Until now, energy retailers in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market were faced with pricing profiled class customers without information on future electricity loads. A new product just released by Regional Economic Research Inc. (RER) equips retailers with the data needed to gain the upper hand when pricing contracts and the ability to quantify the load uncertainty associated with their long-term customer portfolios.

RER has long been recognized as a leader in the areas of energy forecasting and load profiling. In the Texas market, RER was selected to develop ERCOT’s load profiling system. ERCOT uses this system to produce hourly profiles given actual weather conditions for nine profile classes and eight weather zones. The load profile “backcasts” are published by ERCOT on a daily basis and are used to settle the bills of non-hourly metered customers.

“What was missing and what retailers need for pricing contracts and for evaluating their portfolio position was long-term forecasts of the ERCOT profiles,” states J. Stuart McMenamin, RER’s Executive Vice President and manager for the ERCOT project. RER just filled this missing piece of the ERCOT puzzle. “RER combined an analysis of historical weather data with the ERCOT profile models to develop long-term load profile forecasts,” adds McMenamin.

Profile forecasts for the nine ERCOT profile classes and eight weather zones covering 2001 through 2010 were developed. Baseline profile forecasts are developed for typical weather conditions, and profile forecasts are also available for extreme (e.g., cold winters and hot summers) and mild (e.g., warm winters and cool summers) weather conditions. These profile forecasts can help energy retailers evaluate their risk position by quantifying the load uncertainty associated with their customer portfolio.

The profile forecasts and associated weather data are delivered in Microsoft Access databases, making it easy to upload these data into pricing and risk management tools. To find out more about these profiles or to order the data on CD, visit www.rer.com/whatsnew. Or, contact RER at 800-755-9585 or ercotprofiles@rer.com.