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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for August 2019  |  Release Date: October 24, 2019  |  Next Release Date: November 26, 2019

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End Use: August 2019

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 19 states and the District of Columbia in August compared to last year. The largest decline was found in the District of Columbia (down almost 8%) and Kansas and Ohio (both down over 5%). Thirty one states increased revenue per kilowatthour compared to last year, led by South Carolina (up almost 23%). This large increase, however, was due to a temporary rate reduction and one-time credit issued by a major South Carolina utility in August 2018, which drove down rates in August 2018 and help inflate the year-over-year change. Other states experiencing increases greater than 5% include Texas (9%), Arkansas (7%), Rhode Island (6.7%), Michigan (6.5%) and Iowa (5.2%).

Total average revenues per kilowatthour (kWh) in August 2019 were up by 0.8% from August 2018, to 11.10 cents/kWh. Average revenues for the Industrial sector rose the most, up by 2.6%. The Transportation sector followed, rising by 2.2%. The Residential sector had the smallest percentage increase, up by 0.3 %. The Commercial sector dropped slightly from August last year, down 0.3%. Total retail sales were down by 3.8% from August 2018, with all sectors showing a decrease in sales. The Industrial sector fell the most, dropping by 6.2%. The Commercial sector followed, down by 3.5%. The Transportation sector decreased by 3.3% and Residential sector dropped by 2.5%. This fall in sales was propelled in part by cooler temperatures relative to August 2018, as embodied in a 6.5% reduction in cooling degree days.

Retail sales

State retail sales volumes were down in 40 states and the District of Columbia in August compared to last year. California had the largest year-over-year decline, down almost 14%. The next four states had a 10%-or-greater drop in sales: Connecticut (down 12%), Maine (down almost 11%), New Jersey (down 10%), and Minnesota (down almost 10%). Ten states had retail sales volume increases in August, led by New Mexico (up almost 7%), Oklahoma (up over 4%), and Idaho (up over 3%).

Cooling Degree Days (CDD) were down in 32 states and the District of Columbia compared to last August. The greatest percentage drop in CDDs for August occurred in states in New England and the upper Mid-West. Maine had the highest drop, down over 60%. Three other states had an over-40%-drop in CDDs: Vermont (down 54%), Wisconsin (down almost 45%), and New Hampshire (down almost 44%). Sixteen states had an increase in CDDs in August. Colorado had the greatest increase in CDDs, up over 31%. Wyoming was the other state with a greater-than-30% increase in CDDs in August, up just over 30%. Only one state, Montana, had no change from the prior year.

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