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EIA: Electricity Prices Down 6 Years in a Row

EIA: Electricity Prices Down 6 Years in a Row

The average price of electricity in the United States decreased in 1999 for the sixth consecutive year to the lowest rates since 1990. The total decline in rates since 1994 is 3.6%, according to information released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in "Electric Sales and Revenue 1999."

Full-service sales of electricity to bundled ultimate consumers decreased slightly in 1999 to 3,236 billion kWh, while total revenue from those sales decreased as well from $218 billion in 1998 to $215 billion in 1999. Sales to ultimate consumers in deregulated power markets in 1999 totaled 76.2 billion kWh or 2.3% of the total market at a cost of $2.7 billion or 3.5 cents/kWh.

The price of electricity decreased for all major consumer sectors in 1999 including the residential sector, which decreased for the second consecutive year. At the national level, average monthly residential bills declined by 1%, while sales increased by 1.2% and average monthly electricity consumption increased to 866 kWh from 864 kWh.

Additional highlights from the report included:

The average price for electricity customers in traditional markets was 6.66 cents/kWh in 1999, a substantial decrease from the 1998 level of 6.74 cents. Hawaii, which produces most of its generation from petroleum, was highest at 11.97 cents/kWh, followed by New Hampshire, whose utilities depend on high-cost nuclear and non-utility power contracts, at 11.75 cents/kWh. New York prices were the third highest at 10.40 cents/kWh, due to high-cost generation and non-utility contracts. For residential customers the totals were higher, with an average residential cost of 8.16 cents/kWh. New York, New Hampshire and Maine led the high-cost list with prices above 13 cents/kWh. California residentials paid over 10 cents/kWh. Furthest down on the scale were Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Kentucky with prices just over 5 cents/kWh.

An electronic version of "Electric Sales and Revenue 1999" is available on EIA's Internet site at

Printed copies of the 264-page report will be available on or before Oct. 31 from the U.S. Government Printing Office, (202) 512-1800 or through EIA's National Energy Information Center, (202) 586-8800.

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