabia and Russia feud over cutting crude supplies at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Since last March, natural gas prices saw two sustained bull markets where prices rallied more than 50¢, from April through May, and then again from late July through the end of October. These two rallies are highlighted in Figure 1.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

More Meters in PJM "Get Smart"

By 5 on January 27, 2021

On January 8th, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) approved a new program that will allow PSE&G to spend $780M over the next four years to install smart meters in homes and businesses throughout its territory. This move is intended to create a more integrated network between customers and the electricity grid that will provide more transparency to price signals and ultimately help homeowners and businesses to make more informed energy decisions. These upgraded and improved meters will also provide near real-time outage detection and help customers to be more aware of their energy consumption.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

Party Like it's 2017

By 5 on January 27, 2021

It may have taken almost four years, but the price for summer, on-peak power in Texas has finally returned to levels that were observed prior to the announced retirement of four Luminant power plants during the fall of 2017. With strong growth in both wind and solar generation in various stages of completion, the power market in Texas appears to be back to where it was before the anticipated loss of generating assets, which kicked off multiple years of price volatility. Figure 1 shows the wholesale electricity price for each of the next five summers (2021 – 2025) as they’ve traded from Sep 2017 to the present.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Just Say No to Quid Pro Quo

By Jeff Schiefelbein on January 27, 2021

Since the onset of deregulation, energy brokers have been accustomed to receiving gifts, expensive meals, and lavish trips from suppliers in the name of relationship building. This quid pro quo approach can drive energy brokers to favor one supplier when selecting a winner at the end of a supposedly competitive bid process. Not only does this barrier to objectivity diminish the focus on the needs of the client, but it also produces subpar results that erode the entire value proposition of energy deregulation.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Get to Know Chris Watson

By 5 on January 27, 2021

Chris Watson was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Chris’ father had moved from Texas to the Aloha State in the 1970s when the advertising firm he worked for asked him to relocate. His mother also moved to Hawaii (a territory and not a state at the time) when she was two years old as part of a relocation for her father’s job.

Topics: People
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Trinity River Authority

By 5 on January 27, 2021

The Trinity River Authority (TRA) was formed by the Texas legislature in 1955 to provide clean water to the communities within the Trinity River Basin. Based in Arlington, TRA serves an area of nearly 18,000 square miles, which includes all or parts of 17 counties and 60 cities. TRA owns and operates four water treatment and supply facilities and five wastewater treatment facilities across its jurisdiction that provide clean and safe drinking water to and protect water quality for the millions of residents of the Trinity River Basin. TRA also owns and operates Lake Livingston, which provides a major source of supply to the City of Houston, and as a local sponsor for three multiple-purpose lakes operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Topics: Clients Procurement Renewables Resiliency
7 min read

January 2021 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on January 19, 2021

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the fourth quarter of 2020. This issue revisits the 2020 election and discusses its potential impact on energy policy. Other topics covered include: (i) key energy provisions in the Stimulus Bill passed on December 29, 2020, (ii) green hydrogen, and (iii) the continued shift in generation from coal and nuclear to renewables. We conclude by noting the dramatic spike of LNG prices in Asia, a good reminder that, notwithstanding a long period of depressed pricing, electricity and natural gas remain volatile commodities that must be carefully managed.

Topics: Newsletters Education
2 min read

New Fuel for New York Summit

By 5 on January 15, 2021

On Thursday, January 28th, businesses from across New York will come together to discuss the future of Green Hydrogen and its potential as a clean energy solution.

New York State continues to lead the nation as the center of the transition to a zero-emissions energy system. While electrification, executed in tandem with a significant expansion of renewable energy resources, has the potential to drastically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, certain sectors of the economy may not be able to fully electrify. These more challenging sectors include manufacturing, heavy transportation, and long duration energy storage.

Topics: Sustainability Press Renewables Resiliency
3 min read

Federal Stimulus for K-12 Schools

By 5 on January 14, 2021

Throughout the rollercoaster of the past year, it is always a pleasure to share positive news that impacts school districts. Recently a new pool of Federal stimulus dollars was earmarked for HVAC upgrades in K-12 schools and many school districts qualify. 

Topics: Clients Education
1 min read

Spotlight - The Power Advisor Behind the Power Producer

By 5 on January 14, 2021

It takes a lot of energy to produce energy. Natural gas and oil producers use significant amounts of both natural gas and electricity to extract, process, and transport the raw materials that are ultimately refined into various sources of energy and fuels. In 2012, an oil and gas producer in Texas turned to 5 for assistance in managing their electricity supply. This company required a robust and dynamic way of managing its electricity expenses given that its own revenues are closely correlated to volatile oil and gas prices.

Topics: Natural Gas Clients Case Studies Procurement Resiliency
2 min read

Caso de Éxito en México: Sector Comercial

By 5 (Mexico) on January 1, 2021

Retos

  • La compañía llevaba tiempo haciendo esfuerzos desarticulados para evaluar opciones para la compra de electricidad, encabezados por diversos actores dentro de la compañía, lo cual generaba confusión e ineficiencia.
  • Como es de esperarse en esta etapa de desregulación, existía una falta de conocimiento del marco regulatorio, del mercado, así como de la industria.
    La compañía experimentaba incrementos substanciales en sus costos de
Topics: Case Studies Mexico
1 min read

“You’re Gonna Regret That”

By Jeff Schiefelbein on December 22, 2020

I can still hear the echoes of the worst recruiting advice I ever received as we were launching our business 9 years ago. When I told seasoned leaders in our industry that we were not planning to ask our sales team to sign non-competes and non-solicits, they consistently said, “you’re gonna regret that.”

Topics: Culture
6 min read

Let's Talk About "RECs", Baby

By 5 on December 22, 2020

In recent conversations with clients and suppliers, we have noticed the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) has been viewed with some degree of disdain and ridicule. Some of the negative impressions associated with RECs are justified. About a decade ago, the energy industry went through an era of “greenwashing” where many companies made dubious environmental claims, and RECs certainly played a role in some of those cases[1].

Topics: Sustainability Education Renewables
2 min read

It's Official, LNG is Back, Baby!

By 5 on December 22, 2020

Global LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) prices, similar to global crude prices, have struggled this year. The price of West Texas Intermediate Crude (crude oil’s benchmark index) bottomed out at -$37 per barrel on April 20th, rebounded by June to approximately $30, and then recovered to about $40 per barrel for most of the summer. While LNG’s Japan Korea Marker (JKM, a major LNG index) significantly decreased, it did not go into negative territory like crude oil. However, unlike crude oil, the JKM index had a much longer sustained low, and when including the cost to liquify the natural gas, the price for LNG was essentially negative.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Nation's Largest Solar Farm (Everything's Bigger in TX)

By 5 on December 22, 2020

Next summer’s peak demand in Texas is forecasted to grow by about 3% compared to the summers of 2019 and 2020. The good news is that new generation is being added at a faster rate, which will create a higher Reserve Margin where the amount of electricity supply exceeds the forecasted demand. Most of this new generation is coming from renewable power projects across Texas. Once it is operational, the Samson Solar project, a 1,310 MW solar array in Northeast Texas, will become the largest solar farm in the US.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

Lower Demand and Lower Prices for New York’s Energy Buyers

By 5 on December 22, 2020

Every four years, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) commissions a study to evaluate and forecast the balance of electricity supply and demand in the state. This study considers the economy, demographics, implementation of energy efficiency measures and many other factors used to assess the amount of electricity needed across the state. This latest study examined the period from May 2021 to April 2025, in an attempt to determine the amount of electricity supply that is needed to keep up with expected changes in demand. Notably, the economic effects and the demand destruction in New York State and New York City caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are built in to this study. This is a critical point because there was a 13% reduction in electricity consumption in NYC during the first wave of this pandemic in March-April 2020[1]. This change in electricity demand, driven mainly by the pandemic is shown below in Figure 1. This recently released study from the NYISO predicts that there will be less demand for electricity supply in the state of New York, which resets and lowers the demand curve that is used to establish the price for capacity. This is important for electricity buyers because it will likely lower the future cost of capacity.

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

An Early Christmas Present for PJM

By 5 on December 22, 2020

Santa has arrived a few days early for electricity buyers in PJM because falling natural gas prices have had a parallel effect on electricity prices for calendar year 2021. Usually, natural gas is withdrawn from storage during the month of November as the weather cools and heating demand increases. However, there was a net increase in the amount of gas placed into storage due to the mild temperatures throughout the northeast over the last several weeks. This caused natural gas prices to fall significantly and as reported last month, this is a big deal. This gas market correction has put downward pressure on near-term electricity prices across PJM and created excellent purchasing opportunities.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Junior Tennis Champions Center

By 5 on December 22, 2020

The Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming lives through tennis for residents of the greater Washington DC area. Their mission is to grow the game of tennis and create a lifetime sport for everyone. This unique organization serves as much more than an athletic training facility as the JTCC School prepares students for academic success through the Champions Program, an after-school and full-time program for players 10 and older. The results of the JTCC approach speak for themselves as many graduates are well-prepared for the rigors of playing top collegiate tennis and pursuing their education at a wide range of leading colleges and universities across the country.

Topics: Clients Procurement
2 min read

Get to Know Lindsey Salters

By 5 on December 22, 2020

Though born in Shreveport, LA, Lindsey Salters considers herself 100% Texan. While growing up in Longview, TX, her summer vacations consisted of traveling to Arlington with her family to see the Texas Rangers. In fact, Lindsey’s initial career aspiration was to be the Ranger’s bullpen catcher. She still makes every effort to see local major and minor league teams while she travels with her family. Lindsey went to Texas A&M University where she started out as a Biomedical Engineering major. She ultimately switched to Industrial Engineering, which was more aligned to her knack for systems process management.

Topics: People
2 min read

Informe Del Mercado Eléctrico: México Invierno 2020

By 5 (Mexico) on December 17, 2020

ACTUALIZACIONES DEL MERCADO

Topics: Markets Mexico

Sean Ewart Appointed to the Board of Directors for EIC

By 5 on December 16, 2020

Allenhurst, NY - December 16, 2020

Sean Ewart, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Luthin/5, was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC). EIC is a New York State non-profit, local development corporation that operates a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for municipalities across the state.

Topics: People Press
2 min read

Buy, Buy Summer

By 5 on November 24, 2020

The weather has been unusually warm this month, which has drastically pushed down natural gas prices. This stretch of higher temperatures in Texas and across the US has taken a lot of energy out of both the natural gas and electricity markets. It has also created very attractive opportunities for shorter-term purchases, since natural gas is the fuel for many for power plants across Texas. Moderate temperatures along with low spot price volatility from this summer have created weakness in future heat rates and also contributed to this electricity market correction.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

Gas Prices Have Plummeted (This is a Big Deal)

By 5 on November 24, 2020

Throughout the year, analysts wrestled with many variables as they tried to forecast the End of Season (EOS) natural gas storage levels, which were reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in the first week of November. The amount of gas in storage was impacted by the following:

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

Your Employees are Not Being Honest… and It’s Your Fault

By Jeff Schiefelbein on November 24, 2020

I bet many of your teammates are spreading falsehoods about your company, leading to distrust, half-hearted effort, and apathy. Sounds crazy, right? The craziest part is that you are a contributor to the distortion, but thankfully, you also hold the keys to unlocking the solution.

Topics: Culture
3 min read

Ohio HB6, a Householder of Cards

By 5 on November 24, 2020

Ohio House Bill 6 (HB6), signed into law in July 2019, provided a bailout for two nuclear plants and two coal plants while lowering Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency goals substantially. At the time of its passage, the legislation was treated to a negative reception from the press and the bill faced scrutiny from environmental groups. Following the arrest of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, a fierce advocate for HB6, on racketeering charges, Ohio lawmakers are debating whether to repeal the law, and how.

Topics: Markets PJM Education
2 min read

Election Year Implications For NY Energy Policies

By 5 on November 24, 2020

In New York, the 2020 election was a big deal. It’s the first time since the 1930s that Democrats have successfully held a majority in the State Senate. While the Presidential race in New York was called for President-Elect Joe Biden almost immediately after polls closed, which gave the illusion of completion, the state is still counting ballots today. This year, as is true every other year, every member of the State Legislature was up for reelection. While incumbents certainly carry an advantage into any election cycle, New York has seen a political awakening following the 2016 election of President Donald Trump. This movement carried a new, Democratic majority into power in the State Senate in 2018 and lead to many moderate Democrats being swept out in favor of more liberal candidates.

Topics: Markets NYISO Resiliency
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

By 5 on November 24, 2020

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), founded in 1890, is a world-renowned, private research and education institution with research programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology, quantitative biology, and bioinformatics and genomics. The research environment is highly collaborative, allowing CSHL scientists work together across disciplines to solve biology’s most challenging problems. The ultimate goal is to apply this research on basic biological mechanisms to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, neurological disorders and other diseases. The campus has been home to eight Nobel Laureates and is ranked by Thomson Reuters as #1 in the world among the leading basic research institutions in molecular biology and genetics. The Laboratory selected 5 to assist in managing the facility’s energy requirements while keeping energy expenses low through a strategic procurement strategy, which allowed more funding for the critical research they are known for.

Topics: Clients Procurement Renewables
6 min read

Introduction to Green Hydrogen

By 5 on November 24, 2020

It’s got Jim Cramer saying it’s “sexy” and natural gas companies betting their futures on it. What are we talking about? Green hydrogen (GH2). And no, GH2 isn’t just hydrogen by another name, it’s hydrogen produced by renewable energy and there are several important reasons why its trending today.  

Topics: NYISO Sustainability Education Renewables Resiliency
1 min read

Spotlight – Financial Institution’s New Approach to Energy Risk Management

By 5 on November 12, 2020

A large financial institution with multiple facilities across the country began to work with 5 in 2016 to create a more substantive approach to managing its electricity costs. Prior to hiring 5, this Fortune 500 company waited until the end of its current electricity agreements before considering renewal opportunities.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Resiliency
1 min read

ERCOT's Winter 2020 Outlook

By 5 on November 6, 2020

Yesterday, November 5th, ERCOT released its Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the upcoming winter season. In summary, the grid operator expects to have plenty of power plant capacity available this winter. ERCOT expects winter peak demand to top out at 64.5 GW, just shy of the all-time winter peak demand record of 65.9 GWs*

Topics: Markets ERCOT Education Renewables
1 min read

New York City Energy Industry Veteran, Chris Dillemuth, Joins 5

By 5 on November 2, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - November 2, 2020

As part of the company’s strategic growth initiatives in the metro New York area, 5 announces the addition of energy industry veteran, Chris Dillemuth. Chris has been helping clients for the past 30 years and brings tremendous knowledge and experience to continue the growth of 5 and its regional brand, Luthin Associates.

Topics: People Press
4 min read

Shared Experiences Drive Deep Human Connection

By Jeff Schiefelbein on October 29, 2020

We could break every sales record and I wouldn’t be as proud as I am of our team today.”

When I receive these notes from fellow 5ers, it reaffirms my belief that shared experiences drive deep human connection in the workplace. We orchestrate unique and meaningful events throughout the year for our team that inspire creative thought, socialize stories of client impact, embrace diversity, unleash a childlike wonderment, and provide a platform for powerful vulnerability and individual growth. The shared experiences at 5 are a cornerstone for our award-winning culture.

Topics: Culture
3 min read

Fundamental & Technical Analysis for 2021

By 5 on October 29, 2020

The rise in the futures price for the 2021 NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas contract has been driven by one major fundamental driver - the steady decline in natural gas production over the last 10 months. Figure 1 shows that in November 2019 the EIA reported a record high average daily production of dry natural gas of 96.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day. In September 2020 the daily average production fell to only 87.1 Bcf/day, a decrease of 9.4%. Even with a decline in gas production, the mild winter last year and the demand destruction from coronavirus has created a situation where there will likely be record levels of natural gas in storage.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

PJM Follows the NYMEX, Futures Continue to Rally

By 5 on October 29, 2020

Over the last 4 weeks wholesale electricity futures in PJM have continued to rally. Fueled by bullish near-term natural gas prices, electricity prices have been highly correlated to NYMEX futures. Figure 1 shows that prices in PJM East across all calendar years significantly increased from March through May as the COVID pandemic began to spread. The market fell just as quickly through June and has slowly rallied over the last four months. Since late September prices across all calendar years have risen between 2% and 5% with the biggest increases in calendar year 2021 (blue line) and 2022 (black line). While Figure 1 is specific to eastern PJM, similar trends have been observed in the western parts of PJM.

Topics: Markets PJM
4 min read

Renewable Generation: A Blessing and a Curse for Texas

By 5 on October 29, 2020

Since early 2018, the forward power market in Texas has been in various states of backwardation (prices for a commodity get less expensive into the future). This backwardation made longer retail electricity agreements attractive as each additional year purchased was a chance to capitalize on lower futures prices and reduce the overall weighted average price. Last fall, the slope of that backwardation reached its maximum negative slope (see Figure 1). On November 1, 2019, the price for calendar year 2021 was trading at approximately $44/MWh, while 2028 was trading below $24/MWh. The $20/MWh discount from 2021 to 2028 produced a significant amount of backwardation and a downward sloping forward market for wholesale electricity.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Client Spotlight: 400 Record

By 5 on October 29, 2020

Built in 1985 and originally known as the Belo Building, 400 Record is a 17-story, 235,000 square-foot property in downtown Dallas. Over the last several years, 400 Record has undergone extensive renovations and today is an iconic part of the Dallas skyline. In 2016, the property began a massive renovation that included a redesign of the entire first floor to accommodate a new restaurant, Bullion, which has become one of Dallas’ top restaurants.

Topics: Clients Procurement
3 min read

The Witching Hour For Local Law 33/95 is Here

By 5 on October 29, 2020

October 31st is the deadline for building owners to post their Energy Efficiency Rating Label. This is required for all buildings over 25,000 square feet that are listed on the 2020 Covered Buildings List for benchmarking compliance. In December 2017, the New York City Council passed Local Law 33, which was later amended by Local Law 95 in 2019, requiring building owners to post this label in a conspicuous location near each public entrance. The intent of this law is to provide transparency into a building’s energy usage and efficiency.

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

Get to Know Jefferson Ondze Mangha

By 5 on October 28, 2020

Jefferson grew up in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and followed his father to the United States when he was 12 years old. His father’s job brought him to the Dallas Metroplex, which is where Jefferson has called home for the last eleven years. Jefferson received a Bachelor’s in Communication Technology from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he is currently studying to receive two additional degrees, an MBA in Business Administration and Management and a Master’s of Science in Information Systems.

Topics: People
1 min read

5 Repeats on the Dallas 100

By 5 on October 27, 2020

Irving, TX - October 27, 2020

For the second consecutive year, 5 has been named to the coveted list of Dallas 100 companies. The Dallas 100 competition annually gauges the ascension of privately held companies in Dallas and surrounding cities. 

Topics: Press
8 min read

October 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on October 21, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2020. This letter focuses on the upcoming Presidential election, the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and the potential impact of these events on energy policy. The election and a changing court will impact how energy policy is regulated both at the Federal and the state level. Notwithstanding the perceived impact of these changes in Washington, we caution against putting too much weight on political and judicial changes. In short, it is often the case that when it comes to energy policy, economics, not politics, often prevails.

Topics: Sustainability Newsletters Education Renewables Resiliency
4 min read

How Today’s Hurricanes Impact Natural Gas Prices

By 5 on September 24, 2020

Once upon a time, major hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico had the potential to wreak havoc on natural gas markets and send prices soaring to levels that are 4X what they are today. Late last month, as Hurricane Laura was heading toward major gas production centers, many were asking if gas prices would turn bullish and increase because of the impact to natural gas supplies. If this were 2005, the answer would have been a definitive “yes.” But today, the correlation of natural gas prices and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico is not what it was fifteen or even ten years ago. There are several reasons for this change.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Where Gas Goes, Electricity Will Follow

By 5 on September 24, 2020

In many electricity markets, natural gas is often the marginal fuel. This means that gas is the fuel that is used to generate the next additional amount of electricity that is required to ensure that there is enough electricity supply to meet the grid’s demand. Over the last ten years, the amount of natural gas generation in PJM has increased from 25% to nearly 40% of the fuel mix. It should be no surprise that the rise and fall of electricity prices throughout PJM is highly correlated to natural gas price movements.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

A Good Time To Buy In NY

By 5 on September 24, 2020

Lately, the bulls have been running in NYC’s electricity market but there has also been a consolidation in forward prices. Figure 1 shows calendar year strips for wholesale electricity in New York City for 2021 through 2024. Wholesale prices in all calendar years hit their all-time lows in late March/early April, shown in the red oval, and have rallied over the last 6 months. Also note that over the last two years, near-term prices have always been less expensive that longer-term prices. This can be seen in the figure below as calendars 2021 and 2022 (blue and black lines) have consistently been less than 2023 and 2024 (green and yellow lines). This is referred to as a contango market, where prices get more expensive into the future.

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

Texas, Would You Like Some More Renewables?

By 5 on September 24, 2020

Over the last few months, we have described Texas' increased reliance on wind generation to help meet peak demand requirements for electricity. Over the summer, the rolling black-outs in California were heavily covered in the news with many asking how a state known for its technological advancements with the most solar power has become vulnerable to insufficient power supplies.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

Our Secret Performance Tool: Team-Based Coaching

By Jeff Schiefelbein on September 23, 2020

Have you ever heard a friend or co-worker say that their annual performance review helped them to modify existing behaviors and transformed their performance going forward? Of course not. I believe that most annual performance reviews are designed to simplify a manager’s decisions concerning pay raises and bonuses while reducing an employee’s entire contribution down to a series of numbers and canned summary statements. It is disheartening to see the lack of effort that is put into the individual growth and development of our most important assets.

Topics: Culture
1 min read

Client Spotlight: CitySquare

By 5 on September 23, 2020

More than 300,000 people live in poverty throughout the Dallas metroplex and CitySquare aims to change that. CitySquare is a non-profit that fights the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy, and friendship. Today, the organization’s services include a comprehensive array of social services that address four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope.

Topics: Clients Procurement
2 min read

Get To Know Kelly Hopkins Dodd

By 5 on September 23, 2020

Some of the best personal decisions are often made at family gatherings over a glass of wine. About 5 years ago, Kelly Dodd was having a conversation with 5’s head of operations, Cady Thomas, at a Thanksgiving dinner. Cady, who is related to Kelly by marriage, knew that Kelly had experience in sales and told her that 5 was expanding its team in Texas. And after a series of interviews and a lot of soul searching, Kelly decided to make a career change into the energy industry and move from Colorado to Dallas.

Topics: People
1 min read

Fall 2020 Energy Market Webinar

By 5 on September 23, 2020

Join us for the energy market insights you need to know for your business. 5's Lead Energy Analyst, Eric Bratcher, provides a detailed look into each energy market during three regional webinars.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT Education
2 min read

Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions During Lockdown

By 5 on September 10, 2020

COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways. At 5, we transitioned to remote working on March 16th as lockdowns were imposed in the states where we live. One positive that came from this transition is that fewer cars are on the road. The result is a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The 5 Planeteers, our internal sustainability team, wanted to highlight the environmental impacts of this reduction and calculated the overall carbon emissions that our team has saved by telecommuting since mid-March.

Topics: Sustainability Education
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, September 1, 2020

By 5 on September 1, 2020

Temperatures and humidity remain elevated all across Texas, which will increase electricity demand into the late afternoon. The peak demand forecast today is 70,397 MWs, which is expected to occur at 5:00 PM CST.  This would set the all-time record peak for September and exceed the previous high of 69,187 MWs, which was set last year. With cold fronts in the long-term forecast (woohoo!), this may be one of the hottest days of the month.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for PJM, August 27, 2020

By 5 on August 27, 2020

PJM has issued another hot weather alert today across the region. Temperatures are likely to exceed 90°F with high humidity causing a steady rise in electricity demand. The five Coincident Peak (CP) demand days for 2020 in PJM are shown below in Figure 1. There is a strong risk that a new CP is set this afternoon as forecasters expect that today’s load will surpass 144,000 MWs by 5:00 PM EST.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the largest seminaries in the world. It was founded in 1908 in Waco, Texas, and moved to Fort Worth in 1910. The Seminary is a non-profit institution that is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. Today, the Seminary educates over 3,000 students from across the United States and 45 countries throughout the world, offering bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in a variety of biblical, theological, and pastoral disciplines.

Topics: Clients Procurement Resiliency
3 min read

Natural Gas Tea Leaves

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Tasseography is a fancy word for fortune-telling by reading tea leaves. Humans often search for patterns in hopes of predicting the future just as we do with financial markets. While serious investors would never resort to reading tea leaves, technical traders and fundamental analysts look for patterns and trends to better understand and anticipate market movement.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Impacts of Wind

By 5 on August 27, 2020

The last 30 days have shown how the stability of the power grid in Texas is influenced by the wind. In late July, Hurricane Hanna came onshore near Kenedy County as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of around 90 mph. Its destructive force was felt as it moved across the Rio Grande Valley, causing local structural damage and outages from downed trees and powerlines. Specifically, there was significant damage to a two-mile stretch of 138,000-volt transmission line in Edinburg, just south of the 712-megawatt Magic Valley Generation Station.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Why the Name 5

By Jeff Schiefelbein on August 27, 2020

We spend most of our lives in classes, sports and jobs that reinforce the need to look good and to be right, often at the expense of others. Many of our relationships become a zero-sum game; for me to win then someone else must lose. Organizations can be very successful while the individual team members operate with this mentality of “I’m right and you’re wrong." But there is a better way to build a company culture that acknowledges the dignity and contribution of every team member while also winning on the scoreboard of business through growth, innovation, and profit.

Topics: Culture
3 min read

Fixed Price Buyers Beware…

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Over the last month, near-term electricity prices in New York have risen while longer-term prices have fallen. Figure 1 shows how the price of a one-year strip of electricity has traded since January 2019 for calendar years 2021 through 2025 in New York City.  Note how prices in the near-term, 2021 (blue line) and 2022 (black line), have been rising over the last several weeks after hitting lows earlier this year in April and July.  Longer term prices for calendar years 2024 (yellow line) and 2025 (red line) have been falling since the middle of July.  It is important to note, however, that despite these recent market movements, overall prices across all calendar years are trading at or near their 4-year lows.   

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

No News is Good News

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Sometimes, no news is good news. Figure 1 shows how calendar year wholesale electricity has traded for 2021 through 2024 in the eastern part of PJM over the last two years. And while this chart seems to show a significant amount of volatility, consider the scale of the y-axis when assessing market movements.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

How Not to Buy in PJM and NYISO

By 5 on August 27, 2020

The coronavirus has not only significantly reduced electricity usage and peak demand across the NYISO and PJM regions, it has also dramatically changed how retail electricity suppliers approach fixed price electricity offers to clients. In order for suppliers to generate fixed price offers, they first gather and review the previous 12 months of historic usage data, including the volume of electricity consumed (MWhs) and the peak demand (MWs).

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO
3 min read

Hurricane Laura: How to Report a Possible Power Outage

By 5 on August 26, 2020

It’s late August, that means hurricane season is in full swing and our team is closely monitoring the weather in the Gulf of Mexico this week. Hurricane Marco dissipated Monday night as strong upper-level winds stymied its development. Hurricane Laura, however, is a different story. As of 2:00 pm CST on Wednesday, August 26th, Laura is bearing down on east Texas and Louisiana and is currently forecasted to come ashore Wednesday night/Thursday morning as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds over 140 mph. While it appears the Houston metro area will, for the most part, dodge this bullet, thunderstorms and 20+ mph winds will likely pass through the region over the next 24 hours. Right now, the greater threat is for residents in east Texas as the storm moves north along the Sabine River into heavily wooded areas. The current trajectory puts folks in the CenterPoint, TNMP, and Oncor service territories right in the path of this major storm, which has the potential to cause widespread, sustained power outages if trees and power lines are damaged. We’re writing to provide resources for those in the path of Hurricane Laura if there are power outages.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Klein Tools

By 5 on August 26, 2020

Klein Tools, founded 160 years ago by a German immigrant, Mathias Klein, continues to be led by his family, six generations later. The Klein family takes great pride in carrying on Mathias' legacy of creating and manufacturing the highest quality tools and related products. Klein Tools is headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL and has offices, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities throughout the country. Klein Tools are so well known and respected among professionals in the electrical industry that a Lineman’s pliers are often referred to as “Kleins.”

Topics: Clients Procurement Demand Response
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for PJM, August 25 - 27, 2020

By 5 on August 25, 2020

Today (8/25) and Thursday (8/27) temperatures are expected to exceed 90° throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. There is a risk that a new Coincident Peak (CP) is set sometime this week. To do this, the electricity demand in PJM will need to exceed 141,865 MWs. Forecasters expect that today’s load will peak at 143,832 MWs by 5:00 pm. And on Thursday afternoon, the system-wide electric load could set the new peak demand day for 2020.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

Informe Del Mercado Eléctrico: México Verano 2020

By 5 (Mexico) on August 24, 2020

ACTUALIZACIONES DEL MERCADO

Topics: Markets Mexico
1 min read

Former Hudson Energy President Joins 5’s Executive Team

By 5 on August 24, 2020

Irving, TX - August 24, 2020

Accomplished industry executive and veteran sales leader Jeff Shoaf has joined the North American energy advisory firm 5. As a Vice President at 5, Shoaf will leverage his vast leadership experience with the industry’s top suppliers and brokers, including his most recent role as President of Hudson Energy.

Topics: People Press
2 min read

5 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

By 5 on August 18, 2020

Even though we are spending more time at home these days, which means less commuting and less pollution, each of us continues to leave an environmental footprint. Consider these 5 steps you can take to reduce your environmental footprint today:

Topics: Sustainability Education
2 min read

Catherine Luthin to Serve on NYPSC Strategic Advisory Group

By 5 on August 14, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - August 14, 2020

Catherine Luthin, President of Luthin Associates, has been selected to serve on a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) as part of the New York State Public Service Commission’s (NYPSC) Energy Efficiency & Building Electrification Performance Management and Improvement Process Plan (PM&IP Plan). The SAG members include a broad cross-section of knowledgeable representatives from critical customer and market groups and leading solution providers. Peggie Neville, Deputy Directory of Efficiency & Innovation at the NYPSC, will service as Chair of the SAG.

Topics: People Press
3 min read

On-Going Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, for August 14, 2020

By 5 on August 14, 2020

One final ERCOT 4CP update for the week (and probably for the month as well).

Each day this week, a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August was established! This speaks to the strength of this heat wave and how it’s increasing intensity throughout the week. Without a lot of rain, there has been nothing to moderate the heat over the last few days, and it’s not over yet.

The high temperature in DFW is 106° today, and the heat index in Houston (which also accounts for the humidity) will approach a lovely 110° this afternoon. Many energy managers and load forecasters alike are worn out but today is yet another high risk day for setting a new August CP. Fridays are rare 4CP days, but today is one of those tricky situations where the CP for the month may be set if enough energy managers elect not to curtail their electric load. This heat wave is locked in place and it will not budge until Sunday or Monday when a weak front moves through North Texas. One of our forecasting services assigns an 81% probability of setting the August CP this afternoon.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Update: Hurricane Hanna Causes Spike in Hub-to-Load-Zone Costs in the Valley

By 5 on August 13, 2020

Update:

Last week, we reported that there was significant damage to one of AEP’s 138 kV transmission lines in the wake of Hurricane Hanna. The damage to this transmission line significantly increased nodal congestion charges across ERCOT’s South Load Zone. This week, AEP repaired this transmission line. The blue colors in Figure 1 below show that nodal congestion costs in the Valley have significantly decreased since last week. This is good news, especially given the extreme demands placed on the grid from triple digit temperatures this week.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

On-Going Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, for August 12-14, 2020

By 5 on August 12, 2020

The heat is definitely on in Texas this week. Yesterday set a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August at 72,200 MW. It is highly likely that we will break that record this afternoon, as load has already surpassed 72,900 MW. ERCOT is forecasting today’s peak demand to be 74,900 MW as shown in Figure 1. This would be a new all-time high for ERCOT. Even though today will likely set the CP for August, Thursday and Friday’s temperature forecast has risen 2 degrees since the beginning of the week. On both days, temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees and a new CP could be set on either day.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

For the 5th Consecutive Year, 5 Appears on the INC. 5000

By 5 on August 12, 2020

Irving, TX - August 12, 2020

Inc. magazine today revealed that 5 is No. 1787 on its annual Inc. 5000 list. This is the fifth consecutive year that 5 has appeared on this prestigious list ranking the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.

Topics: Culture Press
1 min read

Coincident Peak Update Alert for ERCOT, for August 10-14, 2020

By 5 on August 11, 2020

Calling the August Coincident Peak (CP) this week is like trying to predict whether or not we’ll have any college football this year 😟

Indeed, we set a new monthly peak yesterday at 71,600 MW, but today’s load is forecast to exceed that at 73,068 MW. We haven’t seen data yet on how much load was curtailed yesterday chasing the CP but, if history is any guide, it was probably several hundred megawatts – not enough to make up the 1,200 MW difference between yesterday’s peak and today’s forecasted peak.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, August 10-14, 2020

By 5 on August 10, 2020

Current electric load in ERCOT is exceeding what was initially forecast. The current system demand (green line), today’s forecast (blue line) and yesterday’s forecast (red line) are shown in Figure 1. There is a high risk that today’s system load will set the Coincident Peak (CP) for August.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for NYISO and PJM, August 10, 2020

By 5 on August 10, 2020

PJM:

Temperatures throughout the northeastern U.S. are expected to approach or exceed 90°F this afternoon, driving electric demand close to 2020 summer highs.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO
2 min read

The Clock is Ticking for Local Law 33/95

By 5 on July 30, 2020

New York City’s Local Law 33/95 will require building owners to post their Energy Efficiency Rating Label in the next 90 days. In December 2017, the New York City Council passed Local Law 33/95, requiring building owners to post this label in a conspicuous location near each public entrance. This is required for all buildings over 25,000 square feet that are listed on the 2020 Covered Buildings List for benchmarking compliance. The intent of this law is to provide transparency into a building’s energy usage and efficiency.

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

The Good News Bears vs. The Bad News Bulls

By 5 on July 30, 2020

The past 12 months have been a wild ride for natural gas producers. Going into last winter, storage was near the 5-year average. And while prices were not great, they were at least near most producer’s costs and most natural gas producers were focused on how to continue to increase production. Recently, those ideas have dramatically changed. A mild winter put significant downward pressure on prices as production was strong, demand was moderate and storage inventory levels were high.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

PJM East and West United in Historic Lows

By 5 on July 30, 2020

One might expect significant variations in price movements in an electricity market that spans half the continental United States, from Chicago to New Jersey. However, there is a remarkable degree of consistency in spot (index) prices and in the forward electricity curves across the PJM Interconnection (PJM). 

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

A Cool July and a Great Time to Buy

By 5 on July 30, 2020

A few weeks ago, on July 4th weekend, it was close to 100º in many places across Texas. Some were concerned about how hot it might get as we approached the dreaded last two weeks of July and first two weeks of August. As it turns out, the summer of 2020 has been mild, and the weather has actually been quite nice!

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Cedar Crest Buddies

By 5 on July 30, 2020

Social distancing and reduced amounts of human contact and connection have taken an emotional toll on countless people across the globe. This is especially true for senior citizens who are among the more vulnerable community members to coronavirus. In the spring, many of the 1,500+ residents of Cedar Crest, a senior living community in New Jersey, were unable to leave their apartments and had meals delivered to their door three times per week.  These circumstances have had a significant effect on the well-being of the residents.

Topics: Culture
1 min read

The Kids Table with Amelia Moore

By 5 on July 29, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced Amelia Moore, who was finishing her master’s degree in Art Therapy at the Pratt Institute, to pause the in-person practical components of her program. Like many other students, she was forced to leave school and return home. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing prompted her to wonder how parents and kids were holding up in this new world. Quickly Amelia noticed that her father, 5’s Chief Strategy Officer and one of our Founding 5ers, was able to conduct most of his business remotely using Zoom.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for NYISO and PJM, July 27-31, 2020

By 5 on July 27, 2020

NYISO:

Temperatures in New York City are expected to remain in the mid-90s throughout Monday. Even though precipitation is likely in the 7-10 day range, it is expected that Monday (7/27) will approach the year-to-date system peak of 29,979 MW which was set last Monday (7/20).

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO
1 min read

Get to Know Caroline Duncan

By 5 on July 27, 2020

Caroline Duncan started her career at 5 as a college summer intern in May of 2013. At first, she thought her internship might involve some filing, making copies and helping with ordinary office-related tasks. However, after two weeks she was on the front lines answering phones, processing price requests and interacting with 5’s energy advisors and supply partners. Many would have crumbled under the pressure and non-stop demands of serving both internal and external customers, but Caroline rose to the occasion and handled her work with great composure and an amazing attitude. Caroline became such a pivotal part of 5 that her supervisor promised to name her next child after her if Caroline promised to come back to 5 after she graduated from college. Caroline Duncan became a full-time employee in May 2014 and Caroline Thomas, her supervisor’s daughter, was born shortly thereafter.

Topics: People
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Cleveland Institute of Music

By 5 on July 24, 2020

The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) is one of just seven independent conservatories of music in the United States and one of three exclusively devoted to classical music. CIM students benefit from intensive study with CIM’s stellar faculty, access to world-renowned visiting artists and conductors, and the rich curriculum offered by CIM’s partner Case Western Reserve University. CIM’s graduates command the most celebrated and revered stages in the world as soloists, chamber musicians and ensemble members; compose award-winning repertoire; and are sought-after teaching artists, administrators and thought leaders within the world of classical music.

Topics: Clients Procurement
3 min read

TCAP's Strategic Hedging Program: A Bad Deal for Cities

By 5 on July 22, 2020

While aggregation programs like The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) made sense for some cities in the early days of deregulation, these purchasing groups have not been producing the best results for cities for a long time. Cities are now being courted by TCAP to participate in a strategic hedging program that lacks clarity and competition while ultimately removing a city’s ability to reduce and control many aspects of their energy spend.

Topics: Markets ERCOT Education
2 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, NYISO and PJM, July 20 - 24, 2020

By 5 on July 20, 2020

High pressure system has settled over the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic that will keep temperature elevated today and tomorrow. These high temperatures will result in PJM and NYISO electric grids being pushed to the max. In NYISO, peak load of more than 29,933 MW is expected beginning 4:00 PM today. Between 3-5 PM, load is forecast at or above 29,700 MW, vs the current 2020 peak of 28,867 MW.

It’s important to note that load this morning is coming in ~600 MW higher than yesterday’s projections, which reflects how warm it is in the New York region today. Temperatures in New York City are expected to exceed 95 degrees. 

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT
7 min read

July 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on July 13, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the second quarter of 2020. This letter updates our analysis of COVID-19 and its impact on energy demand. It also discusses the pandemic’s impact on state renewable goals, and how FERC’s position on several important energy policy decisions could shift depending on which party wins the 2020 presidential election.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for NYISO, PJM, and ERCOT, July 2 - 13, 2020

By 5 on July 2, 2020

It appears the fireworks have come early this year as several markets are facing medium to high threats for Coincident Peaks (“CPs”) today and into the early part of next week.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT
1 min read

Catherine Luthin to Serve on NYC's LL97 Energy Grid Working Group

By 5 on July 2, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - July 2, 2020

Catherine Luthin, President of Luthin Associates, has been appointed to serve on a working group that will advise the City of New York on the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). LL97 is the centerpiece of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act which seeks to limit carbon emissions from existing buildings. This legislation impacts over 57,000 buildings across the city with the goal of reducing building-based carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 using 2005 and the baseline year. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Green New Deal, the passage of LL97 is an unprecedented commitment to increase the sustainability of buildings in New York City.

Topics: People Press
1 min read

Rakesh Parasuraman to Serve on NYC’s LL97 Commercial Building Working Group

By 5 on July 2, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - July 2, 2020

Rakesh Parasuraman, Vice President of Luthin Associates, has been appointed to serve on a working group that will advise the City of New York on the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). LL97 is the centerpiece of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act which seeks to limit carbon emissions from existing buildings. This legislation impacts over 57,000 buildings across the city with the goal of reducing building-based carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 using 2005 as the baseline year. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Green New Deal, the passage of LL97 is an unprecedented commitment to increase the sustainability of buildings in New York City.

Topics: People Press
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert, PJM and ERCOT, June 29 – July 3, 2020

By 5 on June 29, 2020

With temperatures climbing nationwide, we are predicting some Coincident Peak (“CP”) alert activity this week. For clients looking to save on next year’s Transmission costs and Capacity costs (PJM market only), it will be important to monitor the situation (especially real-time weather conditions) and reduce energy consumption in the late afternoon hours, to the extent possible.

Topics: Markets PJM ERCOT
2 min read

A Crude Awakening Pushes Down Gas Prices

By 5 on June 24, 2020

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and many in the energy industry were predicting a significant decrease in natural gas production through the rest of this year and into the first quarter of 2021. Some of this forecasted production decline was due to very low spot and short-term market prices for natural gas. Another significant driver of this expectation was the anticipated decline in gas coming from large crude oil reserves, such as the Permian Basin. However, the recent recovery of crude oil prices has changed this outlook.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Current Capacity and Alternative Product Structures

By 5 on June 24, 2020

A fixed price electricity contract is the most common product selected by commercial clients throughout the deregulated markets in the US. And while the cost of the energy (the electrons moving through the wires) is the often the largest and most volatile part of a retail electricity price, there are several other electricity cost components that are built into that retail price.

Topics: Markets NYISO Education
2 min read

Demand Destruction in PJM

By 5 on June 24, 2020

PJM released its initial report on electric load reduction as a result of COVID-19. Figure 1 shows the decrease in peak demand (blue bar) and overall electricity usage (green bar) through the middle of May, with weekends shaded in gray. On average, the weekday peak demand (in kW or MW) fell between 6.5% to 15.2%. Overall energy usage (in kWh or MWh) was not as significantly affected and was down by approximately 8% since March 24th. Not surprisingly, the weekends experienced the smallest reduction to demand and consumption.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

TRECs Rescue NJ Solar From Extinction

By 5 on June 24, 2020

In 2018, the State of New Jersey passed The Clean Energy Act which requires that 100% of the electricity in the state come from renewable power sources by 2050. For over 15 years, New Jersey has had a vibrant solar power market with structures and incentives that expanded the amount of solar output from 4.3 MWs in 2004 to 2,908 MWs in 2019. 

Topics: Markets PJM Education Renewables
2 min read

Client Spotlight: DiBella's Subs

By 5 on June 24, 2020

DiBella’s Subs started over a century ago as a little corner grocery store in Rochester, NY. The business evolved into an Italian import store and delicatessen and eventually decided to focus on perfecting the time-honored baking techniques that would produce the classic sandwich roll for which they are famous. Today, that small, family-run business has 44 stores in five states, and is known for its quality, exceptional service, and fresh baked bread. In fact, DiBella’s mantra is, “It’s all about the bread.” They believe that every time they build a sandwich, they build a relationship. This has created a dedicated customer base, where first-time visitors are changed into life-long fans.

Topics: Clients Procurement
1 min read

Let There Be Light

By 5 on June 23, 2020

Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) is a non-profit organization based in Buffalo, New York, whose mission is to bring solar power to people and communities without access to an electricity grid. 

Topics: Culture
2 min read

The Peak Predicting Predicament

By 5 on June 22, 2020

Summer has arrived in Texas and electricity customers with a meter whose demand is greater than 700 kW should be paying attention to ERCOT’s peak day/hour forecasts. Taking steps now to reduce power usage during hours of the day when the electricity grid is at its peak will reduce delivery charges in 2021.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

5 Named Among the Top 10 Best Companies to Work for in Texas for the Fifth Consecutive Year

By 5 on June 19, 2020

Irving, TX - June 19, 2020

For the fifth consecutive year, energy advisory firm 5 was named as one of the top 10 Best Companies to Work for in Texas, having placed third on this year’s list. The award was created in 2006 and is a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group.  The list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas and how they rank was revealed at the Texas Association of Business (TAB) Best Companies to Work for in Texas Virtual Gala on June 18, 2020.

Topics: Culture Press
2 min read

5 Secrets That Drive Our Thriving Culture

By Jeff Schiefelbein on June 18, 2020

We are honored that 5 has once again been named as a “Best Workplaces in Texas” by Texas Monthly magazine. This is the 5th consecutive year that we have been named in the TOP 10 Best Workplaces in Texas and we are proud that our company culture continues to impact our many stakeholders, including our employees, clients and suppliers.

Topics: Culture Education
3 min read

Crude is Up and Gas is Down (A Little)

By 5 on May 28, 2020

Last month, we reported that while short-term crude prices were near 20-year lows, natural gas futures prices for the year 2021 were reaching 24-month highs. The rally in natural gas prices in 2021 was primarily driven by the fear that a slowdown in crude oil production from reserves, such as the Permian Basin, would produce less natural gas, which is a by-product of the crude oil extraction process. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
6 min read

May 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on May 28, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our first market letter for 2020. Since the spread of COVID-19, our primary concerns have been the safety of our team and supporting our clients. I want to give special thanks to our technology team and its leader, Matt Shaw. Matt planned and executed our multi-year effort to develop an industry leading technology solution, Level5. While we did not build this system with a pandemic in mind, it has allowed us to support clients without interruption during these difficult months. Not surprisingly, this market letter is focused on COVID-19 and its broad and evolving impact on the energy market.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

McLean Packaging Commits to Completely Renewable Energy

By 5 on May 28, 2020

Moorestown, NJ - May 28, 2020

McLean Packaging, a turnkey provider of rigid set boxes, folding cartons, corrugated displays and thermoformed packaging solutions with emphasis on the beauty and personal care sectors, has contracted with national energy advisory firm 5 and ENGIE Resources, LLC on a five-year energy agreement that supports the development of renewables. The deal supports McLean’s zero carbon transition and sustainability goals which include sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable resources.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Press Renewables
3 min read

Lowest Spot Power Prices in a Decade in NYC

By 5 on May 27, 2020

May 2020 it is likely to be the 5th month in a row where Real-Time LMP (spot) prices in New York City (NYISO Zone J) have settled at their lowest levels in ten years. Figure 1 shows the monthly settlement price in Zone J from 2011 to 2020. Note that the first five months of 2020, shown in the dark green line, are less than all other monthly settlement prices. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

SARA Thinks There is Enough Power This Summer

By 5 on May 27, 2020

According to a recent report, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expects that there will be enough generating capacity to meet periods of peak electricity demand this summer in Texas. Two weeks ago, ERCOT released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming summer (June to September) season. This report forecasts the peak electricity demand on the grid and compares that with the amount of electricity that can be produced by generating assets across the state. The difference between the forecasted amounts of supply and demand is called the reserve margin. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

5 Named Best Workplace in America Four Years in a Row

By 5 on May 27, 2020

This month our team is celebrating our 4th consecutive appearance on Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces in America list. From our humble beginnings over 8 years ago, we have been intentional about building our culture with the fundamental belief that our company should create a positive outcome for our clients, employees, suppliers, vendors and the environment.  One of the ways we have done this is through our involvement as a stakeholder in a movement called Conscious Capitalism, which seeks to elevate humanity through business.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

New Jersey's Fight with FERC and PJM

By 5 on May 27, 2020

The State of New Jersey has been at the forefront of an ongoing conflict between a state’s right to establish its own clean energy goals and its participation in a regional competitive electricity marketplace. New Jersey belongs to the PJM Interconnection (PJM), which spans all, or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia as shown below in Figure 1. New Jersey and many other states want to adopt their own clean energy standards. However, grid operators, such as PJM, are finding it nearly impossible to create a competitive marketplace with consistent rules among states that have very different renewable power goals and carbon emission standards.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Carlton Towers Honors First Responders

By 5 on May 27, 2020

One of 5's long-time clients, Carlton Towers in Passaic, New Jersey, encouraged their residents to gather on their balconies to thank first responders and front-line healthcare workers.  One glance at the smiles, flags, heartfelt messages, and united praise for all the brave men and women risking their lives made us feel hopeful and grateful. We think it will do the same for you. Check out the video below to see how this community showed their appreciation for local healthcare heroes. Click here to read the article. 

Topics: Clients Culture
1 min read

Spotlight – Construction Services Improves Profitability for Restaurant Chain

By 5 on May 5, 2020

After an exhaustive review process, one of the nation’s fastest-growing quick-serve restaurant chains selected 5 to serve as their comprehensive advisor for everything energy-related. In addition to 5’s initial analysis of usage data and subsequent electricity procurement process, the client also voiced concerns related to their new construction utility process and the financial impact of delayed store openings.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Resiliency
2 min read

Informe Del Mercado Eléctrico: México Primavera 2020

By 5 (Mexico) on April 29, 2020

ACTUALIZACIONES DEL MERCADO

Topics: Markets Mexico
4 min read

Gas and Power Prices Rally While West Texas Congestion Pricing Drops

By 5 on April 23, 2020

The biggest story in Texas’ energy markets has been the collapse of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices. The price for the WTI May contract had its largest single-day decrease on Monday, April 20th. It was also the first time in history that the price of crude was negative and closed below zero at the end of the trading day. There was a slight recovery the following day as the price rose above zero and settled at $10.01 per barrel on Tuesday.  In addition to having a massive impact on Texas’ economy, this unprecedented drop in the price of WTI crude is also having a significant impact on natural gas prices. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Weekly Art Class for the Kids

By 5 on April 23, 2020

Are you looking for a fun, creative way to entertain your homebound children?  Could you use an hour-long break on a Friday where someone else plans the activities for your kids?

Topics: Culture

Top 5 Energy Management Tips During an Operational Slowdown

By 5 on April 22, 2020


  1. Minimize outdoor air intake, particularly as outdoor air temperatures and relative humidity levels rise.
  2. Evaluate your building automation system setback controls to ensure proper operation of HVAC, lighting and other equipment.
  3. Consider temporary seals for leaking dock doors or other leak-prone building envelope openings.
  4. Consider shutting down exhaust fans, air compressors, pumps, refrigerators, freezers or other kitchen and process equipment that is not in use.
  5. Evaluate parking lot and parking garage lights to identify any that can be shut down while unoccupied.
Topics: Education
3 min read

Why is Natural Gas not Following Crude Oil into the Basement?

By 5 on April 22, 2020

The market price for oil has been consistently bearish since global oil demand destruction conversations began in early March.  On Monday, April 20th, that outlook manifested itself into a day that oil traders will never forget. Crude oil opened trading on Sunday evening at approximately $17 per barrel and by mid-morning, it had dropped to $10 per barrel. By mid-day, it was trading just above zero, and then it broke through into negative territory in the afternoon.  Crude oil settled for the day at -$37.63, up just a few dollars from the daily low of -$40.32 per barrel.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
4 min read

Good News and Bad News for New York Electricity Clients

By 5 on April 22, 2020

There is often both good and bad news anytime commodity markets are volatile.

The bad news:

Earlier this month, the NYISO  (the entity in charge of economically maintaining the electricity system in New York) completed the first two of three capacity auctions that ultimately set the price paid for capacity in the coming summer months (May – Oct 2020).  Many were anticipating higher summer capacity prices (especially in New York City) from this month’s auction given how high forward capacity prices have been.  Historical capacity prices for New York City and the rest of New York State are shown in Figure 1. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

FERC Upholds December’s MOPR Decision for PJM

By 5 on April 22, 2020

Unlike ERCOT, which relies solely on the price of energy to ensure sufficient supply, the PJM market, ISO-NE, and the NYISO all rely on capacity payments to ensure that there is enough electricity generation available to meet demand. Like wholesale energy prices, capacity prices in PJM are set through an annual auction. Generating units that clear this annual capacity auction are guaranteed a fixed revenue stream in exchange for the guarantee of their availability to run if called upon. This revenue is designed to ensure that an appropriate amount of generation is available at times of peak energy demand.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Senior Energy Analyst, Brendan Boyle, Joins 5/Luthin Associates

By 5 on April 20, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - April 20, 2020

Brendan Boyle has joined the national energy advisory firm 5 as a Senior Analyst for the company’s New York/Tri-State brand, Luthin Associates.Boyle brings his broad knowledge in the industry having extensive experience working at some of the largest energy brokers and suppliers for the past 14 years.

Topics: People Press
3 min read

Billingsley Company Partners with 5 and TXU Energy on Renewable Energy Strategy

By 5 on April 3, 2020

Dallas, TX - April 4, 2020

As an industry leader in real estate development and property management, Billingsley Company has a robust and diverse portfolio throughout Texas. Now, with the help of energy advisory company 5, and TXU Energy, the firm has landed a deal of a different kind: a long-term energy contract utilizing 100% renewable energy sources that will yield significant cost reductions.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Press Renewables
1 min read

Spotlight - Whole Health Energy Plan Implemented for Major NYC Medical Center

By 5 on March 31, 2020

In late 2018, a world-class academic medical center in NYC engaged Luthin Associates, 5’s regional brand in the tri-state area, to process Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) refunds. This hospital group has already come to expect excellence when working with our team through various programs and projects that we were doing on an ala carte basis. After only a few years of the GRT program, the hospital system had already realized over $700,000 in refunds.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement Sustainability Resiliency
3 min read

Video Chatting: The Secret Sauce to Staying Connected

By 5 on March 19, 2020

One of the key ingredients to 5’s award-winning culture has been our team’s complete adoption and integration of the video conferencing platform Zoom.   Considering the current need to stay connected with co-workers, clients and vendors while working remote, we wanted to share our top 5 tips for video chatting at work.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Energy Contracts and Coronavirus

By 5 on March 19, 2020

In light of the impact of the Coronavirus on business operations, we are sharing information about Coronavirus and Contract Disputes circulated by the law firm Sidley & Austin.  It provides a high-level summary of the force majeure issues raised by the spread of this illness.  If your electricity and/or natural gas usage has or will be significantly affected by the spread of the Coronavirus, you should seek legal advice to determine if it is appropriate to provide a force majeure notice to your energy supplier.  As discussed in the document, the relevant electricity or natural gas contract provision may require “prompt” notice of the force majeure event.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT Education
5 min read

Get to Know Eric Bratcher

By 5 on March 19, 2020

5’s Senior Zoltar, Eric Bratcher, sits down with the 5 by 5 Editor-in-Chief, Steve Kass.

SK: Did you always want to be a Zoltar?If not, what did your career path initially look like?

EB: No. In fact, when I started college at Texas A&M, my plan was to be an Air Force pilot.I joined the ROTC as a freshman, lived in Corps dorms and joined the Civil Air Patrol.  I learned to fly Cessna aircraft but soon realized that the altitude and pressure changes were giving me headaches.  And to be honest, flying wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.  I stayed with ROTC through my senior year, but by the end of my sophomore year at A&M, I realized that there were probably better ways for me personally to make a living.

Topics: People
3 min read

Capacity is Up and Power is Down

By 5 on March 19, 2020

Over the past month, there have been a few regulatory developments that will affect generators, their amount of generating capacity and the cost of that capacity throughout New York State.  Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued several rulings related to the ways subsidized renewable generating assets will be able to participate in future NYISO capacity auctions.  These rulings place limits on the way generation from subsidized assets, such as wind farms, solar arrays and battery storage resources, can take part in New York’s capacity auction process.  Furthermore, New York State placed additional emissions restrictions on natural gas and oil-fired assets that run during periods of peak electricity demand on the grid.                

Topics: Markets NYISO Resiliency
2 min read

Capacity Auction Plan Announced

By 5 on March 19, 2020

This week PJM proposed a plan and schedule to resume its suspended capacity auctions.  If everything goes as planned, the next PJM capacity auction process using the new Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) would begin in March or April 2021.  In order to meet this goal, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must review and approve PJM’s MOPR.  PJM’s last capacity auction was in May 2018.  The plan and proposal to catch up on the backlog of capacity auctions are summarized below and shown in Figure 1.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Saudi Arabia and COVID-19 Pushing Down Gas Prices

By 5 on March 19, 2020

On Sunday, March 8th, the NYMEX natural gas market opened at approximately $1.67/MMBtu. By the early morning hours of Marh 9th, it dropped down to almost $1.60 and ended the day up about 9¢, at $1.78/MMBtu.  On Tuesday, March 10th, natural gas again rallied another 16¢ to close around $1.94/MMBtu.  By Wednesday morning, the rally continued up to about $2.00/MMBtu before news around COVID-19 began to take hold, moving the market down.  These market movements are shown below in Figure 1 (note that the height of the line shows the day’s range between the minimum and maximum trade prices, the height of the bar is that day’s difference between opening and closing prices, and the color of the bar indicates if the day closed up (green) or down (red) compared to the open).

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Good News for Texas Electricity Buyers

By 5 on March 19, 2020

There is good news for Texas electricity buyers.  The falling price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, coupled with the threat of an economic slow-down caused by COVID-19, has put downward pressure on forward power prices for this summer in Texas.

Additionally, ERCOT released the preliminary Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for this coming summer.  This report showed more growth than was originally expected in the amount of generating capacity available to meet this summer’s electricity demands.  The potential drop in forecasted electricity demand for this summer, along with favorable news in the SARA report, has come at a good time for some electricity clients in Texas. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Partners with 5 & TXU Energy

By 5 on March 2, 2020

Fort Worth, TX - March 2, 2020

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has powered its way to energy cost reductions and a cleaner energy future by executing a new 100% renewable electricity agreement with TXU Energy through its partnership with the energy advisory firm 5.

Topics: Clients Procurement Press Renewables
3 min read

Texas Power Prices: 2019 vs 2020

By 5 on February 27, 2020

With 2019 finally behind us, it’s time to reflect on how spot/index prices settled last year in Texas and then examine how those prices are shaping the current forward market.

In 2019, index prices in Texas settled at one of the highest levels over the last 10 years.  Figure 1 shows that only 2011 (the year it snowed during the Super Bowl in Dallas with rolling blackouts and a very hot summer) and 2014 had higher index settlements than last year.  The high index settlement price for 2019 should not be much of a surprise given the index price volatility that was experienced in August and September.  Index prices in August 2019 cleared at the highest average price in the history of Texas’ deregulated electricity market, while index prices in September 2019 were at the 4th highest level in ERCOT’s history.  Most of these high prices came from approximately 6 hours on August 13th  and August 15th and two hours on September 22nd.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Historically Low Hourly Prices in New Jersey

By 5 on February 26, 2020

In New Jersey, similar to neighboring states, larger electricity users (with a peak demand of over 500 kW) are classified as Commercial Industrial Energy Price (CIEP) customers. For these customers, the default utility price is an hourly rate that is an average of hourly prices over the course of a given month. Since these prices change every 15 minutes, there can be a tremendous amount of price risk and volatility with this structure.  However, over the last five years, there has not been a significant amount of hourly price volatility. Figure 1 shows the average monthly real-time (hourly) price in the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) zone for each month of the year beginning in January 2015.  In New Jersey, and throughout the Northeast, the most volatile times of the year are the winter months of December through March. This is reflected in the chart below with price spikes in January 2018, February 2015, March 2015 and December 2017. It is interesting to note that hourly prices for this winter’s months of January and February are at their five-year lows. 

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Higher Power Prices are Coming to NYC

By 5 on February 26, 2020

Wholesale electricity prices in New York have been falling for the past several years.  Figure 1 shows how the price of electricity in New York City, for the period March 2020 to April 2021, has traded over the last six years.  This chart shows that prices have fallen from a high of $80/MWh in the summer of 2014 to current all-time lows of $32.56/MWh.  One might assume that these low wholesale electricity prices would translate into lower retail electricity prices.  Wholesale electricity is only one of several other pricing components that make up a retail electricity price.  After electricity, the next largest price component is Capacity and, unfortunately, Capacity prices have risen dramatically in New York City. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
1 min read

Williams Cancels Constitution Gas Pipeline Project

By 5 on February 26, 2020

Last week, Williams Company and its partners announced that they have cancelled plans for the construction of the Constitution Pipeline.  This new 124-mile natural gas pipeline, shown in Figure 1,  would bring 650 Dth of gas per day from the Marcellus Shale to the Southern Tier of New York State.  While public opposition to this project was strong, recent favorable legal and regulatory developments suggested that the construction of the pipeline would proceed as planned.  However, Williams stated the economics of this project have recently changed in a way that there would not be a strong enough return on the company’s investment.  The unfavorable economics associated with the pipeline project are driven by a bearish natural gas market. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

Get to Know Doris Diaz

By 5 on February 24, 2020

As a high school student, Doris Diaz found that her love of math and her high attention to detail were a perfect fit for a career in accounting. She credits one of her high school teachers with uncovering this passion and ultimately helping her to land an accounting internship even before she started college. Ultimately, Doris graduated from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón with her BS in Accounting.

Topics: People
1 min read

Spring Energy Market Webinar

By 5 on February 24, 2020

We are excited to have you join us for one of our upcoming regional market webinars.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Western Carriers, inc.

By 5 on February 20, 2020

Western Carriers, Inc. is one of the leading warehousing and transportation service providers to wine and spirits importers, wineries, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, and private collectors in North America. The company stores more than 159 million cases in almost 3 million square feet of warehousing space, exclusively dedicated to wine and spirits in New Jersey. 

Topics: Clients Procurement Renewables