Today in Energy

May 22, 2017

Air conditioning and other appliances increase residential electricity use in the summer

graph of residential air conditioning equipment by climate region, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey

Residential electricity consumption rises and falls seasonally substantially more than commercial or industrial consumption, largely because of air conditioning use in the summer. According to the most recent data from EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), nearly 9 out of 10 U.S. homes are air conditioned by central units, individual (window, wall, or portable) units, or both. Other activities, including use of fans, dehumidifiers, and pool pumps, also increase summer electricity use in homes.

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May 19, 2017

OPEC net oil revenues in 2016 were the lowest since 2004

graph of OPEC net oil export revenues, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earned about $433 billion in net oil export revenues in 2016, the lowest since 2004. In real dollar terms, the 2016 revenue represents a 15% decline from the $509 billion earned in 2015, mainly because of the fall in average annual crude oil prices and, to a lesser extent, because of decreases in OPEC net oil exports.

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May 18, 2017

Large commercial buildings are more likely to use lighting control strategies

graph of lighting controls used in commercial buildings, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey

The most recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) collected new information about lighting control technologies and strategies in the United States in 2012. Compared with other investments in energy efficiency—such as upgrading heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems or replacing insulation—lighting controls are often relatively easy, accessible, and affordable changes. A new EIA report, Trends in Lighting in Commercial Buildings, details these strategies and provides information about lighting technologies in commercial buildings.

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May 17, 2017

California electricity mix in 2017 has involved more renewables, less natural gas

graph of CAISO electricity generation mix for selected fuels, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Bloomberg

So far in 2017, increased hydroelectric generation and solar power generation in California have contributed to lower natural gas-fired power generation in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) region, the electric system operator for much of the state. In a late April update to several state agencies responsible for planning and managing California’s energy reliability, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) outlined its views regarding several assumptions and challenges for safely and reliably serving its customers in Southern California over the coming summer and winter.

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May 16, 2017

Oil-fired power plants provide small amounts of U.S. electricity capacity and generation

graph of U.S. utilty-scale electric generating capacity, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

Roughly 70% of petroleum-fired electric generating capacity that still exists today was constructed prior to 1980. Utility-scale generators that reported petroleum as their primary fuel comprised only 3% of total electric generating capacity at the end of 2016 and produced less than 1% of total electricity generation during 2016.

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May 15, 2017

Petroleum product exports from Central Atlantic states were unusually high in February

graph of Central Atlantic finished petroleum product exports, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Note: PADD is Petroleum Administration for Defense District. Finished petroleum products include asphalt and road oil, distillate, jet fuel, kerosene, lubricants, petroleum coke, residual fuel, special naphthas, and total motor gasoline.

Exports of finished petroleum products from the Central Atlantic region of the United States (Petroleum Administration of Defense District, or PADD 1B) reached a record high in February 2017. Increased exports were driven by lower prices for several petroleum products in the Central Atlantic region compared with prices in other regions in the Atlantic Basin. Distillate fuel and total motor gasoline, the two most-consumed petroleum products globally, were among the products that showed an increase in exports.

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May 12, 2017

U.S. nuclear capacity and generation expected to decline as existing generators retire

graph of U.S. nuclear electricity generating capacity and annual nuclear capacity changes, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2017

Nuclear power currently accounts for about 20% of electricity generation in the United States, playing an important role in electricity markets. EIA’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2017) Reference case assumes that about 25% of the nuclear capacity now operating that does not have announced retirement plans will be removed from service by 2050.

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May 11, 2017

Natural gas has displaced coal in the Northeast’s generation mix over the past 10 years

graph of net electricity generation by fuel in Northeast US, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Power Plant Operations Report

The generation fuel mix of electricity in the Northeast Census division of the United States has shifted dramatically over the past 10 years. In the nine Northeast states, natural gas nearly doubled its share of the region’s total generation to 41% in 2016, up from 23% in 2006. Coal-fired generation fell from 31% to 11% of generation over the same period. Nuclear-powered generation as a share of total generation remained relatively constant near 34%. Despite more than doubling over the same period, the share of nonhydro renewables remains relatively small. Overall, total generation in the region declined by 3% between 2006 and 2016.

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May 10, 2017

Flows of gasoline and diesel into the Midwest fall as demand flattens and production grows

graph of gasoline and diesel movements from and to the midwest, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

Over the past 10 years, increased refining activity and relatively flat demand in the Midwest—Petroleum Administration for Defense District 2 (PADD 2)—have allowed refiners in the region to meet a larger share of regional gasoline and diesel fuel needs. As a result, shipments of gasoline and diesel into the region have declined, while shipments to other regions have increased. Despite these changes, the Midwest is still a net receiver of gasoline and diesel fuels, especially during summer months and during periods when refineries are undergoing maintenance.

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May 9, 2017

New pipeline infrastructure should accommodate expected rise in Permian oil production

graph of WTI crude oil prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Bloomberg L.P.

As crude oil production in the Permian Basin of western Texas and eastern New Mexico has increased, pipeline infrastructure has also increased to deliver this crude oil to demand centers on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

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