4 min read

Shared Experiences Drive Deep Human Connection

By Jeff Schiefelbein on October 29, 2020

We could break every sales record and I wouldn’t be as proud as I am of our team today.”

When I receive these notes from fellow 5ers, it reaffirms my belief that shared experiences drive deep human connection in the workplace. We orchestrate unique and meaningful events throughout the year for our team that inspire creative thought, socialize stories of client impact, embrace diversity, unleash a childlike wonderment, and provide a platform for powerful vulnerability and individual growth. The shared experiences at 5 are a cornerstone for our award-winning culture.

Topics: Culture
3 min read

Fundamental & Technical Analysis for 2021

By 5 on October 29, 2020

The rise in the futures price for the 2021 NYMEX Henry Hub natural gas contract has been driven by one major fundamental driver - the steady decline in natural gas production over the last 10 months. Figure 1 shows that in November 2019 the EIA reported a record high average daily production of dry natural gas of 96.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day. In September 2020 the daily average production fell to only 87.1 Bcf/day, a decrease of 9.4%. Even with a decline in gas production, the mild winter last year and the demand destruction from coronavirus has created a situation where there will likely be record levels of natural gas in storage.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

PJM Follows the NYMEX, Futures Continue to Rally

By 5 on October 29, 2020

Over the last 4 weeks wholesale electricity futures in PJM have continued to rally. Fueled by bullish near-term natural gas prices, electricity prices have been highly correlated to NYMEX futures. Figure 1 shows that prices in PJM East across all calendar years significantly increased from March through May as the COVID pandemic began to spread. The market fell just as quickly through June and has slowly rallied over the last four months. Since late September prices across all calendar years have risen between 2% and 5% with the biggest increases in calendar year 2021 (blue line) and 2022 (black line). While Figure 1 is specific to eastern PJM, similar trends have been observed in the western parts of PJM.

Topics: Markets PJM
4 min read

Renewable Generation: A Blessing and a Curse for Texas

By 5 on October 29, 2020

Since early 2018, the forward power market in Texas has been in various states of backwardation (prices for a commodity get less expensive into the future). This backwardation made longer retail electricity agreements attractive as each additional year purchased was a chance to capitalize on lower futures prices and reduce the overall weighted average price. Last fall, the slope of that backwardation reached its maximum negative slope (see Figure 1). On November 1, 2019, the price for calendar year 2021 was trading at approximately $44/MWh, while 2028 was trading below $24/MWh. The $20/MWh discount from 2021 to 2028 produced a significant amount of backwardation and a downward sloping forward market for wholesale electricity.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Client Spotlight: 400 Record

By 5 on October 29, 2020

Built in 1985 and originally known as the Belo Building, 400 Record is a 17-story, 235,000 square-foot property in downtown Dallas. Over the last several years, 400 Record has undergone extensive renovations and today is an iconic part of the Dallas skyline. In 2016, the property began a massive renovation that included a redesign of the entire first floor to accommodate a new restaurant, Bullion, which has become one of Dallas’ top restaurants.

Topics: Clients Procurement
3 min read

The Witching Hour For Local Law 33/95 is Here

By 5 on October 29, 2020

October 31st is the deadline for building owners to post their Energy Efficiency Rating Label. This is required for all buildings over 25,000 square feet that are listed on the 2020 Covered Buildings List for benchmarking compliance. In December 2017, the New York City Council passed Local Law 33, which was later amended by Local Law 95 in 2019, requiring building owners to post this label in a conspicuous location near each public entrance. The intent of this law is to provide transparency into a building’s energy usage and efficiency.

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

Get to Know Jefferson Ondze Mangha

By 5 on October 28, 2020

Jefferson grew up in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and followed his father to the United States when he was 12 years old. His father’s job brought him to the Dallas Metroplex, which is where Jefferson has called home for the last eleven years. Jefferson received a Bachelor’s in Communication Technology from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) where he is currently studying to receive two additional degrees, an MBA in Business Administration and Management and a Master’s of Science in Information Systems.

Topics: People
1 min read

5 Repeats on the Dallas 100

By 5 on October 27, 2020

Irving, TX - October 27, 2020

For the second consecutive year, 5 has been named to the coveted list of Dallas 100 companies. The Dallas 100 competition annually gauges the ascension of privately held companies in Dallas and surrounding cities. 

Topics: Press
8 min read

October 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on October 21, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2020. This letter focuses on the upcoming Presidential election, the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and the potential impact of these events on energy policy. The election and a changing court will impact how energy policy is regulated both at the Federal and the state level. Notwithstanding the perceived impact of these changes in Washington, we caution against putting too much weight on political and judicial changes. In short, it is often the case that when it comes to energy policy, economics, not politics, often prevails.

Topics: Newsletters
4 min read

How Today’s Hurricanes Impact Natural Gas Prices

By 5 on September 24, 2020

Once upon a time, major hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico had the potential to wreak havoc on natural gas markets and send prices soaring to levels that are 4X what they are today. Late last month, as Hurricane Laura was heading toward major gas production centers, many were asking if gas prices would turn bullish and increase because of the impact to natural gas supplies. If this were 2005, the answer would have been a definitive “yes.” But today, the correlation of natural gas prices and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico is not what it was fifteen or even ten years ago. There are several reasons for this change.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Where Gas Goes, Electricity Will Follow

By 5 on September 24, 2020

In many electricity markets, natural gas is often the marginal fuel. This means that gas is the fuel that is used to generate the next additional amount of electricity that is required to ensure that there is enough electricity supply to meet the grid’s demand. Over the last ten years, the amount of natural gas generation in PJM has increased from 25% to nearly 40% of the fuel mix. It should be no surprise that the rise and fall of electricity prices throughout PJM is highly correlated to natural gas price movements.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

A Good Time To Buy In NY

By 5 on September 24, 2020

Lately, the bulls have been running in NYC’s electricity market but there has also been a consolidation in forward prices. Figure 1 shows calendar year strips for wholesale electricity in New York City for 2021 through 2024. Wholesale prices in all calendar years hit their all-time lows in late March/early April, shown in the red oval, and have rallied over the last 6 months. Also note that over the last two years, near-term prices have always been less expensive that longer-term prices. This can be seen in the figure below as calendars 2021 and 2022 (blue and black lines) have consistently been less than 2023 and 2024 (green and yellow lines). This is referred to as a contango market, where prices get more expensive into the future.

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

Texas, Would You Like Some More Renewables?

By 5 on September 24, 2020

Over the last few months, we have described Texas' increased reliance on wind generation to help meet peak demand requirements for electricity. Over the summer, the rolling black-outs in California were heavily covered in the news with many asking how a state known for its technological advancements with the most solar power has become vulnerable to insufficient power supplies.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

Our Secret Performance Tool: Team-Based Coaching

By Jeff Schiefelbein on September 23, 2020

Have you ever heard a friend or co-worker say that their annual performance review helped them to modify existing behaviors and transformed their performance going forward? Of course not. I believe that most annual performance reviews are designed to simplify a manager’s decisions concerning pay raises and bonuses while reducing an employee’s entire contribution down to a series of numbers and canned summary statements. It is disheartening to see the lack of effort that is put into the individual growth and development of our most important assets.

Topics: Culture
1 min read

Client Spotlight: CitySquare

By 5 on September 23, 2020

More than 300,000 people live in poverty throughout the Dallas metroplex and CitySquare aims to change that. CitySquare is a non-profit that fights the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy, and friendship. Today, the organization’s services include a comprehensive array of social services that address four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope.

Topics: Clients Procurement
2 min read

Get To Know Kelly Hopkins Dodd

By 5 on September 23, 2020

Some of the best personal decisions are often made at family gatherings over a glass of wine. About 5 years ago, Kelly Dodd was having a conversation with 5’s head of operations, Cady Thomas, at a Thanksgiving dinner. Cady, who is related to Kelly by marriage, knew that Kelly had experience in sales and told her that 5 was expanding its team in Texas. And after a series of interviews and a lot of soul searching, Kelly decided to make a career change into the energy industry and move from Colorado to Dallas.

Topics: People
1 min read

Fall 2020 Energy Market Webinar

By 5 on September 23, 2020

Join us for the energy market insights you need to know for your business. 5's Lead Energy Analyst, Eric Bratcher, provides a detailed look into each energy market during three regional webinars.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT Education
2 min read

Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions During Lockdown

By 5 on September 10, 2020

COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways. At 5, we transitioned to remote working on March 16th as lockdowns were imposed in the states where we live. One positive that came from this transition is that fewer cars are on the road. The result is a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The 5 Planeteers, our internal sustainability team, wanted to highlight the environmental impacts of this reduction and calculated the overall carbon emissions that our team has saved by telecommuting since mid-March.

Topics: Sustainability Education
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, September 1, 2020

By 5 on September 1, 2020

Temperatures and humidity remain elevated all across Texas, which will increase electricity demand into the late afternoon. The peak demand forecast today is 70,397 MWs, which is expected to occur at 5:00 PM CST.  This would set the all-time record peak for September and exceed the previous high of 69,187 MWs, which was set last year. With cold fronts in the long-term forecast (woohoo!), this may be one of the hottest days of the month.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for PJM, August 27, 2020

By 5 on August 27, 2020

PJM has issued another hot weather alert today across the region. Temperatures are likely to exceed 90°F with high humidity causing a steady rise in electricity demand. The five Coincident Peak (CP) demand days for 2020 in PJM are shown below in Figure 1. There is a strong risk that a new CP is set this afternoon as forecasters expect that today’s load will surpass 144,000 MWs by 5:00 PM EST.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Natural Gas Tea Leaves

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Tasseography is a fancy word for fortune-telling by reading tea leaves. Humans often search for patterns in hopes of predicting the future just as we do with financial markets. While serious investors would never resort to reading tea leaves, technical traders and fundamental analysts look for patterns and trends to better understand and anticipate market movement.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Impacts of Wind

By 5 on August 27, 2020

The last 30 days have shown how the stability of the power grid in Texas is influenced by the wind. In late July, Hurricane Hanna came onshore near Kenedy County as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of around 90 mph. Its destructive force was felt as it moved across the Rio Grande Valley, causing local structural damage and outages from downed trees and powerlines. Specifically, there was significant damage to a two-mile stretch of 138,000-volt transmission line in Edinburg, just south of the 712-megawatt Magic Valley Generation Station.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Why the Name 5

By Jeff Schiefelbein on August 27, 2020

We spend most of our lives in classes, sports and jobs that reinforce the need to look good and to be right, often at the expense of others. Many of our relationships become a zero-sum game; for me to win then someone else must lose. Organizations can be very successful while the individual team members operate with this mentality of “I’m right and you’re wrong." But there is a better way to build a company culture that acknowledges the dignity and contribution of every team member while also winning on the scoreboard of business through growth, innovation, and profit.

Topics: Culture
3 min read

Fixed Price Buyers Beware…

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Over the last month, near-term electricity prices in New York have risen while longer-term prices have fallen. Figure 1 shows how the price of a one-year strip of electricity has traded since January 2019 for calendar years 2021 through 2025 in New York City.  Note how prices in the near-term, 2021 (blue line) and 2022 (black line), have been rising over the last several weeks after hitting lows earlier this year in April and July.  Longer term prices for calendar years 2024 (yellow line) and 2025 (red line) have been falling since the middle of July.  It is important to note, however, that despite these recent market movements, overall prices across all calendar years are trading at or near their 4-year lows.   

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

No News is Good News

By 5 on August 27, 2020

Sometimes, no news is good news. Figure 1 shows how calendar year wholesale electricity has traded for 2021 through 2024 in the eastern part of PJM over the last two years. And while this chart seems to show a significant amount of volatility, consider the scale of the y-axis when assessing market movements.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

How Not to Buy in PJM and NYISO

By 5 on August 27, 2020

The coronavirus has not only significantly reduced electricity usage and peak demand across the NYISO and PJM regions, it has also dramatically changed how retail electricity suppliers approach fixed price electricity offers to clients. In order for suppliers to generate fixed price offers, they first gather and review the previous 12 months of historic usage data, including the volume of electricity consumed (MWhs) and the peak demand (MWs).

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO
3 min read

Hurricane Laura: How to Report a Possible Power Outage

By 5 on August 26, 2020

It’s late August, that means hurricane season is in full swing and our team is closely monitoring the weather in the Gulf of Mexico this week. Hurricane Marco dissipated Monday night as strong upper-level winds stymied its development. Hurricane Laura, however, is a different story. As of 2:00 pm CST on Wednesday, August 26th, Laura is bearing down on east Texas and Louisiana and is currently forecasted to come ashore Wednesday night/Thursday morning as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds over 140 mph. While it appears the Houston metro area will, for the most part, dodge this bullet, thunderstorms and 20+ mph winds will likely pass through the region over the next 24 hours. Right now, the greater threat is for residents in east Texas as the storm moves north along the Sabine River into heavily wooded areas. The current trajectory puts folks in the CenterPoint, TNMP, and Oncor service territories right in the path of this major storm, which has the potential to cause widespread, sustained power outages if trees and power lines are damaged. We’re writing to provide resources for those in the path of Hurricane Laura if there are power outages.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Klein Tools

By 5 on August 26, 2020

Klein Tools, founded 160 years ago by a German immigrant, Mathias Klein, continues to be led by his family, six generations later. The Klein family takes great pride in carrying on Mathias' legacy of creating and manufacturing the highest quality tools and related products. Klein Tools is headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL and has offices, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities throughout the country. Klein Tools are so well known and respected among professionals in the electrical industry that a Lineman’s pliers are often referred to as “Kleins.”

Topics: Clients Procurement Demand Response
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for PJM, August 25 - 27, 2020

By 5 on August 25, 2020

Today (8/25) and Thursday (8/27) temperatures are expected to exceed 90° throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. There is a risk that a new Coincident Peak (CP) is set sometime this week. To do this, the electricity demand in PJM will need to exceed 141,865 MWs. Forecasters expect that today’s load will peak at 143,832 MWs by 5:00 pm. And on Thursday afternoon, the system-wide electric load could set the new peak demand day for 2020.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Former Hudson Energy President Joins 5’s Executive Team

By 5 on August 24, 2020

Irving, TX - August 24, 2020

Accomplished industry executive and veteran sales leader Jeff Shoaf has joined the North American energy advisory firm 5. As a Vice President at 5, Shoaf will leverage his vast leadership experience with the industry’s top suppliers and brokers, including his most recent role as President of Hudson Energy.

Topics: People Press
2 min read

5 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

By 5 on August 18, 2020

Even though we are spending more time at home these days, which means less commuting and less pollution, each of us continues to leave an environmental footprint. Consider these 5 steps you can take to reduce your environmental footprint today:

Topics: Sustainability Education
2 min read

Catherine Luthin to Serve on NYPSC Strategic Advisory Group

By 5 on August 14, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - August 14, 2020

Catherine Luthin, President of Luthin Associates, has been selected to serve on a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) as part of the New York State Public Service Commission’s (NYPSC) Energy Efficiency & Building Electrification Performance Management and Improvement Process Plan (PM&IP Plan). The SAG members include a broad cross-section of knowledgeable representatives from critical customer and market groups and leading solution providers. Peggie Neville, Deputy Directory of Efficiency & Innovation at the NYPSC, will service as Chair of the SAG.

Topics: People Press
3 min read

On-Going Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, for August 14, 2020

By 5 on August 14, 2020

One final ERCOT 4CP update for the week (and probably for the month as well).

Each day this week, a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August was established! This speaks to the strength of this heat wave and how it’s increasing intensity throughout the week. Without a lot of rain, there has been nothing to moderate the heat over the last few days, and it’s not over yet.

The high temperature in DFW is 106° today, and the heat index in Houston (which also accounts for the humidity) will approach a lovely 110° this afternoon. Many energy managers and load forecasters alike are worn out but today is yet another high risk day for setting a new August CP. Fridays are rare 4CP days, but today is one of those tricky situations where the CP for the month may be set if enough energy managers elect not to curtail their electric load. This heat wave is locked in place and it will not budge until Sunday or Monday when a weak front moves through North Texas. One of our forecasting services assigns an 81% probability of setting the August CP this afternoon.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Update: Hurricane Hanna Causes Spike in Hub-to-Load-Zone Costs in the Valley

By 5 on August 13, 2020

Update:

Last week, we reported that there was significant damage to one of AEP’s 138 kV transmission lines in the wake of Hurricane Hanna. The damage to this transmission line significantly increased nodal congestion charges across ERCOT’s South Load Zone. This week, AEP repaired this transmission line. The blue colors in Figure 1 below show that nodal congestion costs in the Valley have significantly decreased since last week. This is good news, especially given the extreme demands placed on the grid from triple digit temperatures this week.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

On-Going Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, for August 12-14, 2020

By 5 on August 12, 2020

The heat is definitely on in Texas this week. Yesterday set a new Coincident Peak (CP) for the month of August at 72,200 MW. It is highly likely that we will break that record this afternoon, as load has already surpassed 72,900 MW. ERCOT is forecasting today’s peak demand to be 74,900 MW as shown in Figure 1. This would be a new all-time high for ERCOT. Even though today will likely set the CP for August, Thursday and Friday’s temperature forecast has risen 2 degrees since the beginning of the week. On both days, temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees and a new CP could be set on either day.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

For the 5th Consecutive Year, 5 Appears on the INC. 5000

By 5 on August 12, 2020

Irving, TX - August 12, 2020

Inc. magazine today revealed that 5 is No. 1787 on its annual Inc. 5000 list. This is the fifth consecutive year that 5 has appeared on this prestigious list ranking the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.

Topics: Culture Press
1 min read

Coincident Peak Update Alert for ERCOT, for August 10-14, 2020

By 5 on August 11, 2020

Calling the August Coincident Peak (CP) this week is like trying to predict whether or not we’ll have any college football this year 😟

Indeed, we set a new monthly peak yesterday at 71,600 MW, but today’s load is forecast to exceed that at 73,068 MW. We haven’t seen data yet on how much load was curtailed yesterday chasing the CP but, if history is any guide, it was probably several hundred megawatts – not enough to make up the 1,200 MW difference between yesterday’s peak and today’s forecasted peak.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, August 10-14, 2020

By 5 on August 10, 2020

Current electric load in ERCOT is exceeding what was initially forecast. The current system demand (green line), today’s forecast (blue line) and yesterday’s forecast (red line) are shown in Figure 1. There is a high risk that today’s system load will set the Coincident Peak (CP) for August.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for NYISO and PJM, August 10, 2020

By 5 on August 10, 2020

PJM:

Temperatures throughout the northeastern U.S. are expected to approach or exceed 90°F this afternoon, driving electric demand close to 2020 summer highs.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO
1 min read

Rockwell Cooley Bio

By 5 on August 3, 2020

As an Energy Advisor at 5, Rockwell Cooley is a powerful part of the company’s presence throughout the Northeast region. Rockwell’s ability to help clients stems from her long-standing industry experience, dating back to 2003. Furthermore, having served clients from both the supplier side and the consultant side, Rockwell serves clients with a well-rounded approach and a robust set of tools. 

Topics: People Team Bios
2 min read

The Clock is Ticking for Local Law 33/95

By 5 on July 30, 2020

New York City’s Local Law 33/95 will require building owners to post their Energy Efficiency Rating Label in the next 90 days. In December 2017, the New York City Council passed Local Law 33/95, requiring building owners to post this label in a conspicuous location near each public entrance. This is required for all buildings over 25,000 square feet that are listed on the 2020 Covered Buildings List for benchmarking compliance. The intent of this law is to provide transparency into a building’s energy usage and efficiency.

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

The Good News Bears vs. The Bad News Bulls

By 5 on July 30, 2020

The past 12 months have been a wild ride for natural gas producers. Going into last winter, storage was near the 5-year average. And while prices were not great, they were at least near most producer’s costs and most natural gas producers were focused on how to continue to increase production. Recently, those ideas have dramatically changed. A mild winter put significant downward pressure on prices as production was strong, demand was moderate and storage inventory levels were high.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

PJM East and West United in Historic Lows

By 5 on July 30, 2020

One might expect significant variations in price movements in an electricity market that spans half the continental United States, from Chicago to New Jersey. However, there is a remarkable degree of consistency in spot (index) prices and in the forward electricity curves across the PJM Interconnection (PJM). 

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

A Cool July and a Great Time to Buy

By 5 on July 30, 2020

A few weeks ago, on July 4th weekend, it was close to 100º in many places across Texas. Some were concerned about how hot it might get as we approached the dreaded last two weeks of July and first two weeks of August. As it turns out, the summer of 2020 has been mild, and the weather has actually been quite nice!

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Cedar Crest Buddies

By 5 on July 30, 2020

Social distancing and reduced amounts of human contact and connection have taken an emotional toll on countless people across the globe. This is especially true for senior citizens who are among the more vulnerable community members to coronavirus. In the spring, many of the 1,500+ residents of Cedar Crest, a senior living community in New Jersey, were unable to leave their apartments and had meals delivered to their door three times per week.  These circumstances have had a significant effect on the well-being of the residents.

Topics: Culture
1 min read

The Kids Table with Amelia Moore

By 5 on July 29, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced Amelia Moore, who was finishing her master’s degree in Art Therapy at the Pratt Institute, to pause the in-person practical components of her program. Like many other students, she was forced to leave school and return home. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing prompted her to wonder how parents and kids were holding up in this new world. Quickly Amelia noticed that her father, 5’s Chief Strategy Officer and one of our Founding 5ers, was able to conduct most of his business remotely using Zoom.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for NYISO and PJM, July 27-31, 2020

By 5 on July 27, 2020

NYISO:

Temperatures in New York City are expected to remain in the mid-90s throughout Monday. Even though precipitation is likely in the 7-10 day range, it is expected that Monday (7/27) will approach the year-to-date system peak of 29,979 MW which was set last Monday (7/20).

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO
1 min read

Get to Know Caroline Duncan

By 5 on July 27, 2020

Caroline Duncan started her career at 5 as a college summer intern in May of 2013. At first, she thought her internship might involve some filing, making copies and helping with ordinary office-related tasks. However, after two weeks she was on the front lines answering phones, processing price requests and interacting with 5’s energy advisors and supply partners. Many would have crumbled under the pressure and non-stop demands of serving both internal and external customers, but Caroline rose to the occasion and handled her work with great composure and an amazing attitude. Caroline became such a pivotal part of 5 that her supervisor promised to name her next child after her if Caroline promised to come back to 5 after she graduated from college. Caroline Duncan became a full-time employee in May 2014 and Caroline Thomas, her supervisor’s daughter, was born shortly thereafter.

Topics: People
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Cleveland Institute of Music

By 5 on July 24, 2020

The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) is one of just seven independent conservatories of music in the United States and one of three exclusively devoted to classical music. CIM students benefit from intensive study with CIM’s stellar faculty, access to world-renowned visiting artists and conductors, and the rich curriculum offered by CIM’s partner Case Western Reserve University. CIM’s graduates command the most celebrated and revered stages in the world as soloists, chamber musicians and ensemble members; compose award-winning repertoire; and are sought-after teaching artists, administrators and thought leaders within the world of classical music.

Energy costs are an important expense that CIM needs to control to remain within its operating budget. Additionally, the school’s facilities must be climate controlled and operated within strict temperature and humidity parameters in order to store and properly maintain its instrument collection. CIM needed a partner to advise them on electricity and natural gas procurement and the implementation of a purchasing strategy that will help the school to stay within its budget. Through 5’s competitive procurement process, electricity and natural gas contracts were put in place that reduce CIMs energy costs by $93,000 over the term of their agreement.  Our team leveraged our proprietary energy market platform, Level5, to identify strategic purchasing opportunities, lowering CIM’s energy costs now, and into the future. 

CIM also relies on 5 to provide advice on regulatory issues that are shaping energy markets in Ohio. Recently, Ohio enacted legislation designed to reduce carbon emissions and increase the amount of electricity from renewable power sources.  Some of these initiatives are affecting what customers pay for electricity. Our advisory services help CIM take both regulatory and market forces into account as they plan and forecast their expenses. 5’s energy expertise and its partnership with CIM enable the school focus on what it does best – train and educate classically trained musicians.

Topics: Clients Procurement
3 min read

TCAP's Strategic Hedging Program: A Bad Deal for Cities

By 5 on July 22, 2020

While aggregation programs like The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) made sense for some cities in the early days of deregulation, these purchasing groups have not been producing the best results for cities for a long time. Cities are now being courted by TCAP to participate in a strategic hedging program that lacks clarity and competition while ultimately removing a city’s ability to reduce and control many aspects of their energy spend.

Topics: Markets ERCOT Education
2 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for ERCOT, NYISO and PJM, July 20 - 24, 2020

By 5 on July 20, 2020

High pressure system has settled over the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic that will keep temperature elevated today and tomorrow. These high temperatures will result in PJM and NYISO electric grids being pushed to the max. In NYISO, peak load of more than 29,933 MW is expected beginning 4:00 PM today. Between 3-5 PM, load is forecast at or above 29,700 MW, vs the current 2020 peak of 28,867 MW.

It’s important to note that load this morning is coming in ~600 MW higher than yesterday’s projections, which reflects how warm it is in the New York region today. Temperatures in New York City are expected to exceed 95 degrees. 

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT
7 min read

July 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on July 13, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the second quarter of 2020. This letter updates our analysis of COVID-19 and its impact on energy demand. It also discusses the pandemic’s impact on state renewable goals, and how FERC’s position on several important energy policy decisions could shift depending on which party wins the 2020 presidential election.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

Sean Ewart Bio

By 5 on July 13, 2020

Sean Ewart joined Luthin Associates in July 2020. As Regulatory Director, Sean works with our clients, prospects, and members of Consumer Power Advocates (CPA) on utility rate cases and regional reliability issues.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert for NYISO, PJM, and ERCOT, July 2 - 13, 2020

By 5 on July 2, 2020

It appears the fireworks have come early this year as several markets are facing medium to high threats for Coincident Peaks (“CPs”) today and into the early part of next week.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT
1 min read

Catherine Luthin to Serve on NYC's LL97 Energy Grid Working Group

By 5 on July 2, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - July 2, 2020

Catherine Luthin, President of Luthin Associates, has been appointed to serve on a working group that will advise the City of New York on the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). LL97 is the centerpiece of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act which seeks to limit carbon emissions from existing buildings. This legislation impacts over 57,000 buildings across the city with the goal of reducing building-based carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 using 2005 and the baseline year. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Green New Deal, the passage of LL97 is an unprecedented commitment to increase the sustainability of buildings in New York City.

Topics: People Press
1 min read

Rakesh Parasuraman to Serve on NYC’s LL97 Commercial Building Working Group

By 5 on July 2, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - July 2, 2020

Rakesh Parasuraman, Vice President of Luthin Associates, has been appointed to serve on a working group that will advise the City of New York on the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). LL97 is the centerpiece of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act which seeks to limit carbon emissions from existing buildings. This legislation impacts over 57,000 buildings across the city with the goal of reducing building-based carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 using 2005 as the baseline year. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Green New Deal, the passage of LL97 is an unprecedented commitment to increase the sustainability of buildings in New York City.

Topics: People Press
1 min read

Coincident Peak Alert, PJM and ERCOT, June 29 – July 3, 2020

By 5 on June 29, 2020

With temperatures climbing nationwide, we are predicting some Coincident Peak (“CP”) alert activity this week. For clients looking to save on next year’s Transmission costs and Capacity costs (PJM market only), it will be important to monitor the situation (especially real-time weather conditions) and reduce energy consumption in the late afternoon hours, to the extent possible.

Topics: Markets PJM ERCOT
2 min read

A Crude Awakening Pushes Down Gas Prices

By 5 on June 24, 2020

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and many in the energy industry were predicting a significant decrease in natural gas production through the rest of this year and into the first quarter of 2021. Some of this forecasted production decline was due to very low spot and short-term market prices for natural gas. Another significant driver of this expectation was the anticipated decline in gas coming from large crude oil reserves, such as the Permian Basin. However, the recent recovery of crude oil prices has changed this outlook.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Current Capacity and Alternative Product Structures

By 5 on June 24, 2020

A fixed price electricity contract is the most common product selected by commercial clients throughout the deregulated markets in the US. And while the cost of the energy (the electrons moving through the wires) is the often the largest and most volatile part of a retail electricity price, there are several other electricity cost components that are built into that retail price.

Topics: Markets NYISO Education
2 min read

Demand Destruction in PJM

By 5 on June 24, 2020

PJM released its initial report on electric load reduction as a result of COVID-19. Figure 1 shows the decrease in peak demand (blue bar) and overall electricity usage (green bar) through the middle of May, with weekends shaded in gray. On average, the weekday peak demand (in kW or MW) fell between 6.5% to 15.2%. Overall energy usage (in kWh or MWh) was not as significantly affected and was down by approximately 8% since March 24th. Not surprisingly, the weekends experienced the smallest reduction to demand and consumption.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

TRECs Rescue NJ Solar From Extinction

By 5 on June 24, 2020

In 2018, the State of New Jersey passed The Clean Energy Act which requires that 100% of the electricity in the state come from renewable power sources by 2050. For over 15 years, New Jersey has had a vibrant solar power market with structures and incentives that expanded the amount of solar output from 4.3 MWs in 2004 to 2,908 MWs in 2019. 

Topics: Markets PJM Education Renewables
2 min read

Client Spotlight: DiBella's Subs

By 5 on June 24, 2020

DiBella’s Subs started over a century ago as a little corner grocery store in Rochester, NY. The business evolved into an Italian import store and delicatessen and eventually decided to focus on perfecting the time-honored baking techniques that would produce the classic sandwich roll for which they are famous. Today, that small, family-run business has 44 stores in five states, and is known for its quality, exceptional service, and fresh baked bread. In fact, DiBella’s mantra is, “It’s all about the bread.” They believe that every time they build a sandwich, they build a relationship. This has created a dedicated customer base, where first-time visitors are changed into life-long fans.

Topics: Clients Procurement
1 min read

Let There Be Light

By 5 on June 23, 2020

Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) is a non-profit organization based in Buffalo, New York, whose mission is to bring solar power to people and communities without access to an electricity grid. 

Topics: Culture
2 min read

The Peak Predicting Predicament

By 5 on June 22, 2020

Summer has arrived in Texas and electricity customers with a meter whose demand is greater than 700 kW should be paying attention to ERCOT’s peak day/hour forecasts. Taking steps now to reduce power usage during hours of the day when the electricity grid is at its peak will reduce delivery charges in 2021.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

5 Named Among the Top 10 Best Companies to Work for in Texas for the Fifth Consecutive Year

By 5 on June 19, 2020

Irving, TX - June 19, 2020

For the fifth consecutive year, energy advisory firm 5 was named as one of the top 10 Best Companies to Work for in Texas, having placed third on this year’s list. The award was created in 2006 and is a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group.  The list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas and how they rank was revealed at the Texas Association of Business (TAB) Best Companies to Work for in Texas Virtual Gala on June 18, 2020.

Topics: Culture Press
2 min read

5 Secrets That Drive Our Thriving Culture

By 5 on June 18, 2020

We are honored that 5 has once again been named as a “Best Workplaces in Texas” by Texas Monthly magazine. This is the 5th consecutive year that we have been named in the TOP 10 Best Workplaces in Texas and we are proud that our company culture continues to impact our many stakeholders, including our employees, clients and suppliers.

Topics: Culture Education
3 min read

Crude is Up and Gas is Down (A Little)

By 5 on May 28, 2020

Last month, we reported that while short-term crude prices were near 20-year lows, natural gas futures prices for the year 2021 were reaching 24-month highs. The rally in natural gas prices in 2021 was primarily driven by the fear that a slowdown in crude oil production from reserves, such as the Permian Basin, would produce less natural gas, which is a by-product of the crude oil extraction process. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
6 min read

May 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on May 28, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our first market letter for 2020. Since the spread of COVID-19, our primary concerns have been the safety of our team and supporting our clients. I want to give special thanks to our technology team and its leader, Matt Shaw. Matt planned and executed our multi-year effort to develop an industry leading technology solution, Level5. While we did not build this system with a pandemic in mind, it has allowed us to support clients without interruption during these difficult months. Not surprisingly, this market letter is focused on COVID-19 and its broad and evolving impact on the energy market.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

McLean Packaging Commits to Completely Renewable Energy

By 5 on May 28, 2020

Moorestown, NJ - May 28, 2020

McLean Packaging, a turnkey provider of rigid set boxes, folding cartons, corrugated displays and thermoformed packaging solutions with emphasis on the beauty and personal care sectors, has contracted with national energy advisory firm 5 and ENGIE Resources, LLC on a five-year energy agreement that supports the development of renewables. The deal supports McLean’s zero carbon transition and sustainability goals which include sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable resources.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Press Renewables
3 min read

Lowest Spot Power Prices in a Decade in NYC

By 5 on May 27, 2020

May 2020 it is likely to be the 5th month in a row where Real-Time LMP (spot) prices in New York City (NYISO Zone J) have settled at their lowest levels in ten years. Figure 1 shows the monthly settlement price in Zone J from 2011 to 2020. Note that the first five months of 2020, shown in the dark green line, are less than all other monthly settlement prices. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

SARA Thinks There is Enough Power This Summer

By 5 on May 27, 2020

According to a recent report, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expects that there will be enough generating capacity to meet periods of peak electricity demand this summer in Texas. Two weeks ago, ERCOT released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming summer (June to September) season. This report forecasts the peak electricity demand on the grid and compares that with the amount of electricity that can be produced by generating assets across the state. The difference between the forecasted amounts of supply and demand is called the reserve margin. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

5 Named Best Workplace in America Four Years in a Row

By 5 on May 27, 2020

This month our team is celebrating our 4th consecutive appearance on Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces in America list. From our humble beginnings over 8 years ago, we have been intentional about building our culture with the fundamental belief that our company should create a positive outcome for our clients, employees, suppliers, vendors and the environment.  One of the ways we have done this is through our involvement as a stakeholder in a movement called Conscious Capitalism, which seeks to elevate humanity through business.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

New Jersey's Fight with FERC and PJM

By 5 on May 27, 2020

The State of New Jersey has been at the forefront of an ongoing conflict between a state’s right to establish its own clean energy goals and its participation in a regional competitive electricity marketplace. New Jersey belongs to the PJM Interconnection (PJM), which spans all, or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia as shown below in Figure 1. New Jersey and many other states want to adopt their own clean energy standards. However, grid operators, such as PJM, are finding it nearly impossible to create a competitive marketplace with consistent rules among states that have very different renewable power goals and carbon emission standards.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Carlton Towers Honors First Responders

By 5 on May 27, 2020

One of 5's long-time clients, Carlton Towers in Passaic, New Jersey, encouraged their residents to gather on their balconies to thank first responders and front-line healthcare workers.  One glance at the smiles, flags, heartfelt messages, and united praise for all the brave men and women risking their lives made us feel hopeful and grateful. We think it will do the same for you. Check out the video below to see how this community showed their appreciation for local healthcare heroes. Click here to read the article. 

Topics: Clients Culture
4 min read

Gas and Power Prices Rally While West Texas Congestion Pricing Drops

By 5 on April 23, 2020

The biggest story in Texas’ energy markets has been the collapse of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices. The price for the WTI May contract had its largest single-day decrease on Monday, April 20th. It was also the first time in history that the price of crude was negative and closed below zero at the end of the trading day. There was a slight recovery the following day as the price rose above zero and settled at $10.01 per barrel on Tuesday.  In addition to having a massive impact on Texas’ economy, this unprecedented drop in the price of WTI crude is also having a significant impact on natural gas prices. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
1 min read

Weekly Art Class for the Kids

By 5 on April 23, 2020

Are you looking for a fun, creative way to entertain your homebound children?  Could you use an hour-long break on a Friday where someone else plans the activities for your kids?

Topics: Culture

Top 5 Energy Management Tips During an Operational Slowdown

By 5 on April 22, 2020


  1. Minimize outdoor air intake, particularly as outdoor air temperatures and relative humidity levels rise.
  2. Evaluate your building automation system setback controls to ensure proper operation of HVAC, lighting and other equipment.
  3. Consider temporary seals for leaking dock doors or other leak-prone building envelope openings.
  4. Consider shutting down exhaust fans, air compressors, pumps, refrigerators, freezers or other kitchen and process equipment that is not in use.
  5. Evaluate parking lot and parking garage lights to identify any that can be shut down while unoccupied.
Topics: Education
3 min read

Why is Natural Gas not Following Crude Oil into the Basement?

By 5 on April 22, 2020

The market price for oil has been consistently bearish since global oil demand destruction conversations began in early March.  On Monday, April 20th, that outlook manifested itself into a day that oil traders will never forget. Crude oil opened trading on Sunday evening at approximately $17 per barrel and by mid-morning, it had dropped to $10 per barrel. By mid-day, it was trading just above zero, and then it broke through into negative territory in the afternoon.  Crude oil settled for the day at -$37.63, up just a few dollars from the daily low of -$40.32 per barrel.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
4 min read

Good News and Bad News for New York Electricity Clients

By 5 on April 22, 2020

There is often both good and bad news anytime commodity markets are volatile.

The bad news:

Earlier this month, the NYISO  (the entity in charge of economically maintaining the electricity system in New York) completed the first two of three capacity auctions that ultimately set the price paid for capacity in the coming summer months (May – Oct 2020).  Many were anticipating higher summer capacity prices (especially in New York City) from this month’s auction given how high forward capacity prices have been.  Historical capacity prices for New York City and the rest of New York State are shown in Figure 1. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

FERC Upholds December’s MOPR Decision for PJM

By 5 on April 22, 2020

Unlike ERCOT, which relies solely on the price of energy to ensure sufficient supply, the PJM market, ISO-NE, and the NYISO all rely on capacity payments to ensure that there is enough electricity generation available to meet demand. Like wholesale energy prices, capacity prices in PJM are set through an annual auction. Generating units that clear this annual capacity auction are guaranteed a fixed revenue stream in exchange for the guarantee of their availability to run if called upon. This revenue is designed to ensure that an appropriate amount of generation is available at times of peak energy demand.

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

Senior Energy Analyst, Brendan Boyle, Joins 5/Luthin Associates

By 5 on April 20, 2020

Allenhurst, NJ - April 20, 2020

Brendan Boyle has joined the national energy advisory firm 5 as a Senior Analyst for the company’s New York/Tri-State brand, Luthin Associates.Boyle brings his broad knowledge in the industry having extensive experience working at some of the largest energy brokers and suppliers for the past 14 years.

Topics: People Press
3 min read

Billingsley Company Partners with 5 and TXU Energy on Renewable Energy Strategy

By 5 on April 3, 2020

Dallas, TX - April 4, 2020

As an industry leader in real estate development and property management, Billingsley Company has a robust and diverse portfolio throughout Texas. Now, with the help of energy advisory company 5, and TXU Energy, the firm has landed a deal of a different kind: a long-term energy contract utilizing 100% renewable energy sources that will yield significant cost reductions.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Press Renewables
3 min read

Video Chatting: The Secret Sauce to Staying Connected

By 5 on March 19, 2020

One of the key ingredients to 5’s award-winning culture has been our team’s complete adoption and integration of the video conferencing platform Zoom.   Considering the current need to stay connected with co-workers, clients and vendors while working remote, we wanted to share our top 5 tips for video chatting at work.

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Energy Contracts and Coronavirus

By 5 on March 19, 2020

In light of the impact of the Coronavirus on business operations, we are sharing information about Coronavirus and Contract Disputes circulated by the law firm Sidley & Austin.  It provides a high-level summary of the force majeure issues raised by the spread of this illness.  If your electricity and/or natural gas usage has or will be significantly affected by the spread of the Coronavirus, you should seek legal advice to determine if it is appropriate to provide a force majeure notice to your energy supplier.  As discussed in the document, the relevant electricity or natural gas contract provision may require “prompt” notice of the force majeure event.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT Education
5 min read

Get to Know Eric Bratcher

By 5 on March 19, 2020

5’s Senior Zoltar, Eric Bratcher, sits down with the 5 by 5 Editor-in-Chief, Steve Kass.

SK: Did you always want to be a Zoltar?If not, what did your career path initially look like?

EB: No. In fact, when I started college at Texas A&M, my plan was to be an Air Force pilot.I joined the ROTC as a freshman, lived in Corps dorms and joined the Civil Air Patrol.  I learned to fly Cessna aircraft but soon realized that the altitude and pressure changes were giving me headaches.  And to be honest, flying wasn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.  I stayed with ROTC through my senior year, but by the end of my sophomore year at A&M, I realized that there were probably better ways for me personally to make a living.

Topics: People
3 min read

Capacity is Up and Power is Down

By 5 on March 19, 2020

Over the past month, there have been a few regulatory developments that will affect generators, their amount of generating capacity and the cost of that capacity throughout New York State.  Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued several rulings related to the ways subsidized renewable generating assets will be able to participate in future NYISO capacity auctions.  These rulings place limits on the way generation from subsidized assets, such as wind farms, solar arrays and battery storage resources, can take part in New York’s capacity auction process.  Furthermore, New York State placed additional emissions restrictions on natural gas and oil-fired assets that run during periods of peak electricity demand on the grid.                

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

Capacity Auction Plan Announced

By 5 on March 19, 2020

This week PJM proposed a plan and schedule to resume its suspended capacity auctions.  If everything goes as planned, the next PJM capacity auction process using the new Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) would begin in March or April 2021.  In order to meet this goal, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must review and approve PJM’s MOPR.  PJM’s last capacity auction was in May 2018.  The plan and proposal to catch up on the backlog of capacity auctions are summarized below and shown in Figure 1.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Saudi Arabia and COVID-19 Pushing Down Gas Prices

By 5 on March 19, 2020

On Sunday, March 8th, the NYMEX natural gas market opened at approximately $1.67/MMBtu. By the early morning hours of Marh 9th, it dropped down to almost $1.60 and ended the day up about 9¢, at $1.78/MMBtu.  On Tuesday, March 10th, natural gas again rallied another 16¢ to close around $1.94/MMBtu.  By Wednesday morning, the rally continued up to about $2.00/MMBtu before news around COVID-19 began to take hold, moving the market down.  These market movements are shown below in Figure 1 (note that the height of the line shows the day’s range between the minimum and maximum trade prices, the height of the bar is that day’s difference between opening and closing prices, and the color of the bar indicates if the day closed up (green) or down (red) compared to the open).

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Good News for Texas Electricity Buyers

By 5 on March 19, 2020

There is good news for Texas electricity buyers.  The falling price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, coupled with the threat of an economic slow-down caused by COVID-19, has put downward pressure on forward power prices for this summer in Texas.

Additionally, ERCOT released the preliminary Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for this coming summer.  This report showed more growth than was originally expected in the amount of generating capacity available to meet this summer’s electricity demands.  The potential drop in forecasted electricity demand for this summer, along with favorable news in the SARA report, has come at a good time for some electricity clients in Texas. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Partners with 5 & TXU Energy

By 5 on March 2, 2020

Fort Worth, TX - March 2, 2020

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has powered its way to energy cost reductions and a cleaner energy future by executing a new 100% renewable electricity agreement with TXU Energy through its partnership with the energy advisory firm 5.

Topics: Clients Procurement Press Renewables
3 min read

Texas Power Prices: 2019 vs 2020

By 5 on February 27, 2020

With 2019 finally behind us, it’s time to reflect on how spot/index prices settled last year in Texas and then examine how those prices are shaping the current forward market.

In 2019, index prices in Texas settled at one of the highest levels over the last 10 years.  Figure 1 shows that only 2011 (the year it snowed during the Super Bowl in Dallas with rolling blackouts and a very hot summer) and 2014 had higher index settlements than last year.  The high index settlement price for 2019 should not be much of a surprise given the index price volatility that was experienced in August and September.  Index prices in August 2019 cleared at the highest average price in the history of Texas’ deregulated electricity market, while index prices in September 2019 were at the 4th highest level in ERCOT’s history.  Most of these high prices came from approximately 6 hours on August 13th  and August 15th and two hours on September 22nd.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Historically Low Hourly Prices in New Jersey

By 5 on February 26, 2020

In New Jersey, similar to neighboring states, larger electricity users (with a peak demand of over 500 kW) are classified as Commercial Industrial Energy Price (CIEP) customers. For these customers, the default utility price is an hourly rate that is an average of hourly prices over the course of a given month. Since these prices change every 15 minutes, there can be a tremendous amount of price risk and volatility with this structure.  However, over the last five years, there has not been a significant amount of hourly price volatility. Figure 1 shows the average monthly real-time (hourly) price in the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) zone for each month of the year beginning in January 2015.  In New Jersey, and throughout the Northeast, the most volatile times of the year are the winter months of December through March. This is reflected in the chart below with price spikes in January 2018, February 2015, March 2015 and December 2017. It is interesting to note that hourly prices for this winter’s months of January and February are at their five-year lows. 

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Higher Power Prices are Coming to NYC

By 5 on February 26, 2020

Wholesale electricity prices in New York have been falling for the past several years.  Figure 1 shows how the price of electricity in New York City, for the period March 2020 to April 2021, has traded over the last six years.  This chart shows that prices have fallen from a high of $80/MWh in the summer of 2014 to current all-time lows of $32.56/MWh.  One might assume that these low wholesale electricity prices would translate into lower retail electricity prices.  Wholesale electricity is only one of several other pricing components that make up a retail electricity price.  After electricity, the next largest price component is Capacity and, unfortunately, Capacity prices have risen dramatically in New York City. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
1 min read

Williams Cancels Constitution Gas Pipeline Project

By 5 on February 26, 2020

Last week, Williams Company and its partners announced that they have cancelled plans for the construction of the Constitution Pipeline.  This new 124-mile natural gas pipeline, shown in Figure 1,  would bring 650 Dth of gas per day from the Marcellus Shale to the Southern Tier of New York State.  While public opposition to this project was strong, recent favorable legal and regulatory developments suggested that the construction of the pipeline would proceed as planned.  However, Williams stated the economics of this project have recently changed in a way that there would not be a strong enough return on the company’s investment.  The unfavorable economics associated with the pipeline project are driven by a bearish natural gas market. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

Get to Know Doris Diaz

By 5 on February 24, 2020

As a high school student, Doris Diaz found that her love of math and her high attention to detail were a perfect fit for a career in accounting. She credits one of her high school teachers with uncovering this passion and ultimately helping her to land an accounting internship even before she started college. Ultimately, Doris graduated from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón with her BS in Accounting.

Topics: People
1 min read

Spring Energy Market Webinar

By 5 on February 24, 2020

We are excited to have you join us for one of our upcoming regional market webinars.

Topics: Markets PJM NYISO ERCOT
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Western Carriers, inc.

By 5 on February 20, 2020

Western Carriers, Inc. is one of the leading warehousing and transportation service providers to wine and spirits importers, wineries, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, and private collectors in North America. The company stores more than 159 million cases in almost 3 million square feet of warehousing space, exclusively dedicated to wine and spirits in New Jersey. 

Topics: Clients Procurement Renewables
1 min read

Casey Luna joins Energy Industry Innovator, 5

By 5 on February 5, 2020

Irving, TX - February 5, 2020

Casey Luna has joined the Irving, Texas-based energy advisory firm 5 as a senior energy advisor. Casey brings his extensive experience in the energy industry, including his work with large commercial real estate developments, REITs, manufacturing facilities, the hospitality industry and more.

Topics: People Press
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Irving Convention Center

By 5 on January 30, 2020

Click here for the downloadable PDF. 
 

The Opportunity

Prior to partnering with 5, the Irving Convention Center (ICC) had procured energy by issuing RFPs directly to suppliers. While this process met their basic needs, the ICC lacked the time and tools to track and analyze market conditions or conduct usage analyses that would allow the facility to capitalize on periodic market fluctuations. As a result, the ICC had little opportunity to reduce baseline energy costs or pursue operational efficiencies. Additionally, the ICC had initiated a new lighting project but lacked the funding to complete it.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Videos Procurement Renewables
1 min read

5 For Fitness

By 5 on January 29, 2020

According to a recent survey, the most common New Year’s resolutions are to exercise more (50%), adopt better eating habits (43%) and lose weight (37%).  Unfortunately, another survey suggests that most of those resolutions last only 19 days.  In fact, Strava (a social fitness and tracking network) calls January 19th, “Quitter’s Day” as there is a precipitous drop in logged exercise and activities after that date.  One strategy that has helped many 5ers has been the creation of a private Facebook group oriented around fitness. 

In this Facebook group, both 5ers and their spouses post their workouts, photos and videos as way to motivate and support one another to improve their fitness and make healthy lifestyle changes.  Nearly every coach and fitness expert will affirm that the support of a community is an important element in helping one remain accountable to their goals and to develop positive habits. 

Topics: Culture
2 min read

Rate Increases Approved in Con Ed For Power and Gas

By 5 on January 28, 2020

In early 2019, Con Edison (Consolidated Edison, Inc.) filed for a substantial rate increase for both electric and gas service. The original proposal (“Original Filing” in Table 1) called for electric delivery rates to increase by 7.2% over 3 years, and gas to increase by 12.2% over the same period.  Overall bill increases would have been even larger. In dollar terms, the Company’s original proposal would have increased electric revenues by $2.42 billion over 3 years and gas revenues by over $1.06 billion.

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

PJM Capacity - Why It's Important and What's Changing

By 5 on January 28, 2020

There has been a lot of news lately regarding capacity throughout PJM.  As we have reported in the past, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and PJM have been at odds over the mechanism by which the price for capacity is set.  In December, the FERC issued a ruling that prescribed new rules and requirements around the auctions that establish capacity prices.  Before getting into those details, we wanted to offer a quick review of what capacity is and why this issue is important.

Topics: Markets PJM
2 min read

Cheap Natural Gas Doesn’t Always Mean Cheap Electricity Rates

By 5 on January 28, 2020

As you have likely heard, national, and even global, natural gas prices have been falling.  In fact, NYMEX futures prices for the rest of this winter are all trading below $2.00/MMBtu and as shown in Figure 1, the balance of 2020 (Feb – Dec) is trading at $2.10/MMBtu.   These are the lowest prices we have seen since late winter/early spring of 2016.  Prices in the calendar year 2021 haven’t decreased as much, but are trading at all-time lows of $2.35/MMBtu.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
7 min read

January 2020 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on January 23, 2020

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the fourth quarter of 2019. Today energy deregulation is a tale of two markets. The Mid-Atlantic states (PJM), New England (NEISO) and New York (NYISO) are caught in a struggle between state regulators who seek to subsidize carbon-free generation and opponents who argue (for economic, policy, or political reasons) that these subsidies threaten the viability of a competitive market. The debate reached a crescendo last quarter when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order that effectively undercuts current state subsidies of carbon-free power generators.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

Get to Know Dan Kraus

By 5 on January 21, 2020

Dan Kraus is one of 5’s most experienced energy advisors. He is also one of the most dedicated and genuine customer advocates in the industry.Dan is known for being tenacious about client satisfaction, going above and beyond to serve the needs of his clients and always doing the right thing. His clients know that they can depend on him to provide both great service and valuable energy advice for their businesses.

Topics: People
1 min read

Factoid: Cutting Cattle Greenhouse Gas

By Luthin Associates on January 15, 2020

Could eating seaweed save the climate?

Cows are a significant source of methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, primarily from belching as they digest grass and feed (with more coming out the cow’s back end). But recent research found that mixing in a tiny amount (0.5%) of a type of seaweed into their food greatly cuts methane output, with no negative impact on milk production.

Topics: Newsletters
3 min read

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet. I'm Hunting Carbon

By Luthin Associates on January 15, 2020

The biggest issue confronting the energy industry in New York today is decarbonization. That is, how to reliably meet the energy needs of the state’s residents and businesses while drastically reducing and eventually eliminating altogether greenhouse gas emissions - and do it without breaking the bank. The challenge is especially – well, challenging – for the electricity sector. Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act or CLCPA, enacted into law this summer, all the electricity needs of New York are to be met by carbon-free resources no later than 2040.

Topics: Newsletters
3 min read

Time to Look Again At Your Lighting

By Luthin Associates on January 15, 2020

Elmer Fudd may never find that wascally wabbit by looking down a rabbit hole, but building owners and managers can find a chunk of energy and cost savings just by looking up at their ceilings.

T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps powered by electronic ballasts, the high-efficiency standards of the ’80s and ’90s, may now be easily replaced by light-emitting diode (LED) systems that cut wattage and carbon emissions by half or more while providing the same amount of light. In Con Ed territory, LEDs may pay for themselves in 2-4 years. That’s an ROI of 25%-50%, better than most cost-cutting options available to buildings. Toss in the near elimination of re-lamping (due to 15-20-year LED lifetimes), and no more lamp recycling (LEDs contain no mercury), and even Yosemite Sam will feel like he’s struck gold.

Topics: Newsletters
2 min read

Matt Shaw Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Technology is a major catalyst for 5’s success. As the creator and architect of its technology platform, Matt plays a vital role in the company’s growth trajectory.

Matt joined the 5 team in 2014 to transform business operations with the conception, design, and management of the company’s proprietary technology, Level5. This platform streamlines 5’s entire value chain from marketing and operations to accounting and executive reporting. Level5 provides faster and better analytics, saves time, and improves accuracy and transparency.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Stephen Kass Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Steve’s diverse professional career includes 14 years of service as a distinguished Naval Officer, a nuclear submarine design engineer, and work as a university administrator in addition to nearly 20 years of experience in the deregulated energy industry. His technical and project management background, combined with his strategic planning prowess and the ability to lead others, makes him a tremendous asset for 5.

Steve joined 5 in 2013, having known and worked with several of the founding partners for almost 20 years across three different companies. In his role as Vice President, Steve manages the client experience team while also overseeing many of the sales and marketing operations of the company related to CRM management and recruiting.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Andrea Marin Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Andrea Marin joined 5 in 2017 to promote competitiveness and educate end-user clients throughout Mexico. In her role as General Director, Andrea is responsible for developing and managing the overall business, including oversight of strategic planning, business development, and operations.

Before 5, Andrea worked for an electricity supplier and natural gas marketer, in a business development role. She also has extensive experience in the regulatory and reform movements within Mexico, having worked for the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, as well as several firms as an independent advisory and law clerk.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Brendan Boyle Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Brendan Boyle joined Luthin Associates in March of 2020. As an Energy Analyst, Brendan and the team work together with our clients to develop innovative strategies to mitigate risk and reduce cost over time.

Brendan’s energy experience is wide and deep, having worked on both the retail supplier and broker sides of the business including roles with Tradition Energy, Hess Energy, Direct Energy, and Legend Energy Advisors. Brendan has provided clients with full-service energy management services, helping them meet energy efficiency goals and maintaining regulatory and licensing requirements. Before entering the energy industry, Brendan worked at KMPG as an audit analyst.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Brian Hayduk Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Growth and innovation are defining hallmarks of Brian Hayduk’s career in the energy industry. He has extensive experience in corporate strategy, business development, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management, and the development of deregulated energy businesses throughout North America.

Having worked on the supply side of the deregulated electricity market since the late 1990s, Brian has unmatched industry knowledge. In 2011, he co-founded 5 and assembled a team of energy market innovators, engineers, commodity traders, technologists, and business development professionals joined by a common purpose - to deliver unparalleled procurement services and advice that result in cutting-edge energy solutions for clients.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Cady Thomas Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Cady’s work in the energy industry began as a sales support analyst for First Choice Power shortly before she joined 5 as the company’s first employee in late 2011. She accepted the job knowing that she’d be asked to play a pivotal role in the creation of 5’s unique company culture.

As Pit Boss, Cady leads the Pit Crew, the operational hub of the company. She is responsible for managing the company’s processes and interactions with key stakeholders including suppliers, utilities, vendors, and the internal team as well. The Pit Crew handles thousands of requests each week including custom analytics, retail pricing, and deal structuring, on-going client service, and automation, while also ensuring the seamless flow of information and communications among team members and clients.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Chris Watson Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Chris Watson joined 5 in 2012 and serves as a Senior Energy Advisor. Chris embodies 5’s unique team-based approach to service delivering best-in-class solutions for a multitude of clients, including many cities, counties, school districts, hospitals, and water utility districts.

In his role as an advisor, Chris helps clients develop a proactive strategy that is focused on a wide array of topics including procurement, operational improvements, renewables, sustainability, distributed generation, and more to control and reduce energy costs over time.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Eric Bratcher Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Eric has worked in the deregulated energy market since 2002 and has tremendous experience in data analytics, pricing, load forecasting, and strategy development. Eric adds irreplaceable value to 5’s stakeholders, including clients, suppliers, and team members, through his aptitude for problem-solving and his desire to educate others. Since joining the team in 2012 as the head of 5’s analytics team, aka the Nerds, Eric has raised the bar for what clients expect from their energy advisory team.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Eric Plateis Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Eric Plateis has over 30 years of experience in commodity trading and risk management. Before launching 5, Eric served as Vice President of Portfolio Risk Management at First Choice Power, overseeing all trading and risk management activities, as well as retail pricing and load forecasting. Eric previously served as the Chief Risk Officer for Juice Energy, and the Vice President for both the Bank of Montreal and Constellation Energy, where he managed structured portfolios for the West and ERCOT. Eric started his career in the “pits” on the floor of the New York commodities exchanges.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Jeff Schiefelbein Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Jeff Schiefelbein has worked in the deregulated energy space since 2004 and serves as the Chief Culture Officer for 5 where he oversees sales, marketing and recruiting. Jeff has a proven track record of innovation and leadership through his involvement in company start-ups, technology development, personal coaching, and strategic management. Before 5, Jeff served as the Vice President of Sales at First Choice Power.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Jon Moore Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Jon has spent decades in the energy space with expertise that includes international power plant development, utility-scale solar, and retail electricity. Prior to launching 5 as one of the co-founders, Jon served as Executive Vice President at Beowulf Energy, a private power and infrastructure company with a focus on the development, acquisition, and long-term operation of power generation and infrastructure projects. He also held executive leadership positions with MX Holdings, Juice Energy, AES NewEnergy, Constellation NewEnergy, and the AES Corporation. Early in his career, Jon worked as a transactional attorney with O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Josh Coleman Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Josh has worked in the energy business for his entire career covering many facets including roles as a commercial/industrial energy manager, as well as various leadership roles with retail electric providers. Josh’s highly valued experience in building operations, automation, on-site energy generation, and energy reporting was developed while serving in leadership positions with Texas Instruments, Teccor Electronics, and Invensys. This depth of experience allows Josh, along with the team of engineers at 5, to understand a client’s energy usage profile, often identifying cost reduction opportunities that have a profound impact on the bottom line.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Rakesh Parasuraman Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Helping clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of energy deregulation requires expertise in a wide variety of fields, and no one is better positioned to serve and guide businesses as well as nonprofits in NYC than Rakesh Parasuraman.

In his role as Vice President, Rakesh oversees Luthin’s commodity management department, which is responsible for the competitive procurement of electricity, natural gas and oil, analysis of utility rates and tariffs, and financial feasibility studies for distributed generation projects. He works directly with clients, monitoring energy markets, and developing customized strategies.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Shashi Thoutireddy Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Shashi’s expertise in financial modeling, budgeting and forecasting, valuations and due diligence, and process re-engineering has helped catapult 5 to new heights. As 5 continues to grow through new business development, expanded strategic partnerships and acquisitions, Shashi’s role has taken on even greater importance.

As Vice President of Finance, Shashi analyzes 5’s financial results concerning revenue, expenses, cash management, and trends, all while ensuring compliance with the budget. He is involved in providing strategic guidance around valuation, acquisitions, and capital financing options to support 5’s growth.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Taylor Duncan Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Taylor’s first role at 5 as an Energy Advisor gave her an intrinsic understanding of what it takes to deliver high-value advice and on-going account support to clients. She continues to leverage this expertise as a member of 5’s executive leadership team.

As Vice President of U.S. Growth and Client Development, Taylor leads the U.S. business, which includes the professional development of 5’s team members, as well as supporting 5’s M&A initiatives. She has been instrumental in leading the integration of teams following major acquisitions and ensuring the seamless introduction of systems and processes while also overseeing the strategic growth of 5’s core business.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Tommy Richardson Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Tommy has vast industry experience that includes business development roles working indirect sales, operational leadership and in third-party management for some of the nation’s top suppliers.

In his role as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Utility Infielder, Tommy leads the development of 5’s third-party partnerships. This includes overseeing 5’s work with external brokers, digital partnerships, and referral partner program management. Tommy is also an integral part of the company’s M&A team.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Jerry Stewart Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Jerry started in the deregulated energy industry working on the supplier side of the market as a business development representative for First Choice Power. Jerry worked extensively with regional and national clients while managing a special product for multi-family residential clients. Jerry joined 5 in early 2012 as part of the initial team of energy advisors and he has created a legacy of client satisfaction and impact ever since.


In his role as a Senior Energy Advisor, Jerry uses a servant leadership approach to help clients in many different sectors including commercial real estate, hospitality, restaurants, nonprofits, and manufacturing.

Topics: People Team Bios
1 min read

Jose Arellano Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

As the electricity market in Mexico was prepping for deregulation, Jose Arellano envisioned an opportunity to bring 5’s advisory services to business clients throughout the county. As a result of his business plan and dedication to the project, some of Mexico’s largest companies are leveraging the strategic advice they receive from 5 to better impact the environment and their own bottom line.

Topics: People Team Bios
2 min read

Catherine Luthin Bio

By 5 on January 1, 2020

Catherine Luthin is the Founder of Luthin Associates, a firm that helps public and private sector clients develop and implement proactive energy strategies, better source energy, operate more efficiently, integrate renewable energies, and achieve significant cost savings. With extensive experience in the education, healthcare, and real estate sectors, Luthin has helped drive more than $500 million in savings for its clients throughout the tri-state area. In 2019, Luthin Associates was acquired by 5, strengthening the impact that Luthin clients had come to know and solidifying Catherine’s legacy for providing best-in-class advisory services in the Northeast.

Topics: People Team Bios
2 min read

Summer 2020 Reserve Margin Grows by 2%

By 5 on December 19, 2019

Two weeks ago, ERCOT released its initial reserve margin estimates for the summer of 2020.  The reserve margin is the difference between the peak forecasted load and the amount of installed generating capacity available to meet the grid’s electricity demand. This summer, ERCOT estimates that 82,403 MWs of installed generating capacity will meet a forecasted peak demand of 76,696 MWs. This equates to an estimated reserve margin of 10.6%, which is 2% more than the reserve margin that ERCOT reported going into the summer of 2019. ERCOT expects that an additional 7,633 MWs of generating capacity will be added to the grid in the next six months. Most of this new generation will be from renewable power sources and natural gas fired generating assets. 

Topics: Markets ERCOT
5 min read

Get to Know Cady Thomas

By 5 on December 19, 2019

Cady Thomas was 5’s first employee and is celebrating her eight-year anniversary this month. Today, she is a member of 5’s Executive Leadership team and serves as the company’s Pit Boss. The following is her interview with the 5 By 5 Editor-in-Chief, Steve Kass. 

Topics: People
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Fort Worth Zoo

By 5 on December 19, 2019

The Fort Worth Zoo was founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. It is the oldest, continuously operating zoo in Texas. From these humble beginnings, the Zoo has grown into a nationally recognized facility, housing more than 7,000 native and exotic animals, representing more than 500 species.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Procurement
1 min read

Excess Capacity in PJM

By 5 on December 18, 2019

Despite essentially flat growth in demand, the electricity generating capacity in PJM has grown by more than 15,000 MWs from 2009 to 2017.   Almost all of this additional capacity has been in the form of new natural gas plants.  As a result, the reserve margin (the amount of excess capacity above peak demand) in PJM has soared. In 2018, the expected summer reserve margin was 16.1%. The actual reserve margin was more than double what was forecasted, coming in at 32.8%. This reserve margin has been increasing with time.  According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the anticipated reserve margin in 2021 is 45%.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

The Bad News Bears for Gas Producers

By 5 on December 18, 2019

It is hard to believe that natural gas traders and analysts remain bearish given current prices. But the amount of gas being produced is outpacing demand and continues to place downward pressure on prices.  This supply and demand imbalance has caused both short and long-term gas prices to tumble.   Prices for both the January 2020 contract and winter strip (Jan 2020 – Mar 2020) have dramatically fallen over the last month.   Figure 1 shows how gas prices for the January contract rallied through the fall, reaching its peak of $2.94/MMbtu on November 5th and then settled at $2.22/MMBtu on December 9th – a decrease of nearly 25% in four weeks.   Prices for the winter strip have followed a similar trend.   Figure 2 shows longer-term market movements in gas futures since November.  The blue bar in Figure 2 is the price for the January 2020 gas contract and calendar years 2020 through 2024 on November 5th.  The black bar shows how those same contracts were trading on December 13th.   While the biggest decrease was in the January contract and in calendar year 2020, prices fell across all calendar years to 2024.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

Jaime Sánchez Garzón Joins Energy Industry Innovator, 5's Mexico Team

By 5 on December 16, 2019

Irving, TX - December 16, 2019

Jaime Samuel Sánchez Garzón has joined Irving, Texas-based energy advisory firm 5 as an Energy Market Analysis Director in the company’s Mexico City office.

Sánchez Garzón has spent the last ten years working for the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico’s state-owned electric utility. In his most recent role, he managed the trends and analysis department for the utility, which was responsible for monitoring the market, analyzing risk, forecasting prices in the wholesale electricity market and setting strategies for long-term and mid-term electricity auctions.

Topics: People Press
1 min read

Get to Know Jerry Stewart

By 5 on November 21, 2019

Jerry Stewart is an Energy Advisor at 5 and was one of the first employees to join the team.Jerry began his career in the energy business after spending the first part of his professional life as a real estate appraiser. During that time, he discovered his passion for serving others through his work as a Christian missionary where he spent 4 years in Honduras working with orphans. His energy career began at First Choice Power where he helped commercial customers with electricity procurement. A year later, Jerry joined 5 and brought his passion to serve others with him. Today, Jerry helps over 250 clients across the country with their energy-related needs, 80 of which are non-profits organizations.

Topics: People Videos
1 min read

Client Spotlight: City of Mansfield

By 5 on November 21, 2019

The City of Mansfield looked to 5 to help identify better ways of purchasing electricity and operating their facilities. This included moving away from a municipal aggregation and into a favorable supply contract that will save the city approximately $9 million in electricity expenses. 5 also worked with the city to improve the operations of its water treatment plant. Adjustments to the operating profile of the main water pumps and training provided to the staff reduced demand charges by over $100,000. 5’s energy expertise enabled the City of Mansfield to significantly lower their operating expenses and improve the efficiency of the water utility that serves the city.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Videos Procurement
1 min read

Luthin Associates Named 2019 Energy Innovator by CV Magazine

By 5 on November 21, 2019

Allenhurst, NJ - November 21, 2019

Luthin Associates, a 5 company, was recently recognized by CV Magazine as the Best Multi-Service Energy Consultancy in the Northeastern United States.

Topics: Culture Press
2 min read

The Lingering Effects of a Texas Summer

By 5 on November 21, 2019

This past August, electricity prices in Texas hit historic highs over several days.  Prices rose from the typical range of $20 to $30 per MWh to $9,000 per MWh during the second week of that month.  Figure 1 shows daily prices during the week of August 12, 2019.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

A Correction in Natural Gas Basis Prices

By 5 on November 21, 2019

Natural Gas basis prices for the winter of 2019/2020 have decreased by 28% since the middle of October.  Figure 1 shows how the basis price for this winter started to rally in August, reaching its peak of $2.90/MMbtu on October 16th.  Most believe that the strong rally was due to the TETCO natural gas pipeline explosion on August 1st near Danville, Kentucky.  In the wake of that accident, the amount of natural gas moving through that pipeline was reduced by 15%.   The reduction in gas volumes along this major interstate pipeline, which supplies the Northeast, had a bullish impact on basis prices for this winter, which rallied through September and early October.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

Joseph Franz Joins Energy Industry Innovator, 5

By 5 on November 12, 2019

Irving, TX - November 12, 2019

Innovative digital business leader and energy executive Joseph Franz has joined the Irving, Texas-based energy advisory firm 5.Franz will manage 5’s digital marketing strategies with a specific focus on growing 5’s small commercial business line.

“Joe is an industry expert with few equals when it comes to digital marketing in the deregulated energy space,” said CEO Brian Hayduk. “His expertise in building high-yield digital platforms will be invaluable in expanding our value proposition to a class of customers currently under served in the marketplace, small and medium-sized businesses.”

Topics: People Press
2 min read

5 Named to 2020 List of Best Companies to Work for in Texas

By 5 on November 12, 2019

Irving, TX - November 12, 2019

For the fifth consecutive year, energy advisory firm 5 was named as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The award was created in 2006 and is a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group.

Topics: Culture Press
1 min read

5 Named to 2019 Aggie 100 List

By 5 on October 28, 2019

Irving, TX - October 28, 2019

For the third consecutive year, Texas A&M University named energy advisory firm 5 to its annual list of the 100 fastest-growing companies that are owned or led by former students. 5 was ranked #80 on the 2019 Aggie 100, which recognizes the top Aggie-owned companies in the world with the highest compound annual revenue growth from 2016 to 2018.

Topics: Culture Press
2 min read

5 Named to Prestigious Dallas 100™ List

By 5 on October 25, 2019

 

Irving, TX - October 25, 2019

Energy innovator and advisory firm 5 was recently recognized as one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial companies in the Dallas area, according to the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business’ Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship. A first-time honoree, 5 was among the 100 fastest-growing, privately held businesses that made the Institute’s annual Dallas 100™ list.

Topics: Culture Press
3 min read

Upstate is Down and Downstate is Up

By 5 on October 25, 2019

Anyone from New York knows that New York is really made up of two states: upstate and downstate.  Some will even put a finer point on this and claim that New York City is distinct from downstate and the same can be said of New York’s electricity markets.  Today, there are two factors that have a significant impact on the price of electricity throughout New York.  One of those factors is tied to regulatory developments in Albany and the other is connected to the way capacity has been trading across the state.

Topics: Markets NYISO
5 min read

Get to Know Eric Plateis

By 5 on October 24, 2019

Eric Plateis is a co-founder of 5 and currently serves as the Chief Risk Officer. Eric’s 30 years of experience as a trader helps clients to manage their risk and choose energy products that are best for their business. The following interview with Eric Plateis was conducted by the 5 By 5 Editor-in-Chief, Steve Kass. 

SK: How did you get started in trading? Is that something you always wanted to do?

Topics: People
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Royal Holiday Group

By 5 on October 24, 2019

Royal Holiday Group has more than 35 years of experience in the national and international tourism industry. It is an owner and operator of Royal Holiday Vacation Club and Park Royal Hotels & Resorts, a hotel chain with 14 resorts in Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Florida in the United States. Park Royal Hotels and Resorts caters to travelers that are looking for a luxurious beach destination with their Grand Park Royal resorts, a family-friendly resort with their Park Royal line or their Park Royal City group of hotels which offers a more urban hotel setting.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Renewables
2 min read

What Goes Down, Must Come Up?

By 5 on October 24, 2019

In commodity markets, a bear market cannot stay bearish forever. Typically, a commodity market does not stay in backwardation (where prices get cheaper into the future) for long. The forward electricity markets in Texas have been in a backwardated state for a while as prices in the outer years have been steadily falling. However, it seems as though the market has found a support (floor).

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

A Tale of Two Power Markets

By 5 on October 24, 2019

Over the last few years, natural gas has become the fuel on the margin, meaning that the price of natural gas becomes the driver for wholesale electricity prices.  Supplies of natural gas and the delivery systems necessary to transport that gas are both important factors that influence the price of electricity.  Given the size of PJM, it should not be surprising that the forces affecting electricity prices in the eastern portions of PJM are different from those affecting prices in the western part of PJM.  In August, a major interstate gas pipeline on the TETCO system in rural Kentucky exploded. Electricity markets in the eastern and western parts of PJM had significantly different responses to this explosion.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

More Good News and Bad News for Natural Gas

By 5 on October 24, 2019

This week, a major milestone was reached in the natural gas market. For the first time in two years, the amount of natural gas in storage has exceeded the 5-year average. In Figure 1, the 5-year range of minimum and maximum amounts of gas in storage are shown in the area shaded in gray. The darker blue line is the 5-year average and the red line shows the amount of gas currently in storage. This chart shows that storage levels have been below the 5-year average for the last 25 months. At this time last year, the nation headed into winter with approximately 3,200 Bcf of gas in storage, roughly 15% below the 5-year average.  

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Natural Gas Woes on Both Coasts

By 5 on October 24, 2019

In New York, natural gas is the new front in the war on climate change. While natural gas is much cleaner than coal, environmental groups argue that expanding natural gas infrastructure (building pipelines that transport gas, new gas power plants, and/or new buildings that use natural gas) will result in increases in upstream methane emissions and dampen efforts to switch to carbon free sources.  Due in part to environmental opposition, permits have not been granted for the construction of the infrastructure needed to support increased usage of natural gas.  As a result, in certain parts of the State, the natural gas infrastructure cannot support new natural gas demand. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

5 Named to Entrepreneur 360™ List for Third Consecutive Year

By 5 on October 9, 2019

Irving, TX - October 9, 2019

For the third consecutive year, energy advisory firm 5 was selected by Entrepreneur magazine for its 5th annual Entrepreneur 360™ list.

Topics: Culture Press
7 min read

October 2019 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on October 7, 2019

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2019. This letter discusses: (i) electricity price spikes in Texas, (ii) new limits on natural gas usage in New York, and (iii) California’s continued struggle with the linkage between power lines and wildfires.

Topics: Newsletters
2 min read

Catherine Luthin Recognized as Association of Energy Engineers Fellow

By 5 on September 25, 2019

Allenhurst, NJ - September 25, 2019

Catherine Luthin, President of Luthin Associates, has been recognized as a 2019 Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Fellow alongside ten other AEE members. Luthin shares this honor with Fotouh A. Al-Ragom from the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, as one of only two women to be inducted as AEE Fellows.

Topics: People Press
2 min read

Client Spotlight: Sustainable Development Capital LLP

By 5 on September 19, 2019

Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) is an international advisory and investment firm that promotes and supports the investment and development of clean energy and energy efficiency projects around the world. With offices in the UK, Ireland, Singapore and New York, SDCL funds energy efficiency projects that reduce both operating costs and carbon emissions. SDCL invests in projects that improve building operations, deliver better energy solutions and increase property asset values.

Topics: Clients Demand Response
3 min read

New York's Peak Demand Day was a Saturday?

By 5 on September 19, 2019

Since fall officially arrives next week, we‘d like to review what happened in New York’s energy markets over the summer.  Two stories are worth mentioning:

  • Peak electricity demand in New York, which sets all business’ capacity obligations, likely occurred over the weekend of July 20th
  • Low spot natural gas prices kept Real Time electricity prices in check all summer throughout the state
Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

Bulls Arriving for 2020 and No News Isn't Good News for Capacity

By 5 on September 19, 2019

Over the last month, electricity futures in PJM have increased across all calendar years out to 2025.  The most dramatic movement has been in the wholesale price of electricity for calendar year 2020.  Figure 1 shows wholesale power prices in PJM East going back to the beginning of 2019.  This chart shows that the price for calendar year 2020 (the dark blue line) has consistently been higher than calendar years 2021 through 2023. 

Topics: Markets PJM
4 min read

What the heck just happened In ERCOT?

By 5 on September 19, 2019

There are two things we were watching closely this summer:

  • The temperature and its impact on the ERCOT reserve margin.
  • Tariff updates from the delivery companies.

In terms of the weather and ERCOT reserve margins – everything was fine until the second week of August.  In the month of July, North Texas didn’t see a 100º day until the last day of the month, which is rare.  But as mother nature often does with averages, August arrived and reset everything back to “normal.”

Topics: Markets ERCOT
4 min read

Can Renewable Power Projects Get Built Outside of Texas?

By 5 on September 19, 2019

Many states throughout the country, especially along the East Coast, have aggressive plans to construct solar and wind farms to produce electricity.  States such as New York and Maryland have established mandates that will require up to 50% of the electricity in those states to come from renewable sources over the next 10 to 15 years. And while these goals are admirable, the facts are that strong, sustained winds and lots of sunshine are not abundant in the Northeast.  Additionally, there are plenty of opposition groups that, may ultimately, block these initiatives which will require new transmission lines to distribute this electricity.

Topics: Markets ERCOT Renewables
2 min read

Pop Goes the NYMEX

By 5 on September 19, 2019

Over the last two weeks, there has been a significant increase in the price of prompt month (October) natural gas. Since the beginning of the year, prompt month gas prices had been declining. That slide stopped in late August as the October gas contract was trading at $2.19/MMBtu.  At the time of this writing, the price of October gas was trading around $2.68/MMBtu, an increase of about 22%. These recent price changes in the prompt month gas contract are shown below in Figure 1.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
2 min read

Fort Bend ISD Partners with Energy Innovator, 5, Powering Energy Cost Reductions for the District

By 5 on September 10, 2019

Sugar Land, TX -  September 10, 2019

Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) has powered its way to significant energy cost reductions and a cleaner energy future by executing a new 100% renewable electricity agreement, facilitated through a new partnership with energy advisory firm 5.

Topics: Clients Procurement Press Renewables
1 min read

Get to Know Matt Shaw

By 5 on August 16, 2019

Matt Shaw is 5’s Director of Technology and Lead Code Buster. He is the creator of Level5, a cutting-edge technology platform that continues to evolve the client energy decision making experience.

Topics: People Videos
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Crescent Real Estate

By 5 on August 16, 2019

Fort Worth based Crescent Real Estate LLC is a real estate operating company and investment advisor with assets under management, development, and investment capacity of more than $10 billion. Notable assets include: The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, The Luminary (Dallas), Westshore Grand Hotel (Tampa) and Canyon Ranch Resorts.

Topics: Clients Procurement
3 min read

Good News and Bad News in Natural Gas Markets

By 5 on August 16, 2019

There’s been a lot of news around the natural gas market this past month.  Most of that news has been bad for producers and good for buyers of the commodity.  Natural gas injection quantities have, as expected, been significantly stronger this summer compared to last year.  The amount of gas consumed for power generation has, in general, been in line with expectations and similar to last summer.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

5 Named to Inc. 5000 for 4th Year in a row

By 5 on August 16, 2019

Irving, TX - August 14, 2019

Inc. Magazine has named Irving-based energy advisory firm 5 to its Inc. 5000 list for the fourth year in a row. This prestigious list recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, ranked according to percentage revenue growth over the three prior years from 2015 to 2018.

Topics: Culture Press
4 min read

One Hot Week in Texas

By 5 on August 16, 2019

Over the past two months in Texas we’ve witnessed our dream summer: a July where there was plenty of rain across the state, where North Texas didn’t see an official 100 degree day until July 31st, and where both Real Time electricity index prices were tame, and forward summer prices fell. Then August came.  The streak of sub-100 degree days ended, a high-pressure weather system settled in and we were all reminded of what summer in Texas is really all about.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
2 min read

Good Buying Opportunities in 2020 and 2021

By 5 on August 16, 2019

Over the last four weeks, wholesale power futures in New York have risen but remain in an attractive position to make near-term purchases. Figure 1 shows wholesale calendar prices for 2020 through 2024 since the beginning of the year. Futures hit their highs during the first week of May. During that week, calendar year 2024 (orange line) was the most expensive at $50.56/MWh and 2020 (dark blue line) was the least expensive at $37.21/MWh.

Topics: Markets NYISO
2 min read

Consequences of Maryland's Clean Energy Job Act

By 5 on August 16, 2019

In February 2019, Maryland’s state legislature introduced Senate Bill 516.  This bill was passed by the Maryland Assembly and became law in May 2019 without Governor Hogan’s signature.  This new law, known as the Clean Energy Jobs Act, increases the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) to 50% by 2030 and includes a mandate that 14.5% of its electricity come from solar sources by 2028.  This law also puts a plan in place to increase the RPS to 100% by 2040.  In addition to the state’s new RPS, the Clean Energy Jobs Act would develop one of the most aggressive offshore wind programs in the country which will create 1,200 MWs of generating capacity.  By comparison, the nation’s only other active offshore wind project produces 30 MWs from 5 wind turbines off the coast of Rhode Island. 

Topics: Markets PJM Education
2 min read

Electricity Futures Decrease in PJM

By 5 on August 16, 2019

Electricity futures in PJM have decreased over the course of the summer and are favorable for making longer term purchases.  Figure 1 shows electricity futures prices at the PJM West trading hub (Southwestern PA) out to August 2024.  The blue line is the price curve on April 8, 2019 and the black line is the price curve on August 12, 2019.  In the Northeast, winter electricity prices are the primary determinant for electricity prices. Since the beginning of the summer, the peak winter price in January has fallen by 10% out to 2024 as illustrated with the green arrows. Note that the peak summer price in July of each year has also decreased materially over the last three months.    

Topics: Markets PJM
1 min read

5’s Rapid Growth Continues, Named to Inc. 5000 for 4th Year in a Row

By 5 on August 14, 2019

Irving, TX - August 14, 2019

Inc. Magazine has named Irving-based energy advisory firm 5 to its Inc. 5000 list for the fourth year in a row. This prestigious list recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, ranked according to percentage revenue growth over the three prior years from 2015 to 2018.

Topics: Culture Press
1 min read

Get to Know Shashi Thoutireddy

By 5 on July 31, 2019

Shashi Thoutireddy is 5’s VP of Finance. Shashi was born and raised in India and earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology. He is an avid field hockey fan (India’s national sport) and played on a variety of teams while he was growing up. Shashi moved to Dallas in 2006 and earned a Master’s degree in Finance from Southern Methodist University in 2008.

Topics: People Videos
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Waterside Plaza

By 5 on July 31, 2019

Waterside Plaza is a luxury rental community in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in New York City. Located in the Kips Bay section of Manhattan, Waterside Plaza is comprised of four residential towers with nearly 1,500 units and retail space that serves the community. The complex is adjacent to the United Nations International School and is situated on the East River.

Topics: Clients Procurement Sustainability Renewables
4 min read

Maybe We Found a Natural Gas Floor?

By 5 on July 18, 2019

How much farther will natural gas prices fall?  Of course, no one really knows the absolute answer to that question.  But in the near-term, the answer may be $2.40/Dth.  Figure 1 shows the NYMEX trading history for a one-year period from August 2019 to July 2020.  One can see that futures prices declined steadily until last fall and then began to rise until March of this year.   Since then, NYMEX futures have persistently fallen from its peak of $2.91/Dth on March 21st.  The question among traders was: how low can it go?  As shown in Figure 1, the price floor for the August 2019 to July 2020 strip seems to be in the neighborhood of $2.40/Dth, which is where the market stopped falling back in the last week of June and the first week of July.  One of the reasons for the recent bearish price trend has been the large amounts of natural gas that have been put into storage. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

Catch Some Falling Power Prices in New York

By 5 on July 18, 2019

The state of New York has been aggressive in its attempts to de-carbonize the state’s economy.  Its goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 relative to levels in 1990.  Every kilowatt-hour of power used by both businesses and consumers relies on the output of a power plant to make that electricity.  The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO is the public entity responsible for managing the state’s electricity grid), realized that the state’s wholesale electricity markets were not aligned with the state’s vision for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

5.8 Degrees of Separation in North Texas

By 5 on July 18, 2019

Usually, hot summer weather starts to take hold in Texas during the month of June.  In most years, the temperature climbs steadily throughout that month with average temperatures at the end of June about 6 degrees higher than it was in the beginning of the month.  Typically, in Dallas, June’s average temperature is in the mid-80s with maximums that vary between 89º and 94º Fahrenheit.  This year, June’s average temperature in Dallas was 79.9º, which was 5.8º cooler than last year.  Average temperatures this May were also 5.6º cooler than last year.  The temperature differences can be seen in Figure 1 which shows the Cooling Degree Days in Dallas over the last six years.  A cooling degree day (CDD) is a measurement that quantifies the demand for electricity required to cool a building.  A CDD is the number of degrees that a day’s average temperature is greater than 65º Fahrenheit.   The data in Figure 1 shows that June 2019 was one of the coolest in the last six years with 30% fewer CDDs than last year.  And while May 2019 had the second highest number of CDDs since 2013, there were 30% fewer CDDs than last May.  The 6º (or so) of temperature separation from last May and June’s average temperatures have had a significant impact on wholesale electricity prices.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
3 min read

How State Green Initiatives Impact Power Markets

By 5 on July 18, 2019

Consequences of Increased State Regulations of Wholesale Energy

State Renewable Portfolio Standards and other renewable power regulations increase the cost of electricity and creates budget uncertainty. Large energy users need to follow multiple state regulations to estimate future energy costs. At 5, we are spending more and more time advising clients on state regulations as well as new local regulations that address carbon emissions.  New York City just adopted building regulations that require all buildings over 25,000 square feet to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050.  Buildings that are unable to meet emissions targets will be subject to significant fines.  It will be interesting to see if other local jurisdictions follow New York City and pass regulations to address carbon usage.

Topics: Markets PJM
7 min read

July 2019 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on July 8, 2019

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the second quarter of 2019. The beach is a great place to find some wind and not just to fly a kite. In fact, many Northeastern states are counting on offshore wind to meet their renewable generation goals. This letter reviews recent offshore wind developments and explores how realistic these projects are in light of: (i) the relatively high cost of offshore wind, and (ii) the permitting required to construct these projects and the related transmission infrastructure.

Topics: Newsletters
3 min read

Will Power Storage Incentives Be the Key to Expanding Renewables?

By Luthin Associates on June 27, 2019

As battery power storage pricing drops, new installation goals and incentive programs are emerging. New York State is pushing for 1.5 gigawatts (GW = 1000 MW) of storage capacity by 2025, and 3 GW by 2030. Utility level and behind-the-meter (BTM) projects promoted through equipment rebates and power price adjustments under the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) process. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Order 841 offers access to wholesale power markets by mandating Independent System Operators (ISOs) create rules for entry and valuing of power storage capacity.

Topics: Newsletters
3 min read

Will New York City's Climate Mobilization Act Save the Big Apple?

By Luthin Associates on June 27, 2019

Cities and states are moving ahead to fill the void left by federal inaction on global warming. On April 18, 2019, New York City’s government approved a Climate Mobilization Act designed to deepen and accelerate that effort. While hailed by many as a strong thrust toward reducing the City’s overall carbon footprint, some have expressed concern regarding its potential costs and ability to meet goals.

Topics: Newsletters
2 min read

Will Electric Vehicles (EV) Transport Us to a Clean and Green World?

By Luthin Associates on June 27, 2019

2020 may be the year of the electric vehicle (EV). Dozens of new models are available, and major car manufacturers are jumping on the EV bandwagon. As the power grid becomes cleaner, fossil-fueled transportation is now the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) contributor in the U.S. It is quickly becoming the new target to cut personal, community, and national carbon footprints. More than 1 million EVs are on U.S. roads and price discounts abound, but get them before the “sunsets” on this popular industry trend.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

Factoid: Changes to Environment Disclosure Labels

By Luthin Associates on June 27, 2019

As estimated by NYSERDA’s Environmental Disclosure Label data for NY State, alternative sources of energy are on the rise. Comparing 2014 data to that available in 2017, hydroelectric sources went from 5% to 9%. Meanwhile, the use of natural gas went from 56% to 42%.

Topics: Newsletters
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Houghton College

By 5 on June 17, 2019

Houghton College had a number of exciting energy projects on campus prior to engaging the team at 5. These projects were driven by their commitment to sustainability and featured a campus-wide LED lighting retrofit project, a 2.6 MW solar array and other initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. 5 was able to partner with Houghton College’s sustainability and finance teams to put all of the pieces together into a comprehensive strategy for energy procurement and demand-side management.

Topics: Clients Case Studies Videos Procurement Demand Response Sustainability
3 min read

Boatloads of Gas Going Into Storage This Spring

By 5 on June 17, 2019

In recent weeks, between 8 weeks and 11 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) ships filled their tanks with LNG to transport natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico to markets abroad. On average, each ship carries 3 to 4 Bcf of gas.  This equates to approximately 30 and 40 Bcf of gas being exported from the United States every week.  Even with all this natural gas leaving the country, record amounts of gas continue to be injected into onshore storage facilities. In fact, in 6 of the last 7 weeks, net injections of gas into storage have exceeded 100 Bcf, with next week’s injection forecasted to carry that run to 7 of 8. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
3 min read

How Low Will Spot Prices Go?

By 5 on June 17, 2019

New York’s Power Spot Market Clearing Extremely Low

In April 2019, Real-Time spot prices, or index prices, for electricity settled lower than typical for the month ofApril. These price trends are shown in Figure 1.  This chart shows the spot price in various regions of New York over the last year.  The letters in chart’s legend correspond to different geographic regions of the state (see map in Figure 2). The settlement prices in April were more in line with typical prices for May and June when index prices are usually at their lowest. 

Topics: Markets NYISO
3 min read

Good Purchasing Options and Big Changes in Maryland

By 5 on June 17, 2019

Midwest and Mid-Atlantic (PJM)

Inexpensive spot prices for natural gas in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic Regions have had a material impact on the spot prices for electricity inPJM. Figure 1 illustrates the monthly average Real-Time index prices for the two main trading hubs in PJM (PJM West is a broad area from Erie to DC, PJM East is the Philadelphia area and East) going back to 2016. This shows a decreasing trend in spot prices going back to last fall, following the decline in natural gas prices. It also highlights that in the last two months, spot electricity prices have settled near their lows, close to those that were set back in 2016.

Topics: Markets PJM
3 min read

Watching the Temperature and the Tariffs

By 5 on June 17, 2019

There are two things we are really watching this summer: the temperature and rate cases. It’s mid-June, school is out and the 4th of July is two weeks away – summer is here.  It is natural to start watching the thermometer, waiting for those days that are at or above 100º F and looking to the sky for any signs of looming rain clouds.  So far, this summer has been both cool and rainy.  The number of cooling degree days for May in North Texas was two-thirds of what it was last year, and June seems to be following that same trend.

Topics: Markets ERCOT
5 min read

Get to Know Rakesh Parasuraman

By 5 on June 17, 2019

5's National Business Correspondent Steve Kass sits down with Rakesh Parasuraman

SK: Tell us a little bit about your background and where you grew up.

Topics: People
4 min read

Hurricanes Are Now Bears And Not Bulls

By 5 on June 17, 2019

With the Atlantic hurricane season officially opening June 1st, its time to address the annual concern “What will this year’s hurricane season do to natural gas prices?”

Back in the 1990’s, hurricane tracking was one of the most important fundamentals energy traders watched. The destructive capabilities of a powerful hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico heading towards the large production regions (Corpus Christi TX to Mobile AL) would cause drilling and production platforms in the Gulf to evacuate their personnel, typically requiring the well to be closed. This would result in a dramatic reduction in the amount of natural gas produced for a week or more if there was substantial damage to the platforms. 

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

Inc. Magazine Recognizes Energy Innovator 5 as Top Workplace in U.S.

By 5 on May 16, 2019

Irving, TX - May 16, 2019

Inc. Magazine has named Irving-based energy advisory firm 5 to its prestigious list of “Best Workplaces” in America for the third straight year. The annual, highly competitive list recognizes the top companies that have “created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement, and stellar benefits.”

Topics: Culture Press
3 min read

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prices Move in Step With One Another?

By 5 on May 10, 2019

Like a lot of myths or half-truths, the belief that natural gas and crude prices are positively correlated (move in the same direction up or down at similar times) was at one time very true, but as technology and trends changed over time, so did this correlation. Recently, even energy traders held onto the belief that natural gas and crude oil would always trade within ratios of approximately 10:1 to 12:1. This means that if crude oil were trading at $24 per barrel, then natural gas would trade at approximately $2 per MMBtu, or in similar ratios of $36 to $3 and $48 to $4.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Lifoam

By 5 on May 10, 2019

Lifoam Industries is an innovator in storage and packaging solutions for consumers, commercial and life science systems. Lifoam manufactures and distributes everything from foam coolers to insulated containers used by food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms for shipping temperature-sensitive contents. Lifoam is also committed to sustainability and recycling. In 2016, Lifoam recycled over 118 million pounds of material which is the equivalent of 79 million 24-can coolers. With over 13 material patents, Lifoam remains committed to continued sustainable research, development and optimizations as the cold chain and consumer landscapes continue to evolve.

Topics: Clients
1 min read

Get to Know Jay Bennett

By 5 on May 10, 2019

Jay Bennett is one of 5’s most experienced and longest tenured energy advisors and is also one of the kindest and most patient people around. His clients benefit from the sure and steady advice they get from Jay in addition to his drive to serve and help others.

Topics: People
1 min read

5’s Partnership with San Angelo ISD Yields Energy Savings for District

By 5 on May 7, 2019

Irving, TX - May 7, 2019

Controlling one of the largest line-item costs in operating budgets – energy – is now within reach for San Angelo Independent School District as a result of a partnership with energy advisory firm, 5.

Topics: Clients Culture Case Studies Videos Press
7 min read

May 2019 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on May 6, 2019

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the first quarter of 2019. Before addressing this quarter’s topics, I would like to welcome the team at Simplified Energy and Luthin Associates to the 5 family. Simplified significantly expands our team in Houston, and Luthin Associates puts us on the map in a big way in the Mid-Atlantic region. We are all very excited to work with Catherine Luthin and her team in the East, and Dan McCarthy and his team in Houston.

Topics: Newsletters
2 min read

Are Spring and Fall the Best Time to Buy Power?

By 5 on April 24, 2019

One of the biggest urban legends in the power buying process is that, clients should buy electricity during the spring or fall months because that is when prices are at their lowest. Like all legends, there is a small element of truth behind this belief - but on the whole, it is completely wrong. 

TELL ME THEN, When should I buy electricity?

Topics: Markets Education
2 min read

Natural Gas Futures are Beginning to Rise

By 5 on April 24, 2019

April 1st marked the end of natural gas withdrawal season and the beginning of injection season. The winter of 2018/19 is officially in the past and gas storage levels are at their lowest levels since the spring that followed the very cold winter of 2014.

Topics: Markets Natural Gas
1 min read

Get to Know Mary McCarthy

By 5 on April 12, 2019

Mary Vela McCarthy is one of those unforgettable people that makes a lasting impression on everyone that knows her. And if curiosity is any measure of intelligence, Mary may be one of the smartest people we know!

Topics: People
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Premier Refrigerated

By 5 on April 12, 2019

With over 100 years of cold storage experience, the management team at Premier Refrigerated Warehouse provides personalized service and customized reporting for their clients. Additionally, Premier makes safety and cleanliness a top priority for their 8,000 pallet positions across two million cubic feet of warehouse space.

Topics: Clients
2 min read

Luthin Associates Joins Forces with Energy Industry Innovator, 5

By 5 on April 2, 2019

Irving, TX - April 2, 2019

Expanding its presence in the Northeastern United States, energy advisory firm 5 has acquired Allenhurst, New Jersey-based Luthin Associates, an industry leader in energy management consulting in the New York tri-state area.

Topics: Culture Press
1 min read

Fortune Magazine Recognizes 5 as a Top Workplace in Texas

By 5 on March 20, 2019

 

FORTUNE MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES 5 AS A TOP WORKPLACE IN TEXAS

Second Consecutive Year of Recognition for Irving-based Firm

Irving, TX - March 20, 2019

For the second consecutive year, FORTUNE and its research partner, Great Place to Work®, have recognized energy advisory firm 5 as one of the best companies to work for in Texas. Great Place to Work analyzed anonymous survey feedback from over 42,000 Texan employees in determining the list of those companies named to the prestigious annual list.

Topics: Culture Press
1 min read

Get to Know Jeff Grejda

By 5 on March 13, 2019

Clients who work with Jeff Grejda, one of our most experienced energy advisors, have come to expect a higher order of energy advice and service.

Topics: People
1 min read

Client Spotlight: Midland ISD

By 5 on March 13, 2019

With over 26,000 students and 3,000 educators and support staff, Midland ISD focuses on graduating students ready and prepared for college or career.

Before working with the team at 5, this thriving school district in West Texas was managing electricity costs on its own. In the spring of 2018, Midland ISD selected 5 to serve as the energy advisor for the entire district, and we started working together to analyze existing energy usage and build a proactive strategy for energy cost control and management.

Topics: Clients