Power Prices Plunge From Washington to Boston on Demand Decline

Jan 31, 2014 4:13 pm ET

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale electricity prices in New York City dropped to the lowest level in almost two weeks as warmer-than-expected weather following days of below-normal temperatures reduced demand.

Prices also fell in Washington and Boston, while they rose in Texas.

Power use in New York City declined 3.1 percent to average 6,874 megawatts during the hour ended at 3 p.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

The high temperature today in New York may reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius), 10 above yesterday and 1 above the historical average, while in Boston, the high may reach 42 degrees, 12 above yesterday and 6 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot prices in New York fell $158.46, or 71 percent, to average $64.13 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 3 p.m. from the same time yesterday, the grid data showed. That’s the lowest level for the hour since Jan. 18. Boston prices slid $54.97, or 34 percent, to average $107.06 a megawatt-hour, the lowest level for the hour since Jan. 19.

New York on-peak power traded $51.67 below Boston, compared with a discount of $2.11 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $13.29 for New York.

At PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, prices dropped $6.05, or 14 percent, to average $37.72 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m. That’s the lowest level for the hour since Jan. 20. Prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, slid $12.49, or 24 percent, to average $40.02, the lowest level for the hour since Jan. 27.

PJM West on-peak power traded $5.85 below the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $25.27 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $11.06 for PJM West.

In Texas, prices at the North hub, which includes Dallas, rose 19 cents, or 0.7 percent, to average $29.04 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 2 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, while Houston hub prices gained 17 cents, or 0.6 percent, to average $29.01 a megawatt-hour, the grid data showed.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker