Eligo CEO says “This is What Makes a Great Investor” in Fortune magazine

Incubators aren’t always worth the cost.

The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What’s the best way for young startup owners to develop relationships with angel investors?” is written by Alexander Goldstein, founder and CEO of Eligo Energy.

As an angel investor and an entrepreneur, I can say firsthand that having smart, motivated investors is critical to the success of your startup. The right investors can open doors, identify and help resolve potential problems, and connect you with other investors. The best investors will actively scrutinize your startup and help you anticipate potential problems, often at the expense of telling you that you are heading in the wrong direction.

Continue reading at Great Investor

Eligo CEO Alexander Goldstein has “5 Money-Saving Tips to Beat the Heat” in Money Magazine

Know the Peak Hours

Many energy providers are switching to advanced metering infrastructure, known as smart meters, which can charge different rates for energy used during peak hours. In fact, about 51 million residential units have been installed so far in the U.S. in states like California, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Maryland. For most people, peak hours tend to be between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. “For the same usage, you’re better off running the dishwasher after 9 o’clock and plugging in chargers overnight as well,” says Alex Goldstein, CEO of Chicago-based retail energy provider Eligo Energy.

PSE&G, which serves as New Jersey’s largest utility, expected daily demand for electricity to soar to 8,937 megawatts Wednesday, with the demand growing each day after that if temperatures remained in the 90s. The utility hit its record high on Aug. 2, 2006 with 11,108 megawatts consumed.

Temperature is Key

For every degree you lower the temperature in your house, you raise your bill by up to 6%, according to electric utility Eversource, which provides service to customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

For the most part, setting your thermostat at 78°F in the summer is optimal, especially if you’re using a fan to circulate the air, according to Consumer Energy Center. When you leave the house, instead of turning your air conditioner off completely, increase the temperature to 85°F. If you turn off your HVAC unit completely in a large house, it can take additional energy cooling it back down and could cost you more than if you had just adjusted the temperature.

Maintain Your Equipment

It can really save you money to check and replace the filters in an air conditioner or HVAC system regularly. Over time, they clog up and end up using more power to achieve the same cooling affect. Goldstein recommends changing filters every six months.

It can also be cost-effective to replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones, usually labeled Energy Star, according to Con Edison, which supplies energy to New York City residents.

Continue reading at Beat the Heat

Eligo’s Mark Freidgan talks Asian energy regulations in Japan’s New Energy Rules Make it a Paraside for Renewables”

JAPAN IS A weird place. But not for any of the reasons you’re thinking. I’m talking in terms of energy, because among industrialized, consumer-ized, electronically-driven nations, Japan probably has the world’s worst portfolio of homegrown energy resources—it’s the second largest net importer of fossil fuels. But it gets weirder. This month, the island nation rewrote its energy rules to give consumers the power to choose which energy source it wants.

Before Fukushima, Japan got 30 percent of its power from nuclear energy. That would be significant even in a countrywith abundant natural resources. In lieu of coaxing a gas-filled meteor to fall into its lap, the Japanese government is hoping to use market forces to generate innovation in the energy sector. See, if electricity buyers get to buy from the lowest bidder, then those bidders will have to compete for ever-lower prices. Which doesn’t just mean lower prices for consumers: It could result in a boom for renewables.

First, a quick primer on how you get electricity. The stuff begins at the generator—a coal plant, hydroelectric dam, warehouse full of hotwired hamster wheels, whatever—and then enters transmission lines. Those electrons then go into local lines, pass through your meter ($$$), and finally get converted by your computer into the webpage displaying this article.

Traditionally, this whole process was operated by so-called vertically-integrated energy providers. They own the plants, they own the lines, they send you the bill. The price of electricity gets set by regulators, who base them on a company’s operating costs. “There is a downside, and that is a monopoly doesn’t allow for much competition and therefore it doesn’t allow for innovation,” says Mark Friedgan, chief information officer of Chicago-based Eligo Energy.

Continue reading at Japan Renewables

Eligo’s Mark Freidgan talks crude oil price’s effect on the energy sector in Voice of America

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Demand for natural gas dropped to a 31-year low in recent weeks, while storage remained at all-time highs. Davis said, “With the advent of liquid natural gas (LNG) exporting, you now have a set global price. LNG will now be exported around the world, and this oversupply will start to draw down leading to higher prices in natural gas.”

Another factor contributing to the surge in stocks is participation from the financial sector, which was largely unexpected because low-to-negative interest rates are a challenge to bank earnings and growth. Just this Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it was cutting its main interest rate and expanding its massive bond-buying program.

Steven Kalayjian of KnowVera said more Quantitative Easing (QE) from central banks is bad for the markets because it artificially inflates asset prices.

“Since 2008, global central banks, including the Federal Reserve, have cut rates over 650 times, which has not spurred any economic growth. In fact, global GDPs are in a decline,” Kalayjian said. “The recent rally is based on false hope of more Quantitative Easing when markets should be moving on solid fundamentals like strong corporate earnings and healthy economic data.”

Mark Friedgan, Co-Founder & CIO of Eligo Energy, is in agreement with Kalayjian. “While QE may have been necessary to preserve the global economy when it began, after more than seven years of various forms of QE worldwide, it must eventually end,” Friedgan said. “The concern I have is that this end to artificial government influence on the economy will result in a day of reckoning for investors who have been chasing yield in both exchange-traded assets and private investment. The economy and markets must prove that they can survive and grow substantially without this government tailwind.”

Read the full article and see the video at Crude Oil Rebounds

Eligo’s CEO helps consumers with choosing an energy provider in AltEnergy magazine

Why schools should have the right to choose their electricity provider?

We believe that all customers should have a right to choose their own electricity supplier.  Given the likely savings that customers making the choice are likely to experience, in the age of ever-tight budgets, schools would be able to apply the saving in other areas.

 

Why incentives for AES’s to expand energy efficiency programs could benefit both schools and consumers?

There has been a lot of recent media attention surrounding how much Michigan schools have saved with deregulation. If more schools could participate, (or more consumers, small businesses or even big businesses) think about how much money could be saved. Over time, the amount saved would add up, saving hundreds of thousand dollars on energy bills (as seen by the Michigan public school systems).

Continue reading at Choosing Your Own Energy Provider

Eligo’s CEO has some money saving tips in CBS’s Small Business Pulse

3 Ways To Keep Costs Down By Saving Money On Your Business’s Utility Bills

Opening and operating your own business is by no means cheap. There are a number of different important fixed and variable costs that you’ll always have to pay, including rent, salaries, insurance, maintenance and utilities, which, when added up can come out to a lot of money. So when there’s an opportunity to save major bucks, wouldn’t you want to take it?

I figure that any business owner would answer the above question with a resounding “Yes, of course I want to save money when and where possible.” Here is a small checklist of things you can do to ensure that your energy bill remains low so you can put your money to better use, improve the business, employ top talent and make yourself more profitable.

 

Conduct a light audit

screen shot 2015 08 31 at 3 41 10 pm1 3 Ways To Keep Costs Down By Saving Money On Your Businesss Utility Bills

Did you know that lighting accounts for nearly 30 percent of your energy bill? Because LED lights consume 80 percent less energy that traditional light sources, and they last 40 times longer, switching all of your lights to LED bulbs can stop you from wasting energy, which ends up reducing your energy bill. There are tons of companies that will offer a free lighting audit. Check online for local companies willing to conduct an audit of your offices so you can minimize your lighting bill and maximize your savings.

continue reading at 3 Ways to Keep Costs Down

Eligo’s Mark Freidgan interviewed about the rebound of crude oil on Voice of America

“Since 2008, global central banks, including the Federal Reserve, have cut rates over 650 times, which has not spurred any economic growth. In fact, global GDPs are in a decline,” Kalayjian said. “The recent rally is based on false hope of more Quantitative Easing when markets should be moving on solid fundamentals like strong corporate earnings and healthy economic data.”

Mark Friedgan, Co-Founder & CIO of Eligo Energy, is in agreement with Kalayjian. “While QE may have been necessary to preserve the global economy when it began, after more than seven years of various forms of QE worldwide, it must eventually end,” Friedgan said. “The concern I have is that this end to artificial government influence on the economy will result in a day of reckoning for investors who have been chasing yield in both exchange-traded assets and private investment. The economy and markets must prove that they can survive and grow substantially without this government tailwind.”

Watch the video here Quantitative Easing

Eligo CEO talks to The Street about “How to Slash Energy Costs to Save Thousands”

Consider replacing your current light bulbs with LEDs since lighting remains a “significant portion of electricity usage,” said Alexander Goldstein, CEO of Eligo Energy, an energy retailer based in Chicago which provides electricity to residential and commercial customers in deregulated states. Another plus is that LED bulbs are up to ten times as efficient and last up to 50 times longer compared to incandescent bulbs. To boot, they are better for the environment compared to florescent or CFL bulbs. In fact, given that lighting can total 5% to 10% of household energy costs, the average consumer can save $75 to $200 annually by switching over to more efficient bulbs.

Those older model computer monitors or televisions that have the cathode ray tubes (CRT) should also be replaced with the newer liquid crystal-display (LCD) screens, because they use less power.

At home or in your business, examine your current servers for your data and consider “consolidating multiple older servers into new more efficient hardware” or simply using the cloud, he said. Servers are large consumers of power and also emit heat, requiring additional air conditioning to keep them at a very low temperature constantly.

 

Read the full article at Slash Energy Costs

Eligo’s Alexander Goldstein explains “5 Effects Low Gas Prices Have On The Economy”

For months, American drivers have enjoyed near historically low gas prices, with the national average dropping to only $1.89 per gallon.

Even President Barack Obama sees the benefits of low gas prices, commenting “gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad,” in last week’s State of the Union speech. Behind the huge drop in gas prices is an even bigger collapse in the price of oil, from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to just under $30 a barrel this week.

So plan that road trip, America. Gas prices are at historic lows and could even keep declining, which is already having several surprising side effects.

 

 

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3: It Will Become Easier To Save Money

“Lower gas prices mean that the cost of transportation and heating will be lower,” Alexander Goldstein, founder and CEO of Eligo Energy told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is no surprise that consumers will save the money that they aren’t putting into their gas tanks. According to recent studies, Americans saved 5.5 percent of their income in November because they spent less money on utility bills and gas….A fall in oil prices is effectively like a free tax cut.”
U.S. consumers spent $370 billion on gasoline in 2014, meaning a 28 percent price drop is equivalent to a $102 billion tax cut. Low prices at the pump are enormously beneficial to American households who can now use money not spent on gasoline to save more, pay down debt, or buy other goods.

American households are expected to save $700 to $750 at the pump this year, according to analysis by the Energy Information Administration.

Read the full article at Low Gas Prices