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The other week I was reading some forecasts that the US Energy Information Administration is making about energy prices for 2017. They are predicting increases across all sectors of the electricity market (residential, commercial, and industrial), ranging from about 2.25% to 3.25% over this year’s retail prices. And since more of our electricity now comes from natural gas than from coal, I was also curious about their predictions on natural gas pricing. It turns out they are predicting an increase of over 20% compared to 2016 natural gas pricing at Henry Hub (a natural gas distribution hub)! At an energy industry conference recently I heard concern about the volatility in natural gas pricing, and how that can now have the same effect on our electricity pricing, given that about 1/3rd of our electricity in the US comes from natural gas.
News like this has become almost boring, since it is so predictable that prices fluctuate up and down and occasionally give us a surprise. Given decades of data, we know that over time electricity prices will continue to increase, even though there are up years and down years along the way. Data from the US Energy Information Administration shows that these increases over time average out to about 2% to 4% annually in retail electricity rates.

The fortunate thing about all this is that you can actually “opt out” of the ever increasing costs in the electricity market, and supply your own electricity with free fuel! When installing solar, you invest in the production equipment (solar modules and inverters), and the fuel source rises in the East each day, without any ongoing intervention needed from you. With solar, you can choose to walk away from fluctuating fuel prices controlled by parties that may not have your best interest in mind (most likely not), and you can lock in your pricing for decades to come!

If you want to learn more about this opportunity to take control of your energy costs, contact us to see how this might work in your unique situation.

Tim Beiler

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