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Electricity prices in Northeastern US defying gravity

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Electricity price variation across regions

According to the Census Bureau, the United States is divided into nine divisions, as seen in the chart below. In the previous article, we focused on electricity price trends across different sectors in the US. However, electricity prices also vary across regions and states in the US.

Fuel costs and weather variations across regions are major causes for the disparity of electricity prices across regions.

Regions with highest rise in electricity prices

Average electricity prices in the US rose by 3.4% between October 2013 and October 2014. Electricity prices across all nine divisions rose on a year-over-year (or YoY) basis. This is positive for all the companies that are part of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU).

In October 2014, the East North Central and New England divisions registered the highest YoY growth in electricity prices, surging by 5.1% and 4.9%, respectively. Xcel Energy (XEL) and Northeast Utilities Systems (NU) are major players in the East North Central and New England divisions, respectively.

In terms of the YoY electricity price rise in October, the next divisions were Pacific and South Atlantic. Average electricity prices in October for the division grew by 4.0% and 2.8% YoY, respectively. PG&E Corporation (PCG) is a leading power company in the Pacific division. Duke Energy (DUK) has a presence in most states in the South Atlantic region. Both companies should benefit by price hikes in these divisions.

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