Electricity pricing

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Electricity pricing (sometimes referred to as electricity tariff or the price of electricity) varies widely from country to country, and may vary significantly from locality to locality within a particular country. There are many reasons that account for these differences in price. The price of power generation depends largely on the type and market price of the fuel used, government subsidies, government and industry regulation, and even local weather patterns.

Basis of electricity rates[edit]

Electricity prices vary between countries and can even vary within a single region or distribution network of the same country. In standard regulated monopoly markets, electricity rates typically vary for residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Prices for any single class of electricity customer can also vary by time-of-day or by the capacity or nature of the supply circuit (e.g., 5 kW, 12 kW, 18 kW, 24 kW are typical in some of the large developed countries); for industrial customers, single-phase vs. 3-phase, etc. If a specific market allows real-time dynamic pricing, a more recent option in limited markets to date typically following the introduction of electronic metering, prices can even vary between times of low and high electricity network demand.

The actual electricity rate (cost per unit of electricity) that a customer pays can often be heavily dependent on customer charges, particularly for small customers (e.g. residential users).[1]

The cost also differs by the source of the electricity. In the U.S. in 2002, the typical cost of electricity from different sources is around: Coal: 1-4 cents; Gas: 2.3-5.0 cents; Oil: 6-8 cents; Wind: 5-7 cents; Nuclear: 6-7 cents; Solar: 25-50 cents.[citation needed] However, electricity costs vary greatly. Renewable sources reach grid parity in parts of the world where conventional power plants based on fossil fuel are costly enough (e.g. transportation costs of diesel to isolated communities). The varying costs involved in producing electricity lead to great variance in average electricity rates for residents of different states in the U.S.

In many countries, the tariff is considerably lower for high electricity users compared to electricity savers. In Finland the low electricity users in households may pay ca 30% fixed price.

Price comparison[edit]

Electricity price statistics Europe 2014[2]

The table below shows simple comparison of current electricity tariffs in industrialised countries and territories around the world, expressed in US dollars. Whilst useful for comparing world electricity prices at a glance it does not take into account a number of significant factors including fluctuating international exchange rates, a country's individual purchasing power parity, government electricity subsidies or retail discounts that are often available in deregulated electricity markets.[3]

For example, in 2012, Hawaii residents had the highest average residential electricity rate in the United States (37.34¢/kWh), while Louisiana residents had the lowest average residential electricity costs (8.37¢/kWh). Even in the contiguous United States the gap is significant, with New York residents having the highest average residential electricity rates in the lower 48 U.S. states (17.62¢/kWh).[4]

A comparative list of June 2009 prices for Europe may be found in the European Household Electricity Price Index.[5]

Global electricity price comparison[edit]

For comparison:

  • 1 cubic metre of methane contains about 38 MJ LHV of energy or about 10.5 kWh
  • 1 litre of gasoline/petrol contains 33 megajoules or about 9,2 kWh
  • 1 US gallon of gasoline contains 120 megajoules or about 33,3 kWh
  • 70 standard alkaline AA batteries contain 1 megajoule or about 280 Wh
Country/Territory US cents/kWh US cents/megajoule Date Source
American Samoa 38.3 to 40.4 10.64 to 11.22 [6]
Argentina 3.1[a] (subsidized) 0.86 (Buenos Aires) 2006 [3][7]
Argentina (Concordia) 19.13[a] 5.31 Jun 14, 2013
Australia varies by state anywhere from 15-22 per kWh

mans a service fee of 70 cents a day

6.11 to 11.06 Aug 23, 2012 [8][9]
Bahrain 0.79 to 4.23 (0.79 for first 3000 kWh; 2.38 for 3001-5000 kWh and 4.23 for every additional kWh. Exchange rate used from BHD to USD is 0.378) Aug 19, 2015 [10]
Bangladesh 2.95 to 9.24 Mar 13, 2014 [11]
Belgium 29.08 8.08 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Bhutan 1.88 to 4.40 0.52 to 1.22 Mar 23, 2012 [14][15]
Bulgaria 13.38 day (between 7:00-23:00 DST); 9.13 night 2.54 to 3.72 Oct 29, 2014 [16][17][18]
Brazil 25.00 Jul 7, 2016 [19]
Cambodia 15.63 to 21.00 in Phnom Penh 4.34 to 5.83 Feb 28, 2014 [20][21]
Canada, Ontario 14.6 2015 [22]
Canada, Ontario, Toronto 6.52 to 11.69 depending on time of day plus transmission, delivery, and other charges of about 3.75 per kWh 1.81 to 3.25 Feb 9, 2014 [23]
Canada, Quebec 5.41 for the first 30 kWh/day then 7.78 + 40.64/day for subscription fee 2012 [24]
China 0.04 USD - 0.45 USD 2014 [25]
Chile 23.11 Jan 1, 2011 [26][27]
Colombia (Bogota) 18.05 Jun 1, 2013 [28][29]
Cook Islands 34.6 to 50.2 [6]
Croatia 17.55 Jul 1, 2008 [30]
Denmark 33 May 1, 2015 [12][13]
United Arab Emirates 6.26 to 10.35 (plus 1.63 fuel surcharge) [31][32]
Egypt Priced into sections at a kWh/Month, subsidized[a]

1.06 @ 0-50 kWh/M
2.05 @ 51-100 kWh/M
2.26 @ 0-200 kWh/M
3.39 @ 201-350 kWh/M
4.8 @ 351-650 kWh/M
8.48 @ 651-1000 kWh/M
10.46 @ 1000+ kWh/M

Jul 17, 2014 [33]

[34]

Ethiopia 6.7 to 7.7[a] Dec 31, 2012 [35]
Fiji 12 to 14.2 [6]
Finland 20.65 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
France 19.39 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Germany 32.04 Feb 1, 2015 [36]
Romania 18.40 Jun 26, 2013 [37]
Guyana 26.80 Apr 1, 2012 [38]
Switzerland 25.00 Jan 6, 2014 [39]
Hungary 23.44 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Hong Kong 12.04 to 24.05 Jan 1, 2013 [40][41]
India 0.1 to 18 (Average 7) Feb 1, 2013 [42]
Indonesia 11 Jul 21, 2015 [43]
Iceland 5.54 Nov 8, 2015 [44]
Iran 2 to 19 Jul 1, 2011
Iraq Residential pricing per kWh used, subsidized[a]

2.5 @ 0-500 kWh/M
4.17 @ 501-1000 kWh/M
7.5 @ 1001-1500 kWh/M
11.67 @ 1501-2000 kWh/M
14.17 @ 2001-3000 kWh/M
16.67 @ 3001-4000 kWh/M
18.75 @ > 4001 kWh/M

Apr 8, 2015 [45]
Ireland 28.36 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Israel 16[a] Jun 1, 2013 [46]
Italy 28.39 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Jamaica 44.7 Dec 4, 2013 [47][47]
Japan 20 to 24 Dec 31, 2009 [48][49]
Jordan 5[a] to 33 Jan 30, 2012 [50]
Kiribati 32.7 [51]
South Korea Priced into a sliding scale at a kWh/Month, residential service (low-voltage)[a]

5.1 @ 0-100 kWh/M
10.5 @ 101-200 kWh/M
15.7 @ 201-300 kWh/M
23.5 @ 301-400 kWh/M
34.9 @ 401-500 kWh/M
59.3 @ 501- kWh/M

Jan 14, 2013 [52]
Kuwait 0.3 to 3 Jan 1, 2016 [53]
Laos 11.95 for >150kWh, 4.86 for 26-150 kWh, 4.08 for 0-25 kWh Feb 28, 2014 [54][55]
Latvia 18.25 Jun 1, 2012 [56][56]
Lithuania 12 July 1, 2016 [57]
Macedonia 7 to 10

industrial-14

Aug 1, 2013 [58]
Malaysia 7.09 to 14.76 Apr 1, 2013 [59]
Marshall Islands 32.6 to 41.6 [60]
Mexico 19.28[b] Aug 22, 2012 [61][62]
Moldova 11.11 Apr 1, 2011 [63]
Myanmar 3.6 Feb 28, 2014
Nepal 7.2 to 11.2 Jul 16, 2012 [64]
Netherlands 28.89 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
New Caledonia 26.2 to 62.7 [6]
New Zealand 19.15 Apr 19, 2012
Nicaragua Priced into a sliding scale at a kWh/Month,[a] Residential T-0

10 @ 0-25 kWh/M
21 @ 26-50 kWh/M
22 @ 51-100 kWh/M
29 @ 101-150 kWh/M
27 @ 151-500 kWh/M
43 @ 501-1000 kWh/M
48 @ 1000+ kWh/M

Sep 1, 2014 [65]
Niue 44.3 [51]
Nigeria 2.58 to 16.55 Jul 2, 2013 [66]
Norway 15.9 Jul 25, 2013
Pakistan General Supply Tariff - Residential

2 < 50 kWh/M
5.79 @ 1-100 kWh/M
8.11 @ 101-200 kWh/M
10.21 @ 201-300 kWh/M
16 @ 301-700 kWh/M
18 >700 kWh/M

14 Jul 2015 [67]
Palau 22.83 [51]
Papua New Guinea 19.6 to 38.8 [6]
Paraguay 8 2011 [68]
Peru 10.44 2007 [69][70]
Philippines 18.22 October 7, 2015 [71]
Portugal 25.25 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Russia 2.4 to 14 Nov 1, 2011 [12][13]
Rwanda 22 to 23.6
2016 [72]
Saudi Arabia 1 to 7 (from the first 2,000 kWh/month to more than 10,000 kWh/month) Sep 9, 2015 [73]
Serbia 3.93 to 13.48, average ~6,1[d] Feb 28, 2013 [74]
Singapore 25.28 Sep 30, 2014 [75]
Spain 15 May 1, 2015 [76]
Sri Lanka Priced into sections at a kWh/Month, subsidized[a]

1.91 @ 0-30 kWh/M
3.71 @ 31-60 kWh/M
6.01 @ 0-60 kWh/M
7.66 @ 61-90 kWh/M
21.25 @ 91-120 kWh/M
24.51 @ 121-181 kWh/M
34.47 @ 180+ kWh/M

Sep 16, 2014 [77]
Solomon Islands 88 to 99 [78]
South Africa 13 Sep 29, 2015 [79][80]
Surinam 3.90 to 4.84 Nov 20, 2013 [81]
Sweden 8.33 Feb 3, 2015 [12]
Tahiti 25 to 33.1 [6]
Taiwan 7 to 17 Jun 1, 2012 [82]
Thailand 6 to 13 July 1, 2013 [83]
Tonga 47 Jun 1, 2011 [6]
Trinidad and Tobago 4 July 8, 2015 [84]
Turkey 11.20 residential (Low voltage)

11.29 business (Low voltage)

8.78 industry (Medium voltage)

Jul 1, 2016 [85]
Turks and Caicos Islands 35.39 March 16, 2016 [86]
Tuvalu 36.55 [51]
Uganda 4.44 (First 15 kWh in a month for domestic consumers)

19.26 (Above 15 kWh in a month for domestic consumers)

Aug 9, 2016 [87]
Ukraine 2.6 to 10.8 2014 [88][89]
United Kingdom 22 May 1, 2015 [12][90]
United States 8 to 17 ; 37[c] 43[c] Sep 1, 2012 [91][92]
United States Virgin Islands 48.9 to 51.9 Oct 1, 2014 [93]
Uruguay 17.07 to 26.48 Feb 11, 2014 [94]
Uzbekistan 4.95 2011 [95]
Vanuatu 60 [6]
Venezuela 3.1 at Official exchange rate ( 13.50 Bs/US$) or 0.48 cents at unofficial exchange rate (1.095 Bs/US$) [96]
Vietnam 6.20 to 10.01 2011 [97]
Western Samoa 30.5 to 34.7 [6]

a Denotes countries with government subsidized electricity tariffs.[98][99][100]

b Mexico has subsidized electricity tariffs according consumption limits, more than 500kWh consumed bimonthly meet no subsidies. This tariff correspond to the most expensive. Only 1% of Mexico's population pays this tariff.[101]

c Hawaii.

d Prices don't include VAT (20%)

e San Diego, California high-tier

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) also publishes an incomplete list of international energy prices, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) provides a thorough, quarterly review for purchase.

Forecasting[edit]

Electricity price forecasting is simply the process of using mathematical models to predict what electricity prices will be in the future.

Forecasting methodology[edit]

The simplest model for day ahead forecasting is to ask each generation source to bid on blocks of generation and choose the cheapest bids. If not enough bids are submitted, the price is increased. If too many bids are submitted the price can reach zero or become negative. The offer price includes the generation cost as well as the transmission cost along with any profit. Power can also be sold or purchased from adjoining power pools.[102][103][104]

Wind power and solar power, being non-dispatchable, is normally taken before any other bids, and at a pre-determined rate for each supplier. Any excess is sold to another grid operator, or stored, using pumped-storage hydroelectricity, or in the worst case, curtailed.[105] The HVDC Cross-Channel line between England and France is bidirectional, but is normally used to capacity to purchase power from France. Allocation is done by bidding.[106]

Driving factors[edit]

In addition to the basic production cost of electricity, electricity prices are set by supply and demand.[107] Everything from salmon migration to forest fires can affect current and future power prices.[citation needed] However, when forecasting those prices there are some fundamental drivers that are the most likely to be considered.[citation needed]

Power quality[edit]

In the modern world, transmission, production and consuming electrical power associated with excessive Total Harmonic Distortions (THD) and not unity Power Factor (PF) would be costly for owners. Cost of PF and THD impact is difficult to estimate, but it causes heat and vibration, malfunctioning, and even meltdowns. Usually the electric company monitors the situation at the transmission level, and it is difficult to predict or model at the consuming level. A spectrum of Compensation devices [108] mitigate at some level any bad outcomes, but true improvements would be achieved only with real-time Correction devices (old style switching type [109] modern low-speed DSP driven [110] and near real-time [111]). Most modern devices reduce a wide range of problems, while maintaining short ROI and significant reduction of ground currents. Another reason to mitigate the problems is to reduce cost for the operation and generation of the electrical energy, which is commonly done by Electric Power Distribution companies in conjunction with generation companies. Power Quality out of unity would cause serious erroneous responses from many kinds of analog and digital equipment, where the response could be unpredictable.

Phase balancing[edit]

Currently most common distribution network and generation of electrical power is done with 3 phase structures, with special attention paid to the phase balancing and resulting reduction of ground current. It is true for industrial or commercial networks where most power is used in 3 phase machines, but light commercial and residential users would not have real-time capabilities to do phase balancing. Often this issue leads to unexpected equipment behavior or malfunctions and in extreme cases fires. For example, sensitive professional analogue or digital recording equipment always needs to be connected to well balanced and grounded power networks. To determine and mitigate the cost of the unbalanced electricity network, electric companies in most cases charge by demand or as separate category for heavy unbalanced loads. There are a few simple techniques available for balancing,[112] but in the dynamic world of demanding loads, it would be difficult to do it without fast computing and real-time modeling.

Weather driven demand[edit]

Studies show that generally demand for electricity is driven largely by temperature. Heating demand in the winter and cooling demand (air conditioners) in the summer are what primarily drive the seasonal peaks in most regions. Heating degree days and cooling degree days help measure energy consumption by referencing the outdoor temperature above and below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, a commonly accepted baseline.[113]

Hydropower availability[edit]

Snowpack, streamflows, seasonality, salmon, etc. all affect the amount of water that can flow through a dam at any given time. Forecasting these variables allows one to predict the available potential energy for a dam for a given period.[114] Some regions such as the Pacific Northwest get a large percentage of their generation from hydro-electric dams.

Power plant and transmission outages[edit]

Whether planned or unplanned, outages affect the total amount of power that is available to the grid.[citation needed]

Fuel prices[edit]

The fuel used to generate electricity at a power plant is the primary cost incurred by electrical generation companies. Particularly, coal, as a fuel for base load power plants and more important, to a degree, natural gas for peaking power plants affect power prices.[115] This will change as more renewable energy is used, when the capital cost will be the primary cost, as renewable energy (other than biomass and biofuel) has no fuel cost.

Economic health[edit]

During times of economic hardship, many factories will cut back their production due to a reduction of consumer demand and therefore reduce production-related electrical demand.[116]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]