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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: February 7, 2017  |  Next Release Date: March 7, 2017  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • Total U.S. electricity generation from utility-scale plants averaged 11,150 gigawatthours per day in 2016. Forecast U.S. generation declines by 0.1% in 2017, then grows by 1.5% in 2018.
  • EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas will fall from 34% last year to an average of 32% in 2017 as a result of higher expected natural gas prices. The forecast natural gas share is forecast to rise slightly to 33% in 2018. Coal's generation share rises from 30% in 2016 to average 31% in both 2017 and 2018. Nonhydropower renewables are forecast to provide 9% of electricity generation in 2017 and 10% in 2018. The generation share of hydropower is forecast to be relatively unchanged from 2017 to 2018, and the nuclear share declines slightly in 2018.
  • The U.S. residential electricity price averaged 12.3 cents per kilowatthour (kWh) in January 2017 and is expected to average 12.5 cents/kWh in the first quarter of 2017. EIA expects the annual average U.S. residential electricity price to increase by 3.0% in 2017 and by 2.4% in 2018.
U.S. Electricity Summary
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.65 12.55 12.93 13.24
Commercial Sector 10.64 10.36 10.57 10.72
Industrial Sector 6.91 6.75 6.89 6.99
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.23 2.13 2.17 2.21
Natural Gas 3.23 2.91 3.97 4.25
Residual Fuel Oil 10.36 8.38 10.36 10.76
Distillate Fuel Oil 14.47 10.98 14.00 15.18
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.705 3.388 3.482 3.500
Natural Gas 3.653 3.791 3.605 3.701
Nuclear 2.184 2.199 2.162 2.123
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.682 0.728 0.732 0.736
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.809 0.927 1.021 1.109
Total Generation 11.172 11.149 11.133 11.304
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.85 3.85 3.82 3.88
Commercial Sector 3.73 3.72 3.73 3.76
Industrial Sector 2.70 2.57 2.68 2.69
Total Retail Sales 10.30 10.16 10.25 10.36
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 3.5 2.7 2.6 4.0
Manufacturing Production Index 1.1 0.3 1.2 3.0
Cooling Degree Days 14.6 4.7 -8.0 -0.4
Heating Degree Days -10.2 -5.2 3.3 2.6
Number of Households 1.0 0.9 1.1 1.3

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