Release Date: May. 9, 2023
- Weather forecast. Beginning with the May 2023 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), our STEO model will combine a 30-year trendline and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast to create our weather forecasts. This methodology change will result in warmer forecast weather in the United States in both the winter and in the summer. The change will involve a one-time shift that will decrease our heating degree day (HDD) forcast in 2023 by 1% and in 2024 by 4%, and increase our cooling degree day (CDD) forecast by 8% in 2023 and by 12% in 2024. The shift will affect some series that use weather as an independent variable.
- Natural gas consumption. We forecast the second most U.S. natural gas consumption for electricity generation on record this summer (May–September), behind last year, and averaging about 38 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Compared with last month’s forecast, we have increased natural gas consumption for electricity generation by about 2% for 2023 and 3% for 2024 because of our methodology change which results in more CDDs, and in more U.S. electricity generation during the summer.
- Coal consumption. We expect coal consumption in the electric power sector will fall by 13% in 2023 compared with last year due to several factors, including lower natural gas prices, more generation from renewable sources, and coal plant retirements. However, because of more overall electricity generation compared with our April STEO, our forecast for coal-fired generation is slightly higher in 2023 than we forecast last month.
- U.S. gasoline prices. Retail gasoline prices in our forecast average around $3.40 per gallon (gal) during the summer 2023 driving season (April–September), a 20% decrease from the summer of 2022. Regional summer gasoline prices range from near $3.00/gal on the Gulf Coast to about $4.30/gal on the West Coast.
- Supplements. We periodically publish report and article supplements to the STEO to provide an in-depth analysis of special topics related to our forecasts. This month’s Between the Lines articles discuss residential electricity bills and updates to our western hydropower forecast methodology.