In Q2 2022, 1.34 percent of consumer expenditures were on electricity. That’s one and a third percent.
How about we express this as a fraction? One-seventy-fifth of what consumers spent was for electricity.
Historically, 1.34 percent is fairly moderate. Over the last ten years, electricity’s percentage of Q2 consumer expenditures was 1.40 percent or more from the year 2013 through 2016. In 2017 and 2018 it dipped to 1.36 percent and 1.34 percent respectively.
But all this changed in 2019, 2020 and 2021. In the year before the pandemic, the pandemic’s first year, and the pandemic’s second year.
The proportion of the American consumer’s budget spent on electricity hit a historic low in Q2 2019. It was 1.26 percent. Not coincidentally, natural gas commodity prices were low.
Then, in the pandemic’s first year, the proportion of the American consumer’s budget spent on electricity in Q2 2020 rocketed up to 1.50 percent.
Overall expenditures, the denominator, actually fell year-over-year in those first months of Covid, in Q2 2020. Electricity expenditures, the numerator, did the opposite and rose sharply.
And then, in the pandemic’s second year, the proportion of the American consumer’s budget spent on electricity in Q2 2020 fell back down to 1.26 percent. Again, natural gas commodity prices were low. Definitely compared to where they are now.
As we said above, we’re up to 1.34 percent in Q2 2022. It’s been a roller coaster for sure.