A product of thePennsylvania Chamber Foundation

Energy and Natural Resources

The “energy and natural resources” category contains eight measures related to the consumption, production and cost of energy and water, two key business inputs. The industrial retail price of electricity in Pennsylvania increased in 2010, but has moderated in the intervening years and is now at 6.87 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh).  The commonwealth’s average price of 6.87 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) in 2016 compared to the 50-state median of 6.73 cents/kwh leads to its rank of 27th among the states, indicating that it has higher than average electricity costs. Pennsylvania ranks 42nd for its average natural gas industrial price of $7.88, measured in dollars per thousand cubic feet. Pennsylvania is near the top of the country in energy production, ranking 3rd among the states for total energy production in 2014. Pennsylvania’s energy consumption rate has remained stable and is ranked 28th nationally in total energy consumption per capita, where 1st indicates the highest per capita energy use and 50th indicates the lowest use per capita.

High production volume and steady consumption levels would suggest lower prices. While prices are declining for energy, the commonwealth remains above the median in the cost of energy. The disconnect in Pennsylvania’s experience stems from at least two factors: long-term energy contracts at historically higher prices may still be in effect for the period covered by this data 2009 through 2017; and the slow build-out of transmission lines to get Marcellus Shale Gas to commercial markets have limited consumer supply. While Pennsylvania natural gas prices remain above the median, we have seen a decline in the average natural gas industrial price from $9.58 per thousand cubic feet in 2012 to $7.88 in 2017.

In terms of water and sewer service, Pennsylvania has the third-highest number of sewage treatment facilities in the United States. Approximately 84% of the commonwealth’s population is served by community water systems, which ranks it 34th among the states.

  2009 to Most Recent Change Most Recent PA Score Most Recent Median Score Most Recent PA Rank 2009 to Most Recent Change in Rank
Average Commercial Price of Natural Gas $3.48 $8.35 $7.96 30 +8
Average Residential Price of Natural Gas $4.39 $10.35 $9.27 31 +4
Total Energy Consumption million Btu 10 297 309 28 +5
Total Energy Production trillion Btu 4,413 7,087 679 3 +3
Average Industrial Price of Electricity kWh 0.09¢ 6.87¢ 6.73¢ 27 +3
Average Industrial Price of Natural Gas 1000 cu ft $1.31 $7.88 $6.02 42 -6
Number of Sewage Treatment Facilities 1 46 8 3 +1
Percent of Population Served by Public Water Systems 0.37% 84.32% 89.34% 34 -5