Cost of coal and natural gas for electric generation in the U.S. from 1980 to 2016 (in U.S. dollars per million British thermal units)*

Natural gas vis-a-vis coal prices 1980-2016 The statistic shows the cost of selected fuel receipts at electric generating plants between 1980 and 2016. In 2012, natural gas receipts cost around 3.42 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units compared to 2.38 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units for coal.
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Natural Gas**Coal
19802.21.35
19853.441.65
19902.321.45
19951.981.32
20004.31.2
20014.491.23
20023.561.25
20035.391.28
20058.211.54
20066.941.69
20077.111.77
20089.012.07
20094.742.21
20105.092.27
20114.722.39
20123.422.38
20134.332.35
201452.37
20153.232.22
20162.882.12
Natural Gas**Coal
19802.21.35
19853.441.65
19902.321.45
19951.981.32
20004.31.2
20014.491.23
20023.561.25
20035.391.28
20058.211.54
20066.941.69
20077.111.77
20089.012.07
20094.742.21
20105.092.27
20114.722.39
20123.422.38
20134.332.35
201452.37
20153.232.22
20162.882.12

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Description Source More information
The statistic shows the cost of selected fuel receipts at electric generating plants between 1980 and 2016. In 2012, natural gas receipts cost around 3.42 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units compared to 2.38 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units for coal.
Show more
Release date
March 2017
Region
United States
Survey time period
1980 to 2016
Supplementary notes
* Including taxes; prices are not adjusted for inflation Through 2001, data are for electric utilities only. Beginning in 2002, data also include independent power producers, and electric generating plants in the commercial and industrial sectors. Beginning in 2013, data cover all regulated generating plants, and plants whose total fossil-fueled nameplate generating capacity is 50 megawatts of more for coal, and 200 megawatts or more for natural gas.

** Includes a small amount of supplemental gaseous fuels. Data through 2000 also include a small amount of blast furnace gas and other gases derived from fossil fuels.

Receipts are purchases of fuel.

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