The average amount of electricity U.S. residential households will consume is expected to decline 5% to about 3,080 kilowatt-hours of electricity this summer (June through August), from the same period in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This would be the lowest level of electricity consumption per customer since 2014 and the second-lowest level since 2001. The consumption is projected to be lower because milder temperatures are expected.
Between June and August, cooling degree days, an indicator of energy use for air conditioning, are projected to fall 9%, from the same period in 2018, and be 3% lower than the average of the previous 10 summers, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Air conditioning accounts for 17% of annual residential electricity expenditures and contributes to fluctuations in residential electricity use, according to the EIA.
Electricity use has declined in recent years as households have replaced older equipment with more energy-efficient equipment for space heating, cooling and appliances and devices. The average U.S. residential customer’s electricity bill will decline 3% to $412 this summer, from the same period in 2018, because of a 5% decline in average electricity consumption per customer, more than offsetting a 2% rise in average U.S. retail electricity prices.
Retail electricity prices will rise this year as a result of a 5% increase in the power sector’s price for natural gas in 2018. Electricity prices have also been increasing as electric utilities pass on the costs of increased investments in transmission infrastructure and new generating capacity.