U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Short-Term Energy Outlook
The cold weather experienced east of the Rocky Mountains last month led to an increase in electricity demand. The colder temperatures contrast with the mild weather experienced last January in much of the United States. EIA estimates residential electricity sales in the Midwest during January 2014 were about 10% higher than last January and residential sales in the Northeast are estimated to have been 6% higher.
Electricity supply in the Northeast was particularly affected by the colder weather. In recent years, power generators in this region have become increasingly reliant on natural gas, which is also used by many households for space heating. Periods of cold weather can temporarily raise natural gas prices, which can lead to spikes in wholesale electricity prices. During the early January freeze in New England, day-ahead on-peak power prices at the Massachusetts hub rose above $235 per megawatthour.
U.S. Electricity Consumption
EIA has raised its forecast for electricity demand during the first quarter as a result of the colder weather that occurred in January. U.S. residential electricity sales during the first quarter of 2014 are expected to increase 2.1% compared with the same period last year. The East South Central area of the country, where a large number of homes heat with electricity, shows the strongest year-over-year growth of 4.8% during the first quarter. U.S. sales of electricity to the commercial and industrial sectors grow by 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively, during the first quarter of 2014.
U.S. Electricity Generation
EIA projects total U.S. electricity generation will average 11.2 terawatthours per day in 2014, an increase of 1.0% from last year. Natural-gas-fired generation accounts for a 27.0% share of total generation during 2014, down from 27.5% in 2013 as a result of rising natural gas prices. In contrast, the share of generation fueled by coal increases from 39.0% in 2013 to 40.3% in 2014. Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, account for 12.9% of total generation this year, the same as in 2013.
U.S. Electricity Retail Prices
The rising cost of generation fuels, particularly natural gas, contributes to a projected increase in the residential price of electricity. EIA expects the U.S. residential price of electricity to average 12.4 cents per kilowatthour during 2014, an increase of 2.2% from 2013. Residential electricity prices increase 1.9% during 2015.
|U.S. Electricity Summary|
|2012||2013||2014 projected||2015 projected|
|Retail Prices||(cents per kilowatthour)|
|Power Generation Fuel Costs||(dollars per million Btu)|
|Residual Fuel Oil||21.05||19.38||19.33||18.61|
|Distillate Fuel Oil||23.51||23.06||22.59||22.43|
|Generation||(billion kWh per day)|
|Retail Sales||(billion kWh per day)|
|Total Retail Sales||10.09||10.10||10.21||10.30|
|Primary Assumptions||(percent change from previous year)|
|Real DIsposable Personal Income||2.0||0.8||3.1||3.5|
|Manufacturing Production Index||4.2||2.6||3.2||3.9|
|Cooling Degree Days||2.2||-12.2||3.7||0.3|
|Heating Degree Days||-12.8||19.0||-4.0||-1.7|
|Number of Households||1.1||1.2||1.4||1.3|
Interactive Data Viewers
|Today In Energy||Daily|
|Annual Energy Outlook Electric Power Projections||Annual|
|Annual Energy Outlook Levelized Generation Costs||Annual|
|2013-2014 Winter Fuels Outlook Slideshow||Oct-2013|
|Summer 2013 Outlook for Residential Electric Bills||Jun-2013|
|Change in STEO Regional and U.S. Degree Day Calculations||Sep-2012|
|Changes to Electricity and Renewables Tables||Aug-2012|
|Fuel Competition in Power Generation||Jun-2012|