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Short-Term Energy Outlook

Release Date: April 10, 2018  |  Next Release Date: May 8, 2018  |  Full Report    |   Text Only   |   All Tables   |   All Figures

Electricity

  • For the summer cooling season (June‚ÄďAugust), EIA forecasts that the average U.S. household will spend $426 on electricity bills, which would be an increase of more than 3% from last summer. EIA forecasts average household electricity use will be 1% higher this summer compared with last summer, based on a forecast of slightly warmer temperatures, and that retail electricity prices will be 2% higher than last summer.
  • EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants to rise from 32% in 2017 to 34% in 2018 and to remain at 34% in 2019. The forecast electricity generation share from coal averages 29% in both 2018 and 2019, down from 30% in 2017. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and is forecast to average 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. Nonhydropower renewables provided slightly less than 10% of electricity generation in 2017 and are expected to provide 10% in 2018 and nearly 11% in 2019. The generation share of hydropower was about 7% in 2017 and is forecast to fall to less than 7% in both 2018 and 2019.
  • In 2017 EIA estimates that wind generated an average of 697,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d). EIA projects that will rise to 735,000 MWh/d in 2018 and to 779,000 MWh/d in 2019. If factors such as precipitation and snowpack remain as forecast, conventional hydropower is projected to generate 732,000 MWh/d in 2019, making it the first year that wind generation would exceed hydropower generation in the United States.
U.S. Electricity Summary
  2016201720182019
Retail Prices (cents per kilowatthour)
Residential Sector 12.5512.9013.1913.62
Commercial Sector 10.4310.6810.9611.05
Industrial Sector 6.766.917.207.30
Power Generation Fuel Costs (dollars per million Btu)
Coal 2.112.082.192.21
Natural Gas 2.873.393.473.43
Residual Fuel Oil 8.4610.9712.4211.90
Distillate Fuel Oil 10.8213.2615.5915.18
Generation (billion kWh per day)
Coal 3.3863.3093.2193.224
Natural Gas 3.7663.4873.7863.860
Nuclear 2.2012.2052.1932.140
Conventional Hydroelectric 0.7320.8220.7600.732
Renewable (non-hydroelectric) 0.9331.0611.1281.202
Total Generation 11.13810.99911.21811.283
Retail Sales (billion kWh per day)
Residential Sector 3.863.783.923.93
Commercial Sector 3.743.703.733.75
Industrial Sector 2.672.592.642.65
Total Retail Sales 10.2810.0910.3110.35
Primary Assumptions (percent change from previous year)
Real DIsposable Personal Income 1.41.22.93.8
Manufacturing Production Index 0.21.62.52.6
Cooling Degree Days 4.7-8.5-2.3-1.1
Heating Degree Days -5.1-1.29.20.7
Number of Households 0.41.11.21.2

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