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Energy prices in the U.S. - statistics & facts

The price of energy tends to change rapidly but is essential to know for both citizens and the industry. Consumers require current price trend information to make informed decisions about their energy consumption. As a major energy producer, the United States has lower energy prices when compared to countries more reliant on energy imports. As of 2020, the U.S. had one of the lowest household electricity prices worldwide.

Electricity prices

The retail price for electricity in the U.S. stood at an average of 10.66 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour in 2020. Electricity prices are influenced by a number of factors, including government subsidies or taxes, weather patterns, transmission infrastructure, as well as any industry regulations. More importantly, the cost and price of energy also differ based on the technology available for each energy source. Regarding the type of costumer, households pay typically more for electricity than commercial and industrial users. In 2020, the average household electricity price in the U.S reached 13.2 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour, while it stood at 6.66 cents per kilowatt hour for industries. Electricity prices also vary widely across the country, with Hawai having the highest residential electricity retail price.

Oil and natural gas prices

More efficient drilling and production techniques for natural gas enabled higher production in the United States in recent years, which contributed to a decline in natural gas prices and prompted an increase in natural gas consumption. The production of crude oil and natural gas is often interconnected as the release and capture of natural gas can occur during the oil drilling process.

In April 2020, the United States experienced a negative oil price for the first time in history due to coronavirus lockdowns across the world. On that month, the price of WTI crude oil reached -37.63 U.S. dollars per barrel. As people stayed inside, oil demand plummeted, resulting in oil firms renting tankers to store surplus oil supply and forcing the price of U.S. oil to go negative. The price for natural gas also sank during the first months of the pandemic, falling to an average of 1.62 U.S dollars per million British thermal units in June 2020. After this historic plunge, U.S. oil and natural gas prices have since rebounded.

Renewable energy costs

One of the reasons that renewables have become more prevalent around the world over the last decade is due to their ever-decreasing prices. Most notable are the falling levelized costs of wind energy and solar energy, which decreased between 21 and 77 percent between 2010 and 2018. In 2021, the unsubsidized levelized cost of utility-scale solar PV in the U.S. ranged between 28 and 41 U.S. dollars per megawatt hour. In comparison, coal's levelized cost of energy stood between 65 to 152 U.S. dollars per megawatt hour. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) measures the cost of the building and the operations to maintain a facility over its lifetime. Renewables are expected to overtake fossil fuels at ever-growing margins, even without subsidies.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Energy prices in the U.S.".

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