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Jul 23, 2018

Air conditioning accounts for about 12% of U.S. home energy expenditures

U.S. annual average residential air-conditioning expenditures by climate region, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey
Note: Climate regions based on Department of Energy Building America climate regions.

Air-conditioning equipment is used in 87% of homes in the United States and, according to the latest EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), home air-conditioning costs averaged $265 in 2015, or 12% of total home energy expenditures. Air-conditioning costs ranged from an average of $525 in the hot-humid region in the Southeast to about $60 in the temperate marine region along the West Coast. The more moderate mixed-humid region, where home air-conditioning costs averaged $262, was closest to the national average.

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Jul 20, 2018

Major utilities continue to increase spending on U.S. electric distribution systems

annual electric distribution system costs for major U.S. utilities, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Financial Reports, as accessed by Ventyx Velocity Suite

Spending on electricity distribution systems by major U.S. electric utilities—representing about 70% of total U.S. electric load—has risen 54% over the past two decades, from $31 billion to $51 billion annually. This increase has been largely driven by increases in capital investment. From 1996 to 2017, annual capital investment by these utilities for electric distribution systems nearly doubled, which was similar to increases in transmission investment over the same time period. Annual spending on customer expenses and operations and maintenance by these utilities also increased slightly. This information is based on reports to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) from major utilities.

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Jul 19, 2018

Crossover utility vehicles overtake cars as the most popular light-duty vehicle type

light-duty vehicle sales by class and U.S. average gasoline prices, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices and Wards Automotive
Note: CUVs are crossover utility vehicles, and SUVs are sport utility vehicles.

Trends in the sales shares of new light-duty vehicles by vehicle type have continued as the crossover utility vehicle (CUV) share of light-duty vehicles has increased, largely at the expense of cars, despite increases in gasoline prices over the previous two years. In each month since September 2017, sales of CUVs have exceeded those of cars, a class that includes sedans, hatchbacks, and sports cars.

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Jul 18, 2018

Permian region natural gas prices fall as production continues to grow

monthly average natural gas prices at the Waha and Henry hubs, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Natural Gas Intelligence

The natural gas spot price spread between the Permian Basin, as priced at the Waha Hub in western Texas, and the U.S. national benchmark Henry Hub in Louisiana has grown considerably in the past year. Natural gas prices at Waha are nearly a dollar per million British thermal units (MMBtu) lower than Henry Hub prices. This spread widened as the ability to transport the increased natural gas production in the Permian Basin in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico was constrained by existing pipeline capacity.

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Jul 17, 2018

Volcanic lava flows continue to affect geothermal power generation on Hawaii’s Big Island

Hawaii (Big Island) power plants, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, and Hawaiian Electric

Lava flows from the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii led to the shutdown of the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) power plant on May 3, 2018. The 38-megawatt (MW) facility is the only geothermal plant on the island, and it produced about 29% of the island’s electricity generation in 2017. The plant voluntarily ceased operations ahead of the approaching lava flow.

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Jul 16, 2018

U.S. refinery capacity virtually unchanged between 2017 and 2018

U.S. atmospheric crude distillation capacity, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Refinery Capacity Report

As of January 1, 2018, U.S. operable atmospheric crude distillation capacity totaled 18.6 million barrels per calendar day (b/cd), a slight decrease of 0.1% since the beginning of 2017 according to EIA’s annual Refinery Capacity Report. Annual operable crude oil distillation unit (CDU) capacity had increased slightly in each of the five years before 2018.

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Jul 13, 2018

The United States continues to export MTBE, mainly to Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela

U.S. exports of MTBE, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

U.S. exports of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a motor gasoline additive, totaled 38,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2017, primarily to Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela. MTBE was once commonly used in the United States but was phased out in the late 2000s as a result of water contamination concerns. Since then, fuel ethanol has replaced MTBE as a gasoline additive.

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Jul 12, 2018

Wind generators’ cost declines reflect technology improvements and siting decisions

U.S. onshore wind capital costs, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Technology Market Report

Between 2010 and 2016, the capacity-weighted average cost (real 2016$) of U.S. wind installations declined by one-third, from $2,361 per kilowatt (kW) to $1,587/kW, based on analysis in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (DOE/EERE) Wind Technology Market Report. The reasons for this decline include improving technology and manufacturing capability and an increasing concentration of builds in the regions of the United States with the lowest installation costs.

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Jul 11, 2018

Natural gas-fired electricity generation this summer expected to be near record high

monthly U.S. electric generation by fuel, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

EIA’s July 2018 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects natural gas-fired power plants to supply 37% of U.S. electricity generation this summer (June, July, and August), near the record-high natural gas-fired generation share in summer 2016. EIA forecasts the share of generation from coal-fired power plants will drop slightly to 30% in summer 2018, continuing a multi-year trend of lower coal-fired electricity generation.

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Jul 10, 2018

China is a key destination for increasing U.S. energy exports

U.S. exports of selected energy goods, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly, Natural Gas Monthly

Republished July 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to correct the units for China's imports of crude oil and propane.

In recent years, as its domestic energy consumption has grown, China has become a more significant destination for U.S. energy exports. In particular, China has been among the largest importers of U.S. exports of crude oil, propane, and liquefied natural gas.

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