The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest Electricity Monthly Update on March 27, which provides data through January 2015.
Heating Degree Days
Heating degree days (HDD) decreased 8 percent in January 2015 compared with last January, with above-average temperatures throughout much of the country. This led to a 2 percent increase in coal stockpiles, in contrast to the typical inventory drawdown seen in December. Note: The winter weather that wracked the Northeast did not begin until late January and therefore had little effect on January energy use.
Electricity Price Ranges
EIA’s wholesale market report shows the ranges for regional prices over the past month (1/1-1/31) and year, through January 2015. As can be seen in the chart below, the New England, New York and Mid-Atlantic (PJM) regions saw the highest peak prices over both the past month and the past year. Power prices were low throughout the rest of the country, with prices below $50 per MWh.
Gas Price Ranges
In January 2015, the New England, New York and Mid-Atlantic regions saw by far the highest peak gas prices over the past month. The rest of the country experienced very low natural gas prices this winter. Over the past year, the Midwest and New England both experienced prices above $30 per MMBtu, while most other regions saw wholesale gas prices peak between $20 and $30. Louisiana and Texas were the exceptions, with gas prices peaking remaining below $10 throughout the year in Louisiana and slightly above $10 in Texas.