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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for January 2017  |  Release Date: March 24, 2017  |  Next Release Date: April 25, 2017

Previous Issues

Highlights: January 2017

  • Wholesale natural gas prices in the Northwest (Sumas) were the highest since March 2014.
  • Bonneville Power Administration's electricity system peak demand reached its highest level in nearly four years on January 6.
  • Hydroelectric generation in the West increased 40% compared to the previous year due to increased precipitation that occurred late in 2016.

Key Indicators

  January 2017 % Change from January 2016
Total Net Generation
(Thousand MWh)
344,973 -2.2%
Residential Retail Price
(cents/kWh)
12.22 2.0%
Retail Sales
(Thousand MWh)
314,483 -0.9%
Heating Degree-Days 766 -12.0%
Natural Gas Price, Henry Hub
($/MMBtu)
3.40 44.9%
Natural Gas Consumption
(Mcf)
676,592 -15.8%
Coal Consumption
(Thousand Tons)
63,540 2.4%
Coal Stocks
(Thousand Tons)
157,412 -16.0%
Nuclear Generation
(Thousand MWh)
73,121 0.8%



EIA hourly electricity demand data shows impact of Hurricane Matthew

EIA collects and publishes hourly electricity system operating data, including actual and forecast demand. The U.S. Electric System Operating Data tool includes data from all 66 electric system balancing authorities in the United States. This tool can be used to track the impact that hurricanes and other significant electricity service disruptions have on electric system demand.

Electric customers from Florida to Virginia lost electric service due to Hurricane Matthew in early October 2016. Matthew, a Category 3 hurricane, first made landfall on the east coast of Florida on October 6. The hurricane moved north on a track through the Carolinas, where customer outages reached their peak on October 9, 2016. As a result of Hurricane Matthew, one million people were without power in Florida, around 600,000 in South Carolina, and 680,000 customers in North Carolina.

One way to see the storm's impact is on the Grid Overview page. Select Florida's regional daily demand data for the day after landfall (October 7) and compare these data to demand data from the same day the week before. The graph shows the impact on demand for Florida on October 7 in comparison to demand for the same region a week before.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-930, Hourly and Daily Balancing Authority Operations Report

Similarly, the demand data can show and track recovery periods, both regionally and for individual balancing authorities, either comparing actual demand during and after the hurricane to actual demand during a comparable prior period or by comparing actual demand to forecast demand data. The charts below compares hourly balancing authority data for actual demand, forecast demand, and the prior week's actual demand.

Beginning with demand charts for two balancing authorities in Florida, the chart below shows reduced demand in New Smyrna Beach on October 6. On October 7, all electric supply was lost in the middle of the day. Electric service was not fully restored until October 9.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-930, Hourly and Daily Balancing Authority Operations Report

On October 5, parts of Jacksonville were evacuated in anticipation of the storm and actual demand was lower than forecast. The storm lowered demand by more than half. Demand did not recover until October 12. The prior week's higher demand is partially due to hotter temperatures observed in the region.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-930, Hourly and Daily Balancing Authority Operations Report

Hurricane Matthew made landfall in South Carolina around 3 a.m. on October 8. The chart below shows actual demand, forecast demand, and the prior week's actual demand for the South Carolina Public Service Authority. Actual demand on October 8 and 9 was 67,000 megawatthours, while forecasted demand was 105,000 megawatthours, a 35% difference. Recovery can be tracked to October 12, when actual demand and forecast demand align.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-930, Hourly and Daily Balancing Authority Operations Report

In 2016, EIA began collecting and publishing hourly electricity operating data, including actual and forecast demand, net generation, and electricity interchange between electric systems. The information is collected directly from each interconnected electric system on the EIA-930 information collection form, the first hourly data collection conducted by a federal statistical agency. This new data collection expands the availability of system operating data to the entire Lower 48 states and makes it available in a consistent format from one source.


Principal Contributor:

Sara Hoff
(Sara.Hoff@eia.gov)

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