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Energy Trends to Watch in the Year Ahead

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We recently caught up with Direct Energy Business president John Schultz to discuss the latest energy industry developments

In the second half of our conversation, we focused on a variety of factors impacting 2017, including the presidential election, regulatory proceedings and price volatility. 

You can hear his take in both videos below.  


Election Impact 

Coal was a central issue in this year's U.S. presidential election. However, cheap natural gas makes it unlikely that coal will regain a significant share in U.S. power generation. The election may have a much more muted impact on the energy sector than some expected.

Regulatory Issues

There are a number of regulatory issues that customers should monitor closely in 2017. The broad underlying trend is to find new ways to compensate power generators, which means that consumers will likely have to pay more for electricity. In PJM, we're likely to see less demand response providing grid reliability and higher capacity prices. At a state level, there's more and more subsidization of nuclear plants, which will also increase the cost of electricity for customers. Finally, certain utilities are attempting to move merchant plants back into the ratebase, which will likely lead to higher costs without incremental benefits. 

We are likely to see continued volatility in natural gas prices while power prices might move up slightly this year.

Energy Choice and Innovation

The promise of deregulation is threefold: better offerings, lower prices and more innovation. Direct Energy Business has taken a leadership position in the industry with device-level energy monitoring, creative solar power options, energy efficiency, demand response and more. 

For a round-up of the past year's major energy trends, watch the first part of our interview with Direct Energy Business president John Schultz

Posted: January 10, 2017