What's powering your community?
Welcome to our latest installment of our new article series, Data for Development.
Today’s article builds on our last post, “Energy availability and costs.” We layer in details on specific utility contracts alongside data on statewide average power rates by utility provider and type (e.g., industrial, commercial, and residential) from the last post.
As many executives, consultants, and economic developers know, getting reliable benchmarking data on utility rates are hard… and finding information to compare contracts across utilities is even harder.
But, before diving in, let me introduce our series, Data for Development. This series equips economic developers with the awareness to find the data they need, the skills to generate the insights they need, and the guidance to visualize and share their findings with their stakeholder.
Our series tackles the top location factors as identified by corporate executives and insiders. We compile and visualize the data that can be used to benchmark communities (primarily at the metro level) against each other.
This series is designed to equip economic developers with the awareness, knowledge, and skills to accomplish three things:
- Find the data they need to understand and tell their community’s economic story
- Generate the insights they need to guide economic development decision-making
- Visualize and synthesize these insights so that all stakeholders – economic developers, business executives, site consultants, elected officials, and residents – can work together to support growth
To accomplish these objectives, we’ll use Area Development’s 37th Annual Corporate Survey and 19th Annual Consultant Survey, which ranks 31 location decision factors by importance to corporate executives and site consultants, as our roadmap for this series.
Emphasizing the importance of energy costs
The availability of energy and its costs were among the most important location factors cited by corporate executives and consultants (see figure in the “About our Data for Development series” section above).
While knowing average rates by utilities is helpful, many leaders will want to dig in to understand the specific contracts. And, to be able to compare these contracts across geographies and utilities cuts down the back-and-forth required to gather this type of information from each provider.
Comparing energy rates and contracts
We cover a range of energy categories in our visualization. We also identify utility providers by metro area to allow for easy comparisons across geographies and providers.
Average power rates by utility
- Energy rates by end use. We use EIA average rate data for utilities in 2021 covering residential, commercial, and industrial end uses. The utility data is the average for each utility provider in a given state.
- Power generation. We analyze the energy sources for each power plant in a given state and total them by provider to estimate renewables’ share of power generation for each utility.
Specific contracts by utility
- Contracts. We source data from OpenEI. The data may not represent the latest contract terms available so please check the utility providers’ websites to ensure accuracy. Website URLs are available by scrolling over the contract terms in the middle section of the visualization.
In the Tableau visualization below, we compare electricity rates and generation mixes by community and utility. We also include two pop-ups with additional details by power plant and by state.
** Our dashboard visualizations run best on a desktop and have been disabled for mobile. **
About EDai and Located by EDai
EDai helps business leaders and economic developers make better, faster location decisions using advanced analytics. We add value through our self-serve analytics portal, Located by EDai, and tech-enabled consulting.