By Cameron Mitchell
Solution 105 Consulting Ltd.
“NOT COOLING OFF JUST YET”
As fall kicks into full gear, things ought to be cooling off… and yet energy rates are still incredibly hot. We continue to see amazingly high spot and forward market electricity rates and some retailers have moved their residential offers upwards AGAIN over the last few weeks. Even with those increases, the retail fixed offers available are better than floating. September electricity floating rates settled around 27 cents per kWh! That is a new high, beating out last month by a penny. October and November forward rates suggest those months’ will be coming in at around 20 cents per kWh and 16 cents per kWh, respectively. Balance of 2022 is presently in the 18 cent per kWh range. We highly recommend locking in a fixed electricity rate for your homes if you have not done so already.
The forward market for natural gas is trading a bit lower this month – but the very near term is not so terrible, at around $4.50/GJ and $5.50/GJ for October and November, respectively. Balance of calendar 2022 is trading around $5.30/GJ, and winter looks like it may come in around $6/GJ. This being the case, we recommend locking in a fixed rate for gas. Rates for calendar 2023 are trading around $4.70/GJ and 2024 to 2027 are in the $4.50/GJ range.
Natural Gas Only: The best fixed rate option:
- ATCO Energy has a $5.49 per GJ option on five-year plan. Admin of $6.99 per month. Free termination.
Electricity Only: The best fixed rate option:
- ATCO Energy has an 8.99 cents per kWh option on five-year plan. Admin of $6.99 per month. Free termination.
AT MY HOUSE
I am currently on a three-year renewal offer from ATCO for 5.99 cents per kWh and $3.99/GJ (and an admin fee of $6.99 per meter per month). As there are no better options available at this time, I will stay with ATCO at my house.
If I didn’t have this plan in place, I would go with the five-year ATCO Energy plan for electricity and gas as soon as possible. If rates drop or something better comes along in the future, the contracts can be terminated at no cost.
Short term spot pricing sits in the $4.50/GJ range, with the remainder of 2022 expected to land near $5.30/GJ (with winter rates slightly closer to $6/GJ). With that in mind, we recommend moving to a fixed rate. The ATCO Energy plan at $5.49/GJ is the best option we’ve found.
For October, the Direct Energy Regulated Services (“DERS”) default rate is $4.595/GJ. Approximately $0.11/GJ of this figure is to recoup from previous undercharges. Seems like the regulated gas rate is back on track at last! We expect November will be approximately $5.50/GJ.
As the forward market is suggesting electricity rates will be higher than the current fixed rate retail offers available, we would highly recommend moving to a fixed rate offer if you are not already there.
Forward pricing currently suggests index residential rates will come in around 20 cents per kWh in October and 16 cents per kWh in November. September averaged about 26 cents/kWh on the floating index. At this point, the forward market rates suggest the balance of the 2022 calendar year could average around 18 cents per kWh.
If I were to pick an electricity only option today, I’d go with the five-year term with ATCO Energy at 8.99 cents per kWh.
Just to help put things into perspective, all that we are talking about here is the commodity rates and costs, not the delivery and other regulated charges. An average house might use around 9,000 kWh and 100 GJ over a year.
And for those of you who are not residential users, and may be a bit bigger, give us a call. We are now seeing better pricing for commercial users compared to residential users, and we can help get the lowest rates for your business.