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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for July 2014  |  Release Date: Sep. 25, 2014  |  Next Release Date: Oct. 24, 2014

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End Use: July 2014


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



July was the 20th month in a row where U.S. revenue per kilowatthour averages were higher than the same month of the previous year. It is also the first month where the all-sector average has exceeded 11 cents (11.01) cents per kWh. The increase has been fairly consistent, averaging 3% on a year-over-year basis over the 20-month period.

On an individual state level, 42 states had increases compared to last July. Rhode Island had the largest increase, up 17% to 14.36 cents per kWh, with Illinois also up just over 10% to 8.95 cents per kWh (see feature article). Only eight states and the District of Columbia had decreases compared to last July, with Michigan and West Virginia recording the largest decreases, down 5.2% and 4.5%, respectively.

Total average revenues per kilowatthour averaged 11.01 cents in July, 2.9% higher than last year and the first all-sector monthly average exceeding 11 cents. The commercial sector had the largest increase, up 3.7% to 11.16 cents per kWh. The residential sector, the largest in July by retail sales volumes, was up 3.5% to 13.05 cents per kWh and the first monthly average exceeding 13 cents, industrial sector posted a 2.3% gain over the previous year.

Total retail sales volumes were down 2.4% from last July, with the largest decrease occurring in the residential sector, down 5%. Residential sales volumes in the summer months are largely dependent on weather, with the length and severity of hot weather influencing the amount of climate control demand. This July, high temperatures across much of the U.S. were lower (and in some cases, far lower) than either last year or long-term normals.

Retail sales



No surprise here, as electric industry retail sales volume trends in July generally mirrored weather patterns. The largest year-over-year decreases in retail sales were found in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states. These regions also experienced the largest decrease in cooling degree days compared to last July. The largest increase in retail sales volumes tended to be in Southeastern or Western states, which had more cooling degree days (CDDs) than last July, or in the case of far western states, one of the hottest July's on record.

Retail sales volume decreases were largest in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, all down more than 10%. This is only the second time (other than Maine last month) in almost a year that any state had year-over-year decreases larger than the state of Kentucky, which continues to be affected by year-over-year comparisons related to the closure of a large energy consumer last fall, the United States Enrichment Corporation facility in Paducah, Kentucky. Retail sales volumes were down so much in these three New England states as all had decreases in cooling degree days greater than 33% from last July.


In the central part of the country, states all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes experienced one of their coolest July's on record. Arkansas and Indiana recorded their coolest July on record, Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri had their second coolest July on record, and Ohio, Iowa and Tennessee had their third coolest July on record. Kentucky, Alabama, Michigan and Oklahoma also had one of their top-seven coolest July's on record.

The one outlier in the central U.S. has been North Dakota. Despite a relatively cool July, with CDDs down 17% from last year and the 25th coolest on record, retail sales were up 5.25%, the largest increase of any state. This is due to the oft-reported boom in oil and gas activity in the state which has also driven up electricity demand.

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