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Northeast spot power prices buck wider uptick in December 2018

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Northeast spot power prices buck wider uptick in December 2018

Wholesale power prices in the Northeast remained relatively elevated but reflected year-over-year reductions in December 2018, bucking the broad uptrend.

ISO New England and New York ISO logged among the highest day-ahead on-peak power indexes for December 2018 at $55.95/MWh and $41.55/MWh, respectively, but were down 25.0% and 13.4% year over year. By contrast, the spot power index was up 11.4% year over year on a nationwide basis at $41.88/MWh.

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Underlying gas prices at hubs serving U.S. generators reflected the same pattern, climbing 9.6% to $4.322/MMBtu year over year in December 2018 for the U.S. as a whole but falling 24.3% to $5.678/MMBtu in ISO-NE and slipping 11.5% to $4.253/MMBtu in NYISO.

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Average hourly load in December 2018 was lower across the country, falling by 1.6% to as much as 6.6% year over year.

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Gas-fired implied heat rates, or the efficiency rates at which the market cost of power equals the cost of burning fuel to generate power, was 1.7% higher year over year in December 2018 on a nationwide basis but was down 2.2% in NYISO and off almost 1.0% in ISO-NE.

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Coal-fired implied heat rates were 15.8% lower to as much as 1.9% higher year over year for the U.S. as a whole but were 16.2% to as much as 30.7% lower over the same period in NYISO and 32.3% to as much as 44.0% lower in ISO-NE.

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Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.