Park Ridge, NJ, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 5, 2007 – The annual survey conducted by independent consulting company NUS Consulting Group reveals that the average price of electricity for industrial and large commercial businesses in the U.S. rose 4.7 per cent in the year ending April 2007 – a considerable improvement on the increase of close to 11 per cent for the year ending April 2006.

The survey found that the average price of electricity in the United States was 9.28 cents per kWh as of April 1, 2007 compared with 8.86 cents per kWh in April 2006. The survey samples 24 of the largest investor-owned electric companies in the country using an industrial model of monthly usage totaling 450,000 kWh with a monthly demand of 1,000 kW. The survey model also assumes an operating power factor of 85 per cent and customer-owned transformation equipment.

As with past surveys, the study found customers in the California, Maryland and New York pay some of the highest electricity prices in the country. The top five surveyed utilities in terms of price included Consolidated Edison (NY) at 18.29 cents/kWh, National Grid (NY) at 14.06 cents/kWh, Baltimore Gas & Electric (MD) at 12.98 cents/kWh, Southern California Edison (CA) at 12.65 cents/kWh, and Pacific Gas & Electric (CA) at 11.45 cents/kWh.

The largest price escalation over the past year occurred in Illinois as ComEd industrial customers witnessed their electricity costs increase by 36.1 per cent. Other utilities with notable increases included Consolidated Edison (NY) at 25.6 per cent, Xcel Energy (MN) at 22.1 per cent, Entergy (LA) at 17.5 per cent and National Grid (NY) at 16.4 per cent.

The survey found the lowest priced utilities included Dominion Power (VA) at 5.20 cents/kWh, Duke Power (NC) at 5.28 cents/kWh, Ohio Power at 5.34 cents/kWh, Ameren UE (MO) at 5.46 cents/kWh, and Alabama Power at 6.30 cents/kWh. The largest price decreases over the past year were found with Southern California Edison at 13.3 per cent and Public Service Electric & Gas (NJ) at 11.5 per cent.

As borne out in previous surveys, the highest power prices can be found in those states that have deregulated their retail electricity markets. Considered in the past by many as a means of lowering electricity prices, the central promise of deregulation has yet to be fulfilled for many consumers.

"The survey once again reveals that higher energy prices seem to be here to stay," said Richard Soultanian, co-president of the NUS Consulting Group. "Retail deregulation is currently either stalled or ineffective in much of the country and many people are looking for answers to their ever-increasing electricity bills. In today's market, consumers must be vigilant in tracking their energy costs or they run the risk of losing their competitive edge."