Pandemic Sparks Slump in Wholesale Electricity Prices

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the International Energy Agency expects the biggest worldwide decline in electricity consumption since the Great Depression, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It is as if Germany and France were both turned off for the year,” the story notes. In the U.S., the drop has been most severe in New York City, where wholesale power prices averaged $16.57 a megawatt-hour in the first six days of May — down by more than a quarter from the start of the 2020.

Meanwhile in Ohio, despite lower electricity consumption, Ohio electric distribution utility FirstEnergy is assured to enjoy record profits due to the new decoupling rider authorized by HB 6. Under the mechanism, if annual revenue in a given calendar year is less (or greater) than 2018’s baseline revenue, FirstEnergy utilities will charge (or credit) the difference to customers through the decoupling rider. 5/11/2020