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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for February 2019  |  Release Date: April 24, 2019  |  Next Release Date: May 24, 2019

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Electric Power Sector Coal Stocks: February 2019



In February 2019, U.S. coal stockpiles decreased from the previous month, down to 98.7 million tons. Total U.S. coal stockpiles continue to be at historically low levels due to coal plant retirements that have occurred over the past several years and also because of the seasonal draw-down of coal that usually takes place over the winter months when there is a greater demand for electricity generation.

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 from the previous month, going from 85 days of forward-looking days of burn in January 2019 to 91 days of burn in February 2019. For subbituminous units largely located in the western United States, the average number of days of burn decreased slightly, going from 90 days of burn in January 2019 to 89 days of burn in February 2019.

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

  February 2019   February 2018   January 2019  
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 3,030 145   3,338 95 -9.2% 2,973 147 1.9%
  Subbituminous 139 266   95 206 46.5% 121 275 15.2%
South Bituminous 18,377 94   22,148 94 -17.0% 17,114 88 7.4%
  Subbituminous 4,205 65   5,098 72 -17.5% 3,972 59 5.9%
Midwest Bituminous 7,105 68   10,770 87 -34.0% 6,955 61 2.2%
  Subbituminous 19,069 93   32,868 112 -42.0% 21,420 100 -11.0%
West Bituminous 3,349 96   4,831 121 -30.7% 3,585 98 -6.6%
  Subbituminous 19,451 92   24,028 104 -19.0% 18,659 90 4.2%
U.S. Total Bituminous 31,860 91   41,087 94 -22.5% 30,628 85 4.0%
  Subbituminous 42,864 89   62,089 104 -31.0% 44,172 90 -3.0%

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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