For some Freedom Energy Logistics (FEL) and Halifax American Energy Company (HAEC)customers in New England, last weekend’s high temperatures brought a welcome surprise. They will see charges of $0 for electricity used from 8-9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Large electricity users, like the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, Fairchild Semiconductor in Maine, Rhode Island’s Westerly Hospital and Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, have opted to buy their electricity with Real-Time Pricing, which means that when electricity demand is low, prices are, too. Because the intense storms of Friday cut electricity to much of the Eastern U.S. and demand dropped sharply, Real-Time prices dropped to $0 for two hours and were low for many others.

“Real-Time Pricing is not for the untrained,” says Howard Plante, VP of Marketing at FEL and HAEC. “You need to keep an eye on the markets and what’s coming up. We work with our Real-Time customers, teaching ways to anticipate trends. We also keep them informed of what we’re seeing.

“In the last heat wave, we gave them a heads-up to curb their electricity use during hours predicted to put the most pressure on the New England Power Grid. Not only does that lower their immediate costs, but it can reduce their capacity charge in 2013.”

Last year, FEL and HAEC’s Real-Time customers saw a total of 47 hours of free electricity. Brian Mikol of Manchester, NH’s Spectrum Marketing Companies, Inc. commented, “It’s a perk we don’t necessarily expect, but it’s a happy surprise when it happens.”