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Electricity Monthly Update With Data for September 2013


Highlights: September 2013

  • New England experienced a hot spell during Sept. 11 and Sept 12 that caused wholesale electricity prices to spike to $181 $/MWh and $89 $/MWh on respective days.
  • For the first time in four months, the prices for natural gas at both Henry Hub and New York City on a $/MWh basis were above the price of Central Appalachian coal.
  • Total coal stocks decreased 1.2 percent from the previous month, deviating from the August to September pattern observed over the past several years.

Key Indicators

  September 2013 % Change from September 2012
Total Net Generation
(Thousand MWh)
340,169 1.6%
Residential Retail Price
12.52 1.5%
Retail Sales
(Thousand MWh)
321,051 1.0%
Cooling Degree-Days 193 5.5%
Natural Gas Price, Henry Hub
3.72 26.1%
Natural Gas Consumption
776,567 -6.9%
Coal Consumption
(Thousand Tons)
72,838 4.8%
Coal Stocks
(Thousand Tons)
153,813 -14.9%
Nuclear Generation
(Thousand MWh)
65,799 2.0%
Nuclear Outages
8,253 -34.8%

Residential Electricity Retail Choice Takes Off in Eight States after 2009

Almost half of the U. S. states allow electricity customers to voluntarily choose a supplier other than their traditional utility. These "retail choice" programs have been very popular with commercial and industrial customers. Residential customers have been reluctant to switch to competitive retail suppliers until recently. Eight states mostly in the Northeast have seen significant growth since 2009 in residential retail choice participation.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. have active retail choice programs for residential customers. In 2012, 8.2 million residential customer choices were signed up with competitive retail suppliers. This was nearly four times the 2.6 million customers signed up in 2009. However, the number of residential retail choice customers remains a very small portion of the total of residential customers in the U. S. (less than 1 percent).

We profile in this article eight states that have had recent rapid growth in retail choice participation rates. The states are Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These states have voluntary retail choice programs, i.e. customers may choose to buy from a competitive retail supplier or continue to receive service from their traditional utility. In 2009, retail choice customer counts in the eight states shown in the chart above represented 73 percent of all customers voluntarily participating in retail choice programs nationwide. By 2012, that percentage had risen to 90 percent.

In 2012, the three leading states for residential retail choice participation were Connecticut (42 percent), Ohio (36 percent), and Pennsylvania (28 percent). These states also experienced the greatest expansion in participation rates since 2009 with Connecticut expanding by 32 percentage points, Ohio by 29 percentage points, and Pennsylvania by 25 percentage points. The two leading states for residential participation rates in 2009, New York (14 percent) and Massachusetts (11%), experience slower growth relative to the leading states with New York moving to 19 percent and Massachusetts to 13 percent in 2012. Given differences in the number of customers per state, the states with the most residential retail choice customers in 2012 were Ohio (1.8 million), Pennsylvania (1.5 million) and New York (1.3 million).

Unlike other states, Texas' retail choice program is mandatory under state law. Retail customers must either choose a competitive supplier or are assigned one in the part of Texas where the electric system is operated by the ERCOT Regional Transmission Organization. Not surprisingly, Texas has highest percentage of retail choice customers of any state.

Principal Contributor: Stephen Scott

Source:  EIA.gov


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