Consumers are expected to use less electricity this summer because of forecasts of cooler temperatures, federal energy officials said in a new report.
The Energy Information Administration expects summer 2019 electricity consumption for the typical residential consumer will be about 5 percent lower than last summer because of milder projected weather that should reduce the need for air conditioning, according to this month’s
Short-Term Energy Outlook.
“Based on projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, EIA expects cooling degree days—an indicator of energy use for air conditioning—during the summer months of June, July, and August 2019 to total about nine percent below” last summer, said Tyler Hodges, an analyst at EIA.
At the same time, residential electricity prices will average about 13.4 cents/kWh during the summer cooling season, about 2 percent higher than last summer. This reflects “higher actual costs in generation fuel from 2018 that affect retail rates with a time lag, as well as rising electric transmission and distribution costs,” according to the report.
Lower crude oil prices in 2019 is good news for summer motorists. For the 2019 summer driving season, which runs from April through September, regular gasoline retail prices will average about $2.76 per gallon, EIA said. That’s down from an average of $2.85 per gallon last summer.
For all of 2019, gas retail prices will average $2.60 for a gallon of regular and $2.71 for all grades, which would result in U.S. households spending, on average, about $100 less on fuel this year compared with 2018.