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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for March 2016  |  Release Date: May 25, 2016  |  Next Release Date: June 23, 2016

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End Use: March 2016

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 decreased in 28 states and the District of Columbia in March compared to last year. The largest declines were found in Hawaii (down 14%), Nevada (down 13%), and New York (down 12%). Rhode Island and Massachusetts were the other two states down more than 10%. Twenty-one states increased compared to last year, led by West Virginia (up 9%), Maine (up 8%), and Minnesota (up 7%). Maryland was the one state flat relative to last March.

Total average revenues per kilowatthour were down 2.5% to 10.01 cents in March compared to last year. The Residential sector was the only sector up for the month, with Commercial, Industrial, and Transportation all down. Retail sales volumes were down considerably given the much warmer-than-normal weather that covered the country over the last few months. Total retail sales totaled 282,253 gigawatthours, down 6.8% from last year. Residential sales volumes, the most weather-sensitive sector, were down a whopping 14.4% from last March, a magnitude of change not often seen.

Retail sales

State retail sales volumes were down, and down sharply, in nearly every state in March, as the much warmer-than-normal weather that blanketed much of the nation suppressed heating demand. Delaware led the declines in 46 states (down 15%), followed by Missouri and Arkansas (both down 14%). In total, 10 states had declines greater than 10% and 29 states had declines greater than 5%. Only four states (California, Oregon, Hawaii, and Iowa) and the District of Columbia had increased retail sales compared to last year, though the increases were small.

Heating Degree Days (HDD) measure the daily variation in average temperature from a 65 degree Fahrenheit baseline, chosen as a proxy for minimum heating or cooling energy demand. HDDs fell in 38 states and the District of Columbia in March, with only ten states in the western US and Florida recording more HDDs this March than one year ago. The largest HDD decreases were found in Texas (down 46%), the District of Columbia (down 42%), and Maryland (down 41%). In total, 22 states had decreases larger than 25% for the month. The largest increases in HDDs were found in California (up 85%), Florida (up 33%), and Oregon (up 29%).

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