January’s average price of electricity rose on higher natural gas prices
The average price of natural gas rose 14% during January 2017, pushing up the wholesale power price in New England by 8%, to $36.66 per megawatt-hour (MWh)*, from the January 2016 price of $33.99/MWh.
The smaller percentage increase in wholesale power prices compared to the natural gas increase was due to lower demand, as well as changes in the fuel mix in January. Total energy consumption in New England declined by 3% in January, compared to the previous January. Nuclear output was lower in January 2016, by about 200 gigawatt-hours (GWh) or 7.6% to 2,988 GWh, likely requiring the use of higher-priced resources. And output from low-priced wind resources was higher in January 2017, up by 48 GWh or 20% to 298 GWh, likely displacing some higher-priced resources.