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.
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