Consumers’ Summer Electricity Bills Rising with the Temperature
Warmer temperatures and higher electricity rates in much of the United States will conspire to increase many U.S. consumers’ electricity bills this summer, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a branch of the Department of Energy.
EIA says the average U.S residential customer will spend about 4.8 percent more on electricity from June through August than last year, due to both higher electricity rates (an average 2.1 percent increase) and higher usage (an average 2.6 percent increase).
In its Summer Residential Energy Outlook for electricity, EIA cites the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s projection of warmer temperatures this summer compared to last year. With “cooling degree days during June, July and August projected to total 7.3 percent more than last year, higher temperatures should lead to increased use of electricity for air conditioning,” EIA concludes.
Fortunately for some customers, EIA cites regional variations. The typical residential customer in the Pacific states is expected to consume 1.9 percent less electricity this year than last; but customers in the East North Central Area will use 6.3 percent more power.
New England customers will be challenged with the biggest increase in their bills due to a projected 15.4 percent hike in summer electricity prices in their part of the country. But customers in the West South Central states will be spared a huge spike, with the increase in their bills projected at only 2.1 percent.