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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for September 2021 Release Date: November 24, 2021 Next Release Date: December 23, 2021

Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: September 2021


Total U.S. coal stockpiles had a month-over-month decrease of 4.8%, reaching 80 million tons in September 2021. This is now the lowest level of total monthly U.S. coal stockpiles recorded since these data were collected using the power plant operations report beginning in 2001.

Days of burn



The average number of days of burn held at electric power plants is a forward-looking estimate of coal supply given a power plant's current stockpile and past consumption patterns. For bituminous units largely located in the eastern United States, the average number of days of burn increased slightly from the previous month, going from 86 days of forward-looking days of burn in August 2021 to 88 days of burn in September 2021. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn remained unchanged from the previous month at 82 days of burn.

Coal stocks and average number of days of burn for non-lignite coal by region (electric power sector)

    September 2021 September 2020   August 2021  
Zone Coal Stocks (1000 tons) Days of Burn Stocks (1000 tons) Days of Burn % Change of Stocks Stocks (1000 tons) Days of Burn % Change of Stocks
Northeast Bituminous 1,879 285 3,910 284 -51.9% 1,634 242 15.1%
  Subbituminous . . 160 159 . . . .
South Bituminous 10,671 81 17,906 105 -40.4% 11,024 73 -3.2%
  Subbituminous 2,824 44 6,060 83 -53.4% 3,009 38 -6.1%
Midwest Bituminous 8,623 84 13,327 112 -35.3% 8,657 86 -0.4%
  Subbituminous 17,961 101 28,686 125 -37.4% 18,048 102 -0.5%
West Bituminous 1,916 96 3,815 160 -49.8% 2,156 109 -11.2%
  Subbituminous 15,287 75 23,384 92 -34.6% 16,520 77 -7.5%
U.S. Total Bituminous 23,089 88 38,958 116 -40.7% 23,471 86 -1.6%
  Subbituminous 36,072 82 58,290 105 -38.1% 37,576 82 -4.0%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

NOTE: Stockpile levels shown above reflect a sample of electric power sector plants, which were used to create the days of burn statistics. These levels will not equal total electric power sector stockpile levels.

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