Courtesy: John Reinhart, Great River Energy
Inflationary pressures and supply constraints throughout the energy industry continue to drive unusually high prices in the electricity and natural gas markets.
Forward curves indicate the current pricing environment will continue into the 2022-23 winter season. There will also be additional pricing pressure in the wholesale power markets during the heating season due to natural gas supply competition with domestic heating.
Great River Energy (GRE), our wholesale power provider, will manage costs by using our members’ dual fuel program participants to reduce load during peak pricing hours, which may include both morning and evening peak load periods.
As a reminder, the primary heating system can be controlled up to 12 hours per day, and up to 400 hours per heating season. Control occurs on days of high electrical demand, high wholesale energy prices, and/or system emergencies.
Due to anticipated increases of control hours, it is highly encouraged duel fuel program participants ensure they have adequate supplies of their secondary fuel source. Replenishing storage tanks now may lead to cost savings versus filling up during peak winter heating months.
In addition to purchasing in the early fall, you can also save money if you:
1. Buy a bigger tank, which allows you to stock up when prices are low.
2. Shop around and then lock in low rates. The propane market is competitive, so research rates and consider additional perks such as free service calls, maintenance, buybacks and bonuses. If rates are low, as they usually are in September and October, ask if the company will lock in the low rate for a period of time.
3. Ask about discounts. Oftentimes these are made available for veterans, seniors, employees of the state or major corporations, memberships in travel clubs, or holder of credit cards. You never know where a discount may exist, so don’t be afraid to ask.
4. Schedule deliveries carefully. Avoid holiday, weekend and other peak delivery times that may incur a fee.
5. Conserve propane by using less. Install a smart thermostat, keep appliances clean and well-serviced, and choose energy-efficient models.
Should you have questions, please contact Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric during regular business hours.