PUF's Where's Energy

December PPI Data

December’s Producer Price Index report was released last week. The good news in the natural gas commodity markets is now translating to good news for the electric utility industry.

The key indicator is the price trend in natural gas purchases by electric power producers. That price was down 12.4 percent in December year-over-year.

Why does that matter? Because last June that price was up 98.2 percent year-over-year. As recently as September that price was up 40.7 percent year-over-year.

Lowest Income's Electric Bills

In 2021, the average income before taxes of the lowest income households in the U.S. (the lowest quintile) was only one-seventeenth of the income before taxes of the highest income households (the highest quintile). One-seventeenth. That is indeed a very small fraction.

Even after taxes, the average income for the lowest income households was only one-twelfth of the average for the highest income households. One-twelfth. That’s still a very small fraction.

Stocking Stuffer

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our places of work.

Not a creature was stirring, not even NERC.

The stockings were hung by the smokestack with care.

In hopes that St. Joe soon would be there.

Utility and regulatory leaders were nestled all snug in their beds.

While visions of federal funds danced in their heads.

When out on the beltway there arose such a clatter.

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the Energy Star window I flew like a flash.

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

Monitor for the Monitors?

As the guy who is constantly analyzing the value of electricity and its cost to consumers, some would say ad nauseam, this thing for monitors got my attention. I mean, with the greatest respect for those wanting monitors, to put another check on one of the most effective monitoring systems ever devised by man (our utility regulatory process), really?