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EIA looking to flat residential power sales this summer

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Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

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EIA looking to flat residential power sales this summer

Amid expectations for milder weather during the upcoming summermonths in most regions of the United States, residential electricity sales shouldbe flat to the corresponding year-ago period. Commercial power sales during thesame period are likely to rise 1.5% on the year, the U.S. Energy Information Administrationreported in its monthly "Short-TermEnergy Outlook" released May 10.

The agency said total U.S. electricity generation for the yearis expected to ease slightly on the year to average 11.2 terawatt-hours per day.

"The annual amount of electricity generated by natural gaswill exceed the generation from coal-fired power plants this year for the firsttime. Coal-fired electricity generation will be 8% lower this year, while naturalgas generation will increase by 4%," EIA administrator Adam Sieminski saidin released comments.

The EIA anticipates that natural gas-fired generation will accountfor 34.0% of total electricity this year, up from 32.7% in 2015. Coal-fired generationwill account for 30.5% this year, easing from 33.2% in 2015.

"Coal is forecast to regain some of its generation sharein 2017, as forecast natural gas prices slowly rise, but the forecast share of coalgeneration (31.4%) in 2017 remains below that of natural gas generation (32.9%),"the EIA said.

Average retail residential power prices in 2015 averaged 12.7cents/kWh but are called to decline by 0.7% to 12.6 cents/kWh this year. In 2017,the average price of residential electricity across the U.S. should climb by 2.4%to 12.9 cents/kWh.

CO2 emissions to slideby 1.5% this year

The EIA expects CO2 emissions declined by 2.7% in 2015 and willdrop by another 1.5% this year before rising by 1.4% in 2017.

In its "Today in Energy" report, the agency said that energy-related CO2 emissionsin 2015 were 12% below 2005 levels. The EIA largely attributed the drop in emissionsto changes in the power sector, due mainly to a decreased use of coal and an increaseduse of natural gas to generate electricity. From 2005 to 2015, fuel-use changesin the electricity sector have accounted for 68% of the total energy-related reductionsin CO2.