Residential rates 15 hundredths higher, commercial rates 14 hundredths lower
Average residential rates were 12.7 cents per kilowatt-hour nationally in 2015 through November, per the Energy Department. That’s slightly above what rates were in the prior year, by 1.2 percent. Unadjusted for inflation.
Average rates typically dip in November from what they were in October and the summer and late spring months. But the November 2015 average didn’t dip. Not sure why; need to look into that. With a typical November dip, the 2015 year-to-date average might have been just 1 percent over the prior year or less.
Average commercial rates were 10.6 cents per kilowatt-hour nationally in 2015 through November. That’s slightly below what rates were in the prior year, by 1.3 percent.
Rates paid by the commercial sector have been remarkably flat for years, and therefore falling in inflation-adjusted terms. The average commercial rate in 2008 was 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. The average has risen only 38 hundredths in seven years!
As a percentage, the average has risen only 3.7 percent in all that time. Your corner pharmacy, that favorite Italian restaurant, the local hospital, big box stores, police stations, etc. have been getting their electricity at a bargain.
The industrial sector, now just a quarter of electricity sales, is doing even better. Their average rate in 2015 (once the December numbers are rolled in) will be about the same as what industry paid back in 2008. Or possibly a little less. Apparently, falling real rates for electricity are insufficient to stimulate American industry.
The Energy Department releases the December numbers on February 26th.
Not being a news service, Public Utilities Fortnightly doesn’t report the numbers or the events of the day, for the electricity and natural gas utility industries. But we intend to give them a balanced perspective, through articles and columns by the most respected thought leaders, as well as unique analyses dissecting where we’re actually heading.
Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly
E-mail me: email@example.com