Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ethical Energy, Quinn Energy, & the Freedom of Choice with Aggrgation



Here’s some interesting proof the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standards does not need a fix.  Springfield doesn't need to raise our energy prices by forcing us to pay a premium for wind energy and destroying the freedom of choice we now enjoy with aggregation.  Let me introduce you to Ethical Energy a source of "clean" energy for consumers.   

With aggregation Ameren and ComEd customers have the ability to choose an Alternate Energy Retail Supplier.  Most people and municipalities logically choose an energy supplier who can offer a cheaper price than Ameren or ComEd.  These big corporate energy suppliers don’t sell energy at a higher price because they are ginormous corporations who think they can gouge captive ratepayers.  These traditional energy suppliers are bound to buy wind energy from the Illinois Power Agency.

This wind energy is much higher than the open market price for energy and Ameren and ComEd are forced to pass on the higher cost of wind energy.  Actually, I’m going to start call it Quinn Energy instead of wind energy since it was Governor Quinn who pushed for these higher long term contracts for wind energy. 

So the Illinois Power Agency buys Quinn Energy from wind farms at prices higher than market prices and resells it to ComEd and Ameren.  Alternate Energy Retail Suppliers are not bound to buy high priced Quinn Energy from the Illinois Power Agency.  Wind companies thing this is unfair and want legislatures to force all of us to buy Quinn energy from the Illinois Power Agency.  This will raise energy prices of everyone who are now buying energy through these Alternate Energy Retail Suppliers. 

Now there is Ethical Energy!  If you want the electrons that come into your home to be originated from “clean” wind farms, you can chose Ethical Energy.  They will buy energy for you specifically from local wind farms.  Ethical Energy will seek out those wind farms who were built after the Quinn Energy deals were signed with the Illinois Power Agency.  These wind farms are struggling at current market prices.  (Big Sky Wind Farm in Lee County is going bankrupt) 

With Ethical Energy, you are helping out these wind farms built under Obama Stimulus and received a check from the federal government for up to one third the cost of the wind farm.  While you’re money will in theory go to these poor struggling wind farms, Ethical Energy makes no mention of costs.  Ethical’s website doesn’t really say what your electricity bill will go up or down.   My guess is Ethical’s customers are so passionate about “clean” energy, they won’t care what the energy costs.  Doing the ethical thing doesn’t come without some “sacrifice” or paying more for energy.  So Ethical Energy might and probably does cost more, I like this idea.

As it works now, with aggregation consumers can choose who they want for an energy supplier.  If you want a cheaper energy bill, chose there are plenty suppliers to choose from.  If you want to pay more but go to sleep believing you are buying “clean” wind energy, you can choose an energy supplier like Ethical Energy.  If you think Governor Quinn knows best, then stick with Ameren and ComEd and pay for Quinn Energy and support the wind farms deemed “winners” by the Illinois Power Agency. 

This is how aggregation is supposed to work in Illinois.  Freedom to choose is a good thing.  I've been critical of wind energy, with it's uncompetitive costs and sweetheart deals with Governor Quinn, but the Ethical Energy model is how the market should work.  If you want to pay more for energy because you think the source is better, then sign up for Ethical Energy.  Quinn Energy's sweetheart deals to wind energy is over  $55 per megawatt.  Ethical Energy's price is $67 to the wind companies.  The open market price in the PJM grid is usually in the mid to low $30's.

I applaud the Washington D.C. guys who thought this up.  If you want to pay twice the price of energy to buy it from wind companies, then go ahead and have fun with it.  Ethical Energy is working within the market and not trying to change the market with sweetheart deals in Springfield.  

 The Illinois RPS does not need “fixing” with SB103 to take away our freedom to choose an energy suppliers. The market can work like it is suppose to with deregulation and aggregation.  Legislatures do not need to destroy aggregation.  Consumers know what is best for themselves.

3 comments:

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