Industrials leverage size for lower rates

Industrial customers in 1997 paid the lowest prices for electricity in 17 years (4.1 cents per kWh in adjusted 1992 dollars), according to new Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures.

Other highlights from EIA`s reports included:

– The average price for all electricity customers in the United States was 6.85 cents per kWh in 1997. Hawaii had the highest average price at 12.49 cents per kWh, followed by New Hampshire and New York at 11.66 cents and 11.13 cents, respectively.

– Sales to end-use customers through state-administered retail pilot programs more than doubled between 1996 and 1997, although that amount represents only one-fifth of 1 percent of all retail sales.

– Net income for major U.S. investor-owned electric utilities decreased by 13.4 percent to $18.4 billion, as utilities prepared for restructuring. Deductions of $2.5 billion accounted for most of the reduced net income.

– Net income for major U.S. publicly owned utilities declined 4.5 percent to $2.1 billion because of higher operating expenses related to generation.

– Non-utility generating capacity and gross generation accounted for 9 percent of total electric capacity and 10 percent of total electric generation.

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