U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for March 2013 | Release Date: May 21, 2013 | Next Release Date: June 21, 2013
End Use: March 2013
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
Compared to March 2012, the average cost of electricity increased in a majority of States across the country. The two largest increases in average retail revenue were in Rhode Island and Louisiana, where average revenues increased 10.8 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively. These are some of the largest year-over-year increases we've seen since September of last year. The largest decrease in average revenues occurred in Illinois, where prices decreased by 8.1 percent. On the whole, average revenues across the country increased 1.4 percent from last year to 9.69 cents per kilowatthour. 24 States saw average revenues increase by more than 3 percent compared to March 2012.
Retail Service by Customer Sector
Average Revenues/Sales (¢/kWh) Retail Sales (1000s MWh) End-use sector March 2013 Change from March 2012 March 2013 Change from March 2012 Year to Date Residential 11.59 -1.1% 111,822 12.8% 355,943 Commercial 9.99 1.1% 103,963 2.0% 312,142 Industrial 6.59 1.7% 78,079 -3.5% 230,634 Transportation 10.20 3.8% 631 2.0% 1,941 Total 9.69 1.4% 294,496 4.2% 900,661
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
The average cost of electricity rose in all sectors except the Residential sector compared to March 2012, with the Transportation sector leading the change with a 3.8-percent increase to 10.2 cents per kilowatthour. The average cost of electricity in the Residential sectors fell 1.1 percent, while the average cost in the Commercial and Industrial sectors rose by less than 2 percent. Retail sales of electricity in the Residential sector appear to be following a weather-driven trend upwards, with increases over March 2012 of 12.8 percent, mostly in States that experienced a cooler March than last year and the 30-year normal. Sales in the Industrial sector dropped off 3.5 percent from last year, while Transportation and Commercial sales increased by 2.0 percent each. Year-over-year industrial sales have been decreasing in recent months. Total retail sales across all sectors increased by 4.2 percent from last March, driven mostly by the increase in sales in the Residential sector.
The map below of percent change in heating degree days (HDDs) shows colder weather in March 2013 for much of the country than in March 2012, especially in areas surrounding the Mississippi River and in the Southeast. There was a general increase in retail sales across most of the States that had cooler-than-normal temperatures this March as people consumed electricity to heat their homes and businesses. Temperatures on the West Coast were warmer both than last year and the 30-year normal. This lead to a decrease in retail sales of electricity in States on the West Coast. There has been a continued trend of year-over-year increases in retail sales in North Dakota, which seems to be driven more by population growth and increasing economic activity, rather than by changes in weather patterns.