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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for November 2015  |  Release Date: Jan. 26, 2015  |  Next Release Date: Feb. 26, 2016

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End Use: November 2015

Retail rates/prices and consumption

In this section, we look at what electricity costs and how much is purchased. Charges for retail electric service are based primarily on rates approved by state regulators. However, a number of states have allowed retail marketers to compete to serve customers and these competitive retail suppliers offer electricity at a market-based price.

EIA does not directly collect retail electricity rates or prices. However, using data collected on retail sales revenues and volumes, we calculate average retail revenues per kWh as a proxy for retail rates and prices. Retail sales volumes are presented as a proxy for end-use electricity consumption.

Average revenue per kWh by state

Average revenue per kilowatthour figures increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia in November compared to last year. The largest increase occurred in Rhode Island, up nearly 12%, followed by West Virginia, up 10%, and Washington, up 8%. Twenty-one states decreased relative to last November, led once again by Hawaii, down 25%, Georgia, down 10%, and Texas, down 8%. This marks the eleventh straight month that Hawaii has been the state with the largest year-over-year declines, as its bulk power system is largely fueled by petroleum and the state has benefitted from the huge declines in world oil prices over the past year.

Total average revenues per kilowatthour were 10.11 cents in November, down 0.2% from last year. Retail sales volumes totaled 273,287 GWh, down 4.2% from last year. Average revenue/sales were up in the Residential sector and down in the Commercial, Industrial, and Transportation sectors. Retail sales volumes were down in all sectors compared to one year ago.

Retail sales

State retail sales volumes were very reflective of weather patterns in November. Volumes declined, and by a significant amount, in nearly every state in the eastern half of the country where abnormally mild weather lowered heating demand. West Virginia declined the most, down over 15%, and four states (Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana, and Missouri) were down 10-15% from last year. The only area of the country with cooler-than-normal weather, the far West, was also the only area of the country (and Florida, a special case) with increased retail sales volumes. Besides Florida, California had the largest year-over-year increase, up 6%, followed by Hawaii and Nevada, both up 5%, and Washington, up 3%. Florida actually had the largest increase of any state, up 12.5%, where one of the hottest Novembers on record had residents turning up their air conditioners very late in the year.

All states east of the Rockies saw Heating Degree Day (HDD) levels decrease compared to the previous November. Five states near the Gulf of Mexico were down more than 50% from last year, led by Florida (down 90%), Louisiana (down 62%), and Mississippi (down 55%). States in New England had HDDs that were down 15-25%, while every other state east of the Rockies were down 25-50% compared to last year. On the contrary, every state in the continental U.S. west of the Rockies had higher levels of HDDs compared to last year, led by California (up 66%), Arizona (up 53%), and Nevada (up 31%).

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