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Economic Commentary

Ohio's Electricity Prices

The energy crisis of the 1970s had a dramatic effect on the comparative costs of electrical utilities across the nation. Triggered by the emergence of OPEC, oil prices in the United States rose 175 percent between 1973 and 1982 (after adjusting for inflation). Over the same period, natural gas prices increased 350 percent, while coal prices rose only 85 percent. The prices of primary energy sources (oil, coal, and natural gas) are a major cost component in the production of electricity. As a result, electrical utilities that use coal as the major fuel to generate electricity experienced much smaller increases in production costs than oil- or gas-dependent utilities. With 90 percent of their electricity generated from coal, Ohio’s utilities have been major beneficiaries, along with Ohio’s businesses and consumers, of a decline in coal prices relative to other natural fuels.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Israilevich, Philip. 1985. “Ohio's Electricity Prices.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 1/1/1985.