The Energy Edge

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Take a Peek Inside Your Energy Supply

We know that energy supply isn’t exactly the simplest industry to understand, so we’re working on ways to help make it easier. Let’s take a look at the supplier’s role in getting your electric and natural gas from the utility to your home.

It’s all about the numbers

To begin with, suppliers deal with both physical and financial transactions when purchasing commodities like natural gas and electricity on behalf of their customers. These transactions deal with much more than just the cost of the energy when planning to get it from the site of production to a home. There are other commodity cost components such as the transmission of the energy, its line loss, and its storage (in the case of natural gas) that are reflected on your utility bill.

This task of commodity procurement and operations has a lot of moving parts, so a procurement strategy is in place to help control the cost of the commodity. Significant investment is made by suppliers in what is called a “hedging” strategy. Hedging helps suppliers better navigate the fluctuations and unpredictability of commodity costs. (This hedging article is very helpful if you are interested in learning more.)

All of this hedging and strategy is done to enable a supplier—like IGS Energy—to reliably deliver natural gas and electricity at a competitive rate on the coldest and hottest days of the year.

Value to the customers

Where all of this “behind the scenes” work really benefits the consumer is when a resident or business can pick among competitive offers—like a fixed price product—which best meet the needs of that consumer. However, like any product sold, both supply and demand impact prices.

So, by picking a fixed-price product for a defined period of time, a consumer can avoid potential price increases in high demand winter-heating and summer-cooling seasons. The benefit here is that you still only pay the original price if and when the higher demand in energy raises the market rate!

Working with a supplier

The value of the deregulation that allows suppliers to exist is that it offers the consumer a choice—options like different term lengths and bundled products. It also creates more competition for energy which means the singular utility rate is not your only option. But it’s important to note that the utility gets your business regardless of whether or not you use a supplier.

Because energy is necessary for your day-to-day activities, you will still receive your natural gas and electricity regardless of whether you go with the variable market rate of the utility or the consistent rate options of a supplier.

However, with a supplier, you are able to take more control over your energy budget, enroll in green or alternative products, and have access to a suite of other products that help you better manage your energy and your budget.

We hope this helps! If you have any questions, please email us. If you know of someone else who would benefit from this information, please feel free to share it.

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AC Season is Coming

The historic El Niño that we’ve been experiencing is likely to transition to a La Niña later this year. Many weather experts are predicting a hotter than normal summer. Translation: along with pool time, lots of time in the shade, and plenty of ice tea, air conditioners will be running crazy.

In light of this seasonal phenomenon, you may want to consider locking in your electric rate through the summer by choosing a fixed-price contract from a supplier like IGS Energy.

Here are a few more things you can do to reduce the amount on your energy bill this summer:

Close the curtains – one of the easiest ways to reduce the energy needed to cool your home in hot weather is drawing the curtains closed during the day. Minimizing the sunlight that enters your home can prevent your home from rocketing into the higher temperatures while you’re away.

Upgrade thermostats – replace your old climate-control device with a learning thermostat. Smart products have integrated software that can monitor and adapt to changes like rising temperatures and electric draw. By installing a wireless smart thermostat you can even monitor and adjust your home’s temperature while at work through a simple-to-use app.

Take control of A/C timing – speaking of work: try turning your thermostat down before you leave for the day. Even just a 2 degree difference can add up to big savings each month. And when you get home, wait until after 6:00 to cool off. Electric producers have to run generators to meet peak demands from 2:00 to 6:00 every weekday. By waiting an extra hour or two after you get home, you can reduce the drain on the grid.

Reschedule daily activities – cooking outside, mowing at dusk, retreating to the shade during the hottest times of the day, even drinking water throughout the day all help keep your body from overheating, and that will mean less energy to cool you off. Oh, and don’t forget to use sunblock!

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Inside IGS

We believe that changing the world for the better starts with our community. Throughout 2015 and into the beginning of 2016, IGS developed IGS Impact—our community investment program. To officially launch Impact in March of this year, IGS employees across the country took a day off work to serve in their local communities.

The graphic below is just a snapshot of some of the things we’ve done so far. There’s a lot to be done, but with your help, we know that we can have an impact!

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Follow us on Instagram @IGSEnergy for a lens into everything energy.

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Learn more about our efforts to give back through IGS’ community investment program, IGS Impact.

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  • The Three Gorges Dam in China is currently the world’s largest power station clocking in at 22,500 MW.
  • English polymath Thomas Young (1773-1829) was the first to use the word “energy” in its current sense, replacing the traditional term vis viva, meaning “living force”.
  • Famous portrait painter, Rembrandt Peale, founded the first natural gas utility in 1816 after using natural gas to light an exhibit at his museum and gallery.
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