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  • Tony Zelinski

EIA: higher natural gas prices to push up US electricity costs




The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its December Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Dec. 6, that it expects U.S. wholesale electricity prices to be higher and more volatile this winter, from 31% higher than last winter in the Southwest to as much as 60% higher in the mid-Atlantic and Central regions of the country.


But that is the wholesale price.


“Although we expect that U.S. electricity customers will pay more for electricity, we do not expect retail electricity prices to increase as much as wholesale prices this winter,” said EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis.


The reason, the agency said, is “because of regulatory and contractual factors that vary widely across the United States.”


During the core winter months - December through February - EIA is forecasting residential electricity prices to average 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour, up 6% from last winter, with the increases ranging from almost no change in the West North Central region of the country to 18% for New England.


Limited natural gas pipeline capacity into New England makes it likely that region will need to import LNG or fuel oil to provide required electricity, EIA said, and with global demand for LNG this winter expected to be significantly stronger than average, that will contribute to the forecast of New England’s “disproportionately large increases in wholesale electricity prices.”


Continue reading the original article here.




 

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