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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for May 2014  |  Release Date: July 30, 2014  |  Next Release Date: August 25, 2014   |   Revision

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End Use: May 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 May, 44 states and the District of Columbia had higher average revenue per kWh figures than last year. Rhode Island had the highest year-over-year average revenue per kWh increase at just over 14%, followed by Kentucky and Nevada, both up more than 10%. Several states spread out across the country (Louisiana, Idaho, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee, Kansas and Florida) had increases between 5-10%.

Six states had lower average revenue per kWh figures than last year. West Virginia had the greatest decrease of nearly 5%, followed by Michigan, down 4%. Delaware, Montana, Texas and Minnesota were down between 0-3% compared to last May.

Total average revenues per kilowatthour averaged 10.21 cents in May, 2.6% higher than last May and up slightly from April's average of 10.01 cents per kilowatthour. The residential sector increased the most, up 3.4% to 12.84 cents. The commercial sector had the next largest increase, up 2.4% to 10.51 cents. The industrial sector was up just slightly from last May, 0.9% to 6.76 cents. The transportation sector was the only sector to decline year-over-year, down 2.7% to 9.89 cents.

Total retail sales volumes increased 0.5% from last May to 288,049 GWh and was up across all sectors. Commercial volumes increased 0.8% to 109,713 GWh, residential volumes increased 0.6% to 95,507 GWh and industrial volumes increased 0.1% to 82,174 GWh. The transportation sector, by far the smallest of the four, had the biggest increase from last May, up 6% to 655 GWh.

Retail sales

In May, electric industry retail sales volumes varied widely by state, with nearly half the states higher and half lower relative to last year. The largest volume increase was found in North Dakota, up nearly 10%, with increased economic activity leading to increased electric demand. Other states with increases larger than 4% were clustered in the Southeast (North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia) as well as Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming and New York.

As has been the case for several months now, Kentucky had the largest decrease of any state, down over 13%, 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. The next largest retail sales decreases were found in New Jersey, down almost 7%, Delaware and Alaska, both down nearly 6%, and Idaho and Ohio, both down between 4-5% from last May.

Cooling degree days (CDDs), a measure of average daily temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit, were generally higher in the Midcontinent and Southeast states (indicating warmer weather) and generally lower in the Northeast, Great Lakes and several Rocky Mountain states (indicating cooler weather) relative to last May.

The largest decreases, outside of Alaska, occurred in New York and all six New England states. The largest increases, outside of North Dakota, were found in Minnesota, California, Missouri, Kansas, Utah and several Southeast states.

When making CDD comparisons to long-term normal levels (second tab) for the month of May, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia had the largest increases. Louisiana, Michigan and Nevada had the largest CDD decreases relative to long-term normals.

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