Electric Power Prices Falling

Over at the Gasoline page, FASCINATING posted a comment asking about electric power prices, and having wondered about this myself, I decided to create a chart of US electricity prices in gold.

Electricity prices in gold since 1998

The EIA data only goes back to 1998, but from there to 2001 prices were rising gently. Since 2001, they have fallen every year, from 836 to 181 mg/kWh – a drop of more than 78%.

Compare that with gasoline, which doubled in price from 1995 to 2005, but was about the same in mid 2008 as it was in 1998. Since the crash dropped gas prices by about 40% at the end of 2008, they have oscillated around 70 mg/gallon where they remain today.

Will electric prices keep falling? Will gas prices rise? These are hard questions to answer, because they depend mainly on politics. Carbon taxes, government subsidies, regulations restricting the building of safe, cost effective nuclear power plants, and more, will continue to distort both prices.

As recession reduces demand for energy (or at least slows its growth rate), and as technology continues to improve discovery and recovery rates and raises the efficiency of generating, transmitting and storing electric power, true prices for all forms of energy should decline.

The creation of massive amounts of new currency by central banks will continue to push nominal prices higher, but that need not be a factor for those who do their saving and investing in gold.

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