Friday, June 21, 2013

Bargain Fact: Electricity Costs 30% Less Today Than In 1984

Nostalgia plays games with the mind.  Not everything was better or even cheaper 30 years ago. Take electricity, for example. Electricity prices in the USA are down 30% in real terms compared to 1984.  See page 6 of the link.

EIA further calculates that electricity prices in real terms are no higher than they were in 1998.  Though it costs less than 30 years ago or the same as 15 years ago, the grid today pollutes much less and is a much better value.  Why?

Many coal-plants have installed pollution control equipment or have been replaced by modern natural gas or even nuclear plants over the last 30 years.  Moreover, the grid has added 8,000 megawatts of solar and 70,000 megawatts of wind power that did not exist and did so all in the last 5 to 15 years.

Electricity is an example of a commodity getting both cheaper and better with the passage of time!


  1. The EIA estimates only take into account the price of electricity but not other charges utilities charge. So this does not take into account distribution charges, transmission, meter fees, nuclear decommissioning charges, and the list goes on and on. It's very misleading information.

    1. The EIA data are retail rates and DO include distribution, transmission and other charges. They are not just generation prices. The information is not misleading but accurate.