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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for January 2015  |  Release Date: March 27, 2015  |  Next Release Date: April 27, 2015

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End Use: January 2015

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 were up in 31 states, down in 17 states and the District of Columbia, and flat in two states in January. The largest year-over-year increase was found in Massachusetts, which was up almost 14%. Two other New England states, Connecticut and New Hampshire, had the next largest increases at 10% and 9%, respectively. The largest year-over-year decline was found in Hawaii, which was down nearly 12% in January. This is an interesting development, and one not entirely unexpected given world events. Hawaii relies on imported petroleum for the vast majority of its electricity generation and would seem to be a prime beneficiary of the large decline in world oil prices over the last six months. Average revenue per kilowatthour figures have fallen from 34.08 cents in September 2014 to 30.04 cents in January 2015, though these figures remain considerably higher than any other state.

Total average revenues per kilowatthour were 10.19 cents in January, 0.6% higher than last year. This marks the 26th straight month with year-over-year increases. Pricewise, changes were mixed by sector, with the residential and transportation sectors higher, and the commercial and industrial sectors lower than last year.

In regards to retail sales volumes, January volumes totaled 325,682 GWh, which was down 3.7% from last January. All sectors showed declines, with the residential sector down 6.4%, the commercial sector down 2.5%, and the industrial sector down just 0.1%. The transportation sector, by far the smallest of the four, was down 11.1% in January.

Retail sales

In January, as is often the case, electric industry retail sales volumes corresponded closely to weather. The vast majority of states experienced a warmer January than last year (which was one of the coldest on record for states east of the Mississippi River), and a vast majority of states had lower retail sales volumes than last year. Also, most of the states that had the largest decline in heating degree days this January, in the Southeast, also tended to have the largest declines in retail sales volumes.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia had sales volume declines greater than five percent. DC led the way with a decline of 8.45%, followed by Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, and Arkansas, which were all down 6-7%. Just eight states had electric industry retail sales volume increases relative to last January. Nevada had the largest increase at 6.5%, followed by North Dakota and Arizona, both up 3-4%.

Heating degree days (HDDs) were lower in 38 states and the District of Columbia in January. Florida had by far the largest decline of any state, down 38%, with Alabama and Georgia next with HDD declines of just over 20%. There were 12 states that had higher HDDs this January compared to last year, and these states were concentrated in New England and the Southwest (and Montana and Alaska). Alaska had the largest year-over-year HDD increase, up 24%, followed by California (up 23%) and Arizona (up 14%).

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