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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for February 2014  |  Release Date: Apr. 22, 2014  |  Next Release Date: May 21, 2014

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End Use: February 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

In February, 45 out of 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, had average revenue per kWh figures higher than last February. Seven states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island, Kentucky, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the District of Columbia had increases greater than 11%. Only West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Missouri had average revenue per kilowatt figures lower than last February, with the largest decrease of 3.89% found in West Virginia.

Average revenue per kWh levels were highest in Hawaii, followed by Northeastern states, Alaska and California. Average revenue per kWh levels were lowest in Arkansas, followed by Washington, Idaho, Louisiana and Wyoming.

Total average revenues per kilowatthour averaged 10.35 cents in February, up slightly from 10.13 cents in January, and up 5.7% from last February. The industrial sector had the largest increase from last year, 7.7%, followed by the commercial (6.3%) and residential (2.1%) sectors. All of these increases are significant and likely reflect the flow through to retail rates of some of the high wholesale electricity prices in February due to cold weather. (See discussion on the regional wholesale markets page.) The industrial sector is most directly affected by high wholesale prices. While residential customers are least affected.

Total retail sales volumes increased 7% from last February to 308,997 GWh, though this was down from January's 339,006 GWh total. Residential sales, the largest component of total, increased significantly compared to last February, up 15.6% to 130,478 GWh. This reflects the severe cold weather in February (see the heating degree day map below). Commercial sector sales were up 3.9% to 104,662 GWh, while industrial sector sales decreased 1.8% to 73,135 GWh when compared to one year ago.

Retail Sales

Electric industry retail sales volumes were mostly up in February 2014 when compared to February 2013. Texas had the largest increase in retail sales, up nearly 25%, with 11 other states logging double-digit increases.

Kentucky had the largest decrease of any state, down 7.5%, as the closure of a large energy consumer last year, the United States Enrichment Corporation facility in Paducah, Kentucky, continues to affect year-over-year comparisons. Arizona, Utah and Delaware also saw retail sales declines greater than 2% from last February.

In February, heating degree days (HDDs) were up significantly relative to both last year and to the long-term normal in most of the country, and were down significantly in the Southwest and Southeast.

39 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia had increases in HDDs this February when compared to last February. The largest increase occurred in Texas, up nearly 40% from last February. Louisiana and Montana were up over 30%, and ten other upper and lower midwestern states were up over 20%. Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois all experienced one of their top 10 coldest February's on record.

On the other end of the spectrum, Arizona (down 48%), California, Florida (both down 29%), Utah (down 28%), New Mexico and Nevada (both down 24%), were all significantly warmer than last February. North and South Carolina, Georgia, Idaho and Colorado were the only other states to have decreased HDDs this February. Arizona, California and Utah all experienced one of their top 10 warmest February's on record.

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