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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average price or cost of natural gas for U.S. electric power producers?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes data on the price and the cost of natural gas for electricity generation. The main difference between these two data series relates to the types of electricity producers that the data applies to and the sources of the data. The following information applies to data for the price and the cost of natural gas for electricity generation published since 2013.

EIA collects natural gas cost data by survey from electric power plants with 200 megawatts (MW) of nameplate electricity generation capacity that are primarily fueled by natural gas. This cost includes all costs incurred in the purchase and delivery of natural gas to those power plants. The power plants are owned by electricity producers whose primary business is generating and selling electricity (electric utilities and independent power producers) and commercial and industrial entities with power plants that produce electricity primarily used in their facilities.

EIA publishes a natural gas electric power price, which is the average of the natural gas cost data described above for electric utilities and independent power producers, for the United States and for each state, in dollars per thousand cubic feet (Mcf):

EIA publishes the cost of natural gas for electricity generation by electric utilities, independent power producers, the commercial sector, and the industrial sector, and the average cost of natural gas for all of these types of electricity producers (in aggregate categorized as the electric power industry) in the following reports and survey database:

  • Electric Power Monthly—Chapter 4: monthly and annual average cost of natural gas by types of power plant owners and by state, in dollars per million British thermal units (MMBtu) and in dollars per Mcf
  • Electric Power Annual—Chapter 7: average annual cost of natural gas by types of power plant owners and by state, in dollars per MMBtu
  • EIA-923 survey database—monthly and annual average cost of natural gas for individual power plants by type of purchase/contract in cents per MMBtu. See file “EIA923_Schedules_2…” and file worksheet “Page 5 Fuel Receipts and Costs.”

The average natural gas prices/costs are averages weighted on the basis of the amount of natural gas purchased by each type of electricity producer.

Learn more:
Natural gas prices by type of consumer and definitions and explanatory notes for those natural gas prices
Instructions for EIA-923 survey; see, on page 4, Schedule 2. Part A. Contract Information, Purchase, and Costs

Last updated: April 9, 2018


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