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Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook

Release Date: October 7, 2014  |  Next Release Date: November 12, 2014  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

Electricity Consumption

Forecast U.S. sales of electricity to the residential sector are 1.7% higher in 2014 compared with last year, driven in large part by the cold weather experienced early in the year. Residential electricity sales fall by 0.3% in 2015. U.S. commercial sector electricity sales are expected to average 0.9% higher in 2014 than sales last year and then grow by 0.4% in 2015. EIA expects U.S. industrial sector electricity sales to remain flat during 2014 and grow by 2.1% in 2015.

Electricity Generation

EIA projects that average daily U.S. electricity generation in 2014 will grow by 105 gigawatthours per day (0.9%) from last year. Relative fuel costs have favored coal-fired generation over natural gas this year, leading to an expected increase in coal's share of total generation from 39.1% in 2013 to 39.8% this year, while the share supplied by natural gas falls from 27.4% to 26.8%. In 2015, EIA expects that natural gas' fuel share will rise to 27.6% and coal's fuel share will decline to 38.7%.

Electricity Retail Prices

EIA expects the U.S. residential price to average 12.5 cents per kilowatthour in 2014, which is 3.0% higher than the average last year. Prices increase in all regions of the country except along the Pacific Coast. Average U.S. residential electricity prices grow at a slower rate of 1.7% in 2015.

U.S. Electricity Summary
  2012 2013 2014 2015
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 11.88 12.12 12.48 12.69
Commercial Sector 10.09 10.29 10.70 10.87
Industrial Sector 6.67 6.82 7.06 7.04
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.38 2.35 2.36 2.36
Natural Gas 3.42 4.32 5.24 4.59
Residual Fuel Oil 21.05 19.33 19.76 17.83
Distillate Fuel Oil 23.51 23.08 22.71 22.54
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 4.137 4.345 4.467 4.369
Natural Gas 3.349 3.051 3.008 3.118
Nuclear 2.102 2.162 2.142 2.120
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.755 0.737 0.707 0.737
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.597 0.694 0.762 0.824
Total Generation 11.059 11.118 11.223 11.291
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.76 3.81 3.87 3.86
Commercial Sector 3.63 3.67 3.70 3.71
Industrial Sector 2.69 2.62 2.62 2.67
Total Retail Sales 10.09 10.11 10.21 10.27
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 3.0 -0.2 2.5 2.5
Manufacturing Production Index 4.4 2.9 3.9 3.9
Cooling Degree Days 1.7 -12.8 0.5 4.3
Heating Degree Days -12.6 18.5 1.6 -7.3
Number of Households 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3

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