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Utilities Expected to Reduce Natural Gas Use in 2013

By Justin Loiseau - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:03PM

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Higher prices mean lower demand.

New electricity data and projections are in, thanks to a new Short-Term Energy Outlook report from the Energy Information Administration, or EIA.

On the residential consumption front, electricity prices are expected to rise a below-average 2.8% in 2013. Although projected prices represent the largest percentage increase since 2008, they fall well below the 10-year average.

Source: EIA.gov 

Despite relatively cheap electricity, the Administration expects consumption to drop a seasonally adjusted 5% for the upcoming summer. For 2013 overall, residential sales are expected to bump up 0.5%, while commercial sales rise 0.8%. Industry is projected to consume the most, upping electricity use by 1.2% in 2013. 

On the generation front, the EIA expects utilities to push out 1% more power in 2013. As natural gas prices continue to rise, the Administration projects a slight coal comeback in 2013. Although coal generation is expected to increase 7.8% this year, its 39.9% share of total generation still falls shy of 2011's 42.3%. Concurrent to coal, natural gas' 2013 generation share is expected to fall 2.4 percentage points, to 28%. 

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