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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for February 2016  |  Release Date: April 28, 2016  |  Next Release Date: May 25, 2016

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End Use: February 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 35 states in February. The largest declines were found in New York (down 17%), Rhode Island (down 16%), and Hawaii (down 15%). Though down significantly, this was the first month in over a year that Hawaii was not the state with the largest year-over-year decline, as lower year-over-year comparisons are starting to take effect. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia increased compared to last year, led by West Virginia (up 14%), the District of Columbia (up 6%), and Washington State (up nearly 6%).

Average revenues per kilowatthour and retail sales volumes were both significantly lower in total and across all sectors in February when compared to last year. Average revenues per kilowatthour were 9.99 cents in February, down 3.8% from last year. Retail sales volumes totaled 294,194 gigawatthours (GWh), down 3.4% from last year. The Residential sector, the most sensitive to weather, was down 6.4% from last year, as what turned out to be the warmest winter on record depressed heating demand.

Retail sales

State retail sales volumes were mostly down in February compared to last year. Thirty-six states had lower retail sales volumes, led by Connecticut, Rhode Island (both down 12%), and West Virginia (down 11%). Florida, Maine, and the District of Columbia were the only areas east of the Mississippi River with higher retail sales volumes than last February. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia had higher retail sales volumes than last February, led by Arizona (up 10%), Nevada (up 8%), and Utah (up 6%).

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 43 states and the District of Columbia in February, with only eight states in the western US recording higher HDDs than one year ago. The largest HDD decreases were found in Texas (down 41%), Oklahoma (down 38%), and Arkansas (down 37%). In total, 31 states had decreases larger than 25% for the month. The few increases in HDDs were found in the extreme western US. Utah recorded the largest increase, up 26%, followed up Idaho (up 13%), and Nevada (up 12%).

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