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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: May. 9, 2023  |  Forecast Completed: May. 4, 2023  |  Next Release Date: Jun. 6, 2023  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Forecast overview

  • Weather forecast. Beginning with the May 2023 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), our STEO model will combine a 30-year trendline and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast to create our weather forecasts. This methodology change will result in warmer forecast weather in the United States in both the winter and in the summer. The change will involve a one-time shift that will decrease our heating degree day (HDD) forcast in 2023 by 1% and in 2024 by 4%, and increase our cooling degree day (CDD) forecast by 8% in 2023 and by 12% in 2024. The shift will affect some series that use weather as an independent variable.
  • Natural gas consumption. We forecast the second most U.S. natural gas consumption for electricity generation on record this summer (May–September), behind last year, and averaging about 38 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Compared with last month’s forecast, we have increased natural gas consumption for electricity generation by about 2% for 2023 and 3% for 2024 because of our methodology change which results in more CDDs, and in more U.S. electricity generation during the summer.
  • Coal consumption. We expect coal consumption in the electric power sector will fall by 13% in 2023 compared with last year due to several factors, including lower natural gas prices, more generation from renewable sources, and coal plant retirements. However, because of more overall electricity generation compared with our April STEO, our forecast for coal-fired generation is slightly higher in 2023 than we forecast last month.
  • U.S. gasoline prices. Retail gasoline prices in our forecast average around $3.40 per gallon (gal) during the summer 2023 driving season (April–September), a 20% decrease from the summer of 2022. Regional summer gasoline prices range from near $3.00/gal on the Gulf Coast to about $4.30/gal on the West Coast.

Notable Forecast Changes 2023 2024
The current STEO forecast was released May 9.
The previous STEO forecast was released April 11.
Brent spot average (current forecast) (dollars per barrel) $79 $74
Previous forecast $85 $81
Percentage change -7.5% -8.3%
U.S. retail diesel prices (current forecast) (dollars per gallon) $3.90 $3.62
Previous forecast $4.11 $3.87
Percentage change -4.9% -6.4%

U.S. electric power sector generation from natural gas (current forecast) (billion kilowatthours)

1,604 1,558
Previous forecast 1,568 1,514
Percentage change 2.3% 2.9%
U.S. electric power sector generation from coal (current forecast) (billion kilowatthours) 694 673
Previous forecast 687 704
Percentage change 0.9% -4.3%
U.S. heating degree days (current forecast) 3,965 4,007
Previous forecast 4,024 4,194
Percentage change -1.5% -4.5%
U.S. cooling degree days (current forecast) 1,552 1,566
Previous forecast 1,433 1,393
Percentage change 8.3% 12.4%

You can find more information in the detailed table of forecast changes.

Brent crude oil
(dollars per barrel)
Gasoline retail price
(dollars per gallon)
U.S. crude oil production
(million barrels per day)
Natural gas spot price
(dollars per million BTU)
U.S. LNG exports
(billion cubic feet per day)
Shares of U.S. electricity generation
Natural gas 37394038
Coal 23201716
Renewables 20222326
Nuclear 20191919
(percentage change)
U.S. CO2 emissions
(billion metric tons)

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