Wholesale power buyers and residential consumers alike may anticipate higher costs this winter, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday in its December Short Term Energy Outlook.
“We forecast wholesale prices for on-peak power to rise in all areas of the country during the winter months as the weather becomes colder,” EIA said.
For the December-February period, the agency said it anticipates on-peak wholesale electricity prices will increase from 33% in California to more than 60% higher in some areas of the the mid-Atlantic and central regions.
“We also forecast retail electricity prices to be higher this winter. However, retail prices grow less than wholesale prices because of regulatory and contractual factors that vary widely across the United States,“ EIA said.
EIA said it expects the U.S. residential electricity price from December through February to average 14.5 cents/kWh, or about 6% higher than last winter.
“Price increases range from almost no change in the West North Central region to 18% in New England,” EIA said.
The New England ISO on Monday issued its winter reliability assessment, saying the grid operator anticipates adequate electricity supplies under moderate weather conditions, but warned colder weather could change that equation.
“Increased global demand for LNG in response to war in Ukraine has created more volatility this winter, leading to higher prices,” the ISO said in a statement. “The impact of these higher wholesale prices on residential electricity supply rates can vary based on a utility’s service territory, procurement practices and state rules.”
Looking ahead to next year, EIA said it expects the U.S. residential price of electricity to average 15.39 cents/kWh, almost a 17% increase since 2020 when prices averaged 13.16 cents/kWh.