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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for December 2020 Release Date: February 24, 2021 Next Release Date: March 24, 2021

End Use: December 2020

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 decreased in eighteen states and the District of Columbia in December compared to last year. The largest decline was found in South Carolina, down by 10.5%. Thirty-two states increased revenue per kilowatt-hour compared to last year, led by Georgia, up16.9%. Ohio was notable in that the state’s average revenue per kilowatthour remained almost unchanged compared to the previous December, only seeing a 0.1% decrease from last December.

Retail Service by Customer Sector
  Average Revenues/Sales (¢/kWh)   Retail Sales (thousand MWh)
End-use sector December 2020 Change fromDecember 2019 December 2020 Change fromDecember 2019 Year to Date
Residential 12.80 0.9% 129,504 7.0% 1,461,958
Commercial 10.48 1.6% 104,403 -3.3% 1,275,718
Industrial 6.40 0.3% 76,289 -4.8% 919,533
Transportation 9.81 3.7% 632 -2.6% 6,532
Total 10.44 2.2% 310,828 0.3% 3,663,741
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Total average revenues per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rose by 2.2% from last December, to 10.44 cents/kWh. The Transportation sector rose the most from last December, up by 3.7%. The Commercial, Residential, and Industrial sectors all also rose, up by 1.6%, 0.9%, and 0.3% respectively. Total retail sales were up 0.3% from December 2019. The Residential sector was the main driving force, up 7.0% from a year ago. The other three sectors saw a drop in retail sales from a year ago. The Industrial sector dropped the most, down by 4.8%. The Commercial and Transportation sectors followed, down by 3.3% and 2.6%, respectively.

Retail sales

State retail sales volumes were down in twenty-six states and the District of Columbia in December compared to last year. Wyoming had the largest year-over-year decline, down more than 8%. Montana and Hawaii followed, dropping by 7.4% and 6.8% respectively. Twenty-four states saw an increase in retail sales volume in December, led by Georgia, up 7.3%. Virginia and Alabama followed, up 6.6% and 5.9%, respectively. North Dakota had the highest sales per capita.

Heating Degree Days (HDD) were down in fifteen states this December compared to last December. The greatest percentage drop in HDDs occurred in North Dakota, which was down almost 15% between years. South Dakota and Maine followed, both down 8.0% compared to 2020. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia had an increase in HDDs from last December. Florida had the largest percent increase in HDDs, up 162% from December 2019. Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina followed, all with increases of over 30% in HDDs, indicating a colder December in the Southeast relative to December 2019. The Dakotas and New England states saw less HDDs than normal, while the Southeast and Southwest saw more HDDs than normal.

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