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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for September 2016  |  Release Date: Nov. 29, 2016  |  Next Release Date: Dec. 23, 2016

Previous Issues

Highlights: September 2016

  • Texas (ERCOT) wholesale electricity prices reached a new 12-month high of $75/MWh on September 20 during a period of high electricity demand.
  • Wholesale electricity prices and demand varied widely at most hubs during the month as summer turned to fall.
  • U.S. coal stockpiles decreased 1.4% from the previous month, deviating from the normal seasonal pattern whereby overall coal stockpiles usually increase in September.

Key Indicators

  September 2016 % Change from September 2015
Total Net Generation
(Thousand MWh)
351,692 0.4%
Residential Retail Price
(cents/kWh)
12.87 -1.2%
Retail Sales
(Thousand MWh)
332,378 -0.1%
Cooling Degree-Days 241 7.1%
Natural Gas Price, Henry Hub
($/MMBtu)
3.05 12.1%
Natural Gas Consumption
(Mcf)
951,179 2.3%
Coal Consumption
(Thousand Tons)
62,430 -3.7%
Coal Stocks
(Thousand Tons)
158,169 -2.4%
Nuclear Generation
(Thousand MWh)
65,420 -1.6%



Average electricity bills for residential customers rose in 2014, dipped slightly in 2015

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report (Form EIA-861)

Average monthly electric bills for residential customers in the United States increased between 2013 and 2014, then fell slightly in 2015.

Average monthly bills are calculated by dividing the total reported residential electric sales revenues by the total number of residential customers. After a steady upward trend from 2005 to 2010, average monthly bills fell in 2011 and 2012. Average monthly bills rose in 2013 and 2014. The average monthly bill in 2014 was up by more than 3% to $114.09. Bills declined slightly-by 6 cents-in 2015 to $114.03.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report (Form EIA-861)

Top ten highest and lowest average residential electricity bills in 2015

Connecticut had the highest residential average monthly bill in 2015, at $153.13, and was the only New England state in the top ten. Although the average residential monthly electric bill in Connecticut is much higher than the national average, Connecticut consumers used 731 kWh monthly, which is less than the national average of 901 kWh.

Hawaii, which has traditionally had the highest monthly retail residential bills, dropped to second place in 2015. The state relies primarily on imported fuel oil for electricity generation, which resulted in electricity revenue per kWh that was nearly three times the national average. Hawaii's average revenue for electricity has dropped significantly since 2014, as world oil prices fell from $100 per barrel (or higher) to the current $30-$50 per barrel range. This drop in oil prices, coupled with growth in solar-powered generation in Hawaii, has reduced the cost of retail power in the state. The residential bill in 2015 was 20% lower than in 2013.

Six of the top ten states with the highest average residential bills are southern states (South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, and Virginia). Because states in this region have high cooling demand, customers have high bills despite the fact that their rates are below the national average of 12.65 cents per kWh. The other two states in the top ten are Maryland and Delaware.

Top ten highest average residential electricity bills, 2015
State Number of customers Average monthly consumption (kWh) Average revenue per kWh (cents/kWh) Average monthly bill ($)
Connecticut 1,468,958 731.41 20.94 153.13
Hawaii 428,339 513.87 29.60 152.12
South Carolina 2,185,965 1,145.92 12.57 144.04
Alabama 2,182,616 1,218.28 11.70 142.48
Maryland 2,255,556 1,012.44 13.82 139.91
Mississippi 1,270,397 1,217.54 11.27 137.24
Texas 10,318,006 1,176.36 11.56 136.00
Florida 8,963,967 1,141.23 11.58 132.16
Delaware 413,445 977.36 13.42 131.18
Virginia 3,332,083 1,148.64 11.37 130.58
U.S. total 129,811,718 901.00 12.65 114.03
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report (Form EIA-861)

Of the ten states with the lowest bills in 2015, nine states (New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Maine, Montana, Illinois, Wyoming, Minnesota and Michigan) had consumption per customer that was lower than the national average of 901 kWh. Washington has lower bills as a result of their abundant, low-cost hydro resources.

Top ten lowest average residential electricity bills, 2015
State Number of customers Average monthly consumption (kWh) Average revenue per kWh (cents/kWh) Average monthly bill ($)
New Mexico 871,047 635.42 12.47 79.23
Utah 1,021,839 743.52 10.88 80.92
Colorado 2,225,725 688.35 12.12 83.42
Maine 699,241 555.64 15.61 86.75
Washington 2,945,760 963.87 9.09 87.64
Montana 491,422 818.24 10.88 89.03
Illinois 5,172,653 719.26 12.50 89.91
Wyoming 268,226 831.61 10.97 91.19
Minnesota 2,374,674 762.00 12.12 92.32
Michigan 4,282,858 649.06 14.42 93.61
U.S. total 129,811,718 901.00 12.65 114.03
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report (Form EIA-861)

The states with the most change in average bills from 2013 to 2015

Monthly residential bills in twelve states increased by more than 5% between 2013 and 2015. Of that group, five states in New England had the highest percentage increase in their average monthly bill: Rhode Island (25.2%), Massachusetts (18.1%), Connecticut (16.0%), New Hampshire (11.9%), and Maine (9.6%). These states tend to have more costly regulation and higher taxes than in other parts of the country. New England uses primarily natural gas for electric generation and heating. Constraints on winter supply from natural gas pipelines makes the region susceptible to price spikes. These factors likely contribute to the region's increased electricity bills.

Of the remaining seven states with the highest increases in bills, the District of Columbia had the highest percent increase-nearly 21% between 2013 and 2015. Two other states in the Middle Atlantic (Delaware and Pennsylvania) had increases of 7.3% and 6.4%, respectively. In the South Atlantic region, Florida had an increase of 8.8%, and South Carolina had an increase of 6.8%. Illinois, which had one of the lowest average monthly average revenues per kWh in 2013, has reversed direction. From 2013 to 2015, it had a 12.1 percent growth. Nevada also experienced a large increase of that two-year period, growing by nearly 6%.

The state with the largest percentage reduction was Hawaii. Its average bill went down by 20.1 percent between 2013 and 2015.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report (Form EIA-861)

Principal Contributor:

Stephen Scott
(Stephen.Scott@eia.gov)

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