Price of Electricity Hit Record for October; Up 42% in Decade

By Terence P. Jeffrey | November 22, 2013 | 5:07pm EST

(AP Photo)

( - The price of electricity hit a record for the month of October, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That made October the eleventh straight month when the average price of electricity hit or matched the record level for that month.

The average price of electricity in October was 13.2 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH), up from 12.8 cents per KWH in October 2012—and up from 9.3 cents per KWH in October 2003.

Americans now pay 42 percent more for electricity than they did a decade ago.

In November 2012, electricity was 12.7 cents per KWH, which was down from the 12.8 cents per KWH price of November 2011. But, in December 2012, the price of electricity stayed at 12.7 cents per KWH, matching the record monthly price of 12.7 cents per KWH that had been reached in December 2011.

In each of the ten months since then (January through October 2013), the price of electricity has hit a record level for that month.

Although the average price of electricity hit the all-time October record this year, the price in October actually dropped from September, when it was 13.7 cents per KWH.

According to the BLS data, electricity prices tend to fluctuate during the year, hitting their peaks in the summer months, then dropping to lower levels in the fall, winter and spring.

This year, electricity cost 12.9 cents per KWH in January, setting a January record. It stayed at that level in February, setting a February record. Then it dropped to 12.8 cents in March and April--nonetheless setting records for those months. In May, it climbed to 13.1 cents, setting an all-time record for May. Then it jumped to 13.7 cents per KWH in June and stayed at that level through July, August and September.

The 13.7 cents per KWH price of electricity of June through September 2013 was the most expensive electricity has ever been in the United States since BLS started tracking electricity prices in November 1978.

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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