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DOE Electric Power Monthly Update

March 11, 2015 By Josh Kessler

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest Electricity Monthly Update on March 4.

Highlights:

  • Heating degree days (HDD) declined 14 percent in December 2014 compared with last December, and above-average temperatures led to lower retail electricity sales in 44 states and a net sales reduction of 3.2 percent. This also led to an increase in coal stockpiles, in contrast to the typical inventory drawdown seen in December.
  • New England saw the greatest price increases in 2013-2014. Since 2003, the region has had the highest electricity prices in the country aside from Hawaii. Residential electricity prices rose 9.7 percent, from 15.4 cents per kWh in January 2013 to 18.8 cents per kWh in December 2014 as a result of winter price spikes driven by constrained natural gas transmission capacity, which in turn drives higher electricity prices. The price spikes repeated this winter, as reported on February 25. EIA’s charts of New England natural gas spot market and on-peak electricity prices demonstrate this phenomenon.
  • US Electricity Prices were stable in December 2014 compared with December 2013. EIA data show that the Pacific Coast saw increases of 12 percent, 7 percent, and 4 percent, respectively, in commercial, industrial, and residential prices. In other regions, all three rate classes remained within a range of plus or minus 7 percent of their averages from the previous December.

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