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Today in Energy

Nov 13, 2018

Renewable diesel is increasingly used to meet California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

LCFS quarterly net supply for select fuels
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on California Air Resources Board

Renewable diesel net supply to California’s fuel market has increased since the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program went into effect in 2011, reaching 100 million gallons during the second quarter of 2018, or 10.1% of the total diesel supplied to California that quarter. The LCFS program, which is administered by the California Air Resources Board, sets standards to incrementally decrease the carbon intensity of motor gasoline and diesel fuel by at least 10% by 2020 relative to a 2010 baseline.

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Nov 9, 2018

Water withdrawals by U.S. power plants have been declining

total water withdrawals by U.S. thermoelectric power plants
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Power Plant Operations Report and Thermoelectric cooling water data

Water withdrawals by U.S. thermoelectric power plants reached 52.8 trillion gallons in 2017, continuing a decline in withdrawal volumes since 2014. The water intensity of total U.S power generation—the average amount of water withdrawn per unit of total net electricity generated—fell from 15.1 gallons per kilowatthour in 2014 to 13.0 gallons per kilowatthour in 2017.

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Nov 8, 2018

Electricity residential retail choice participation has declined since 2014 peak

residential customers by type of electricity service
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Power Industry Report

In states with residential retail choice programs, customers can elect to purchase their electricity directly from their choice of energy suppliers, with the electricity delivered to them by their local utility. The number of customers participating in retail choice programs peaked at 17.2 million customers (13% of total residential customers) in 2014 and has since declined, reaching 16.2 million customers (12% of the national total) in 2016 and 16.7 million customers (13% of the national total) in 2017.

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Nov 7, 2018

Space heating and water heating account for nearly two thirds of U.S. home energy use

U.S. household end-use consumption by fuel
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey 2015

Space heating and water heating were the top two energy-consuming uses in U.S. homes in 2015, according to EIA’s latest Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). Space heating consumption can vary considerably by climate and building characteristics, while variation in water heating consumption is driven primarily by the number of occupants in a home. Households use a variety of fuels for space heating and water heating, which affects these end-use shares of household energy expenditures.

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Nov 6, 2018

Winter begins with higher U.S. heating oil and propane prices

U.S. average residential heating oil and propane prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Heating Oil and Propane Program (SHOPP) and Short-Term Energy Outlook

U.S. residential heating oil and propane prices at the start of the 2018–2019 winter heating season were 23% and 4% higher, respectively, than at the start of the last heating season. During the winter months (October–March), EIA conducts weekly surveys of residential heating oil and propane prices for many states through the State Heating Oil and Propane Program (SHOPP).

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Nov 5, 2018

Midwest propane inventories enter winter higher than previous five-year average

weekly Midwest propane inventories
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Weekly Petroleum Status Report

Propane inventories (including propylene produced at refineries) in the Midwest United States had been lower than the previous five-year average for much of 2018, but in recent weeks, net additions to inventories increased Midwest propane to levels higher than the previous five-year average. For the week ending October 19, propane inventories in the Midwest, or Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 2, were 27.8 million barrels, or 792,000 barrels higher than the previous five-year average.

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Nov 2, 2018

Consolidated Edison gets approval for natural gas demand response pilot program

New York natural gas consumption by sector
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Monthly

In August 2018, the New York Public Service Commission approved a petition by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) for a $5 million, three-year natural gas demand response pilot program, one of the first demand response projects for natural gas.

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Nov 1, 2018

U.S. monthly crude oil production exceeds 11 million barrels per day in August

monthly U.S. field production of crude oil
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

U.S. crude oil production reached 11.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in August 2018, according to EIA’s latest Petroleum Supply Monthly, up from 10.9 million b/d in July. This is the first time that monthly U.S. production levels surpassed 11 million b/d. U.S. crude oil production exceeded the Russian Ministry of Energy’s estimated August production of 11.2 million b/d, making the United States the leading crude oil producer in the world.

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Oct 31, 2018

New England’s competitive electricity markets lead to less price volatility

New England unbundled competitive retail and wholesale electricity markets
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Electric Power Industry Report (Form EIA-861M), and ISO-NE, as accessed through SNL.

Of the six states that comprise New England, all but Vermont have deregulated electricity markets that allow customers to choose among competitive suppliers to provide their electricity. Retail electricity prices paid by customers in New England who choose a competitive supplier are much less volatile than wholesale electricity prices, but temporary increases in competitive retail electricity prices occur at about the same time as the largest increases in wholesale electricity prices.

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Oct 30, 2018

Low Rhine River water levels disrupt petroleum product shipments to parts of Europe

Rhine River water levels at Kaub, Germany
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Thomson Reuters

Historically low water levels on the Rhine River in Europe have resulted in transportation disruptions for shipments of petroleum products by barge, which in turn have resulted in higher freight costs and higher prices in markets upriver, such as in southern Germany. These disruptions are occurring at a time when markets along the Rhine River typically build inventories of distillate fuel for space heating ahead of the winter.

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