The use of natural gas to generate electricity in the continental United States was down about 14 percent in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2012, according to recent posting from the federal Energy Information Administration.
But electricity production from gas remained up compared with before 2012, the agency said. Generally, gas use for power has risen since 2008.
Natural-gas prices have been higher this year relative to coal than was the situation in 2012, the agency said.
In the first half of 2013, average spot natural-gas prices were up 40 percent to 60 percent at most major trading points as demand outpaced supplies, according to a separate EIA report.
The weather was colder than during the previous winter and the increase in dry natural-gas production was about 1.8 percent in the period compared with about 5.6 percent in the first half of last year, the agency said. But production growth was significantly higher for the Northeast’s Marcellus Shale play, which rose about 50 percent compared with the first six months of 2012, according to EIA.