State regulators say the demand for energy in Michigan is projected to increase across all sectors compared to last year, with the majority of growth occurring due to weather related factors.
According to the Michigan Public Service Commission's Energy Appraisal for the summer, because the first three months of 2014 were 21 percent colder than normal that contributed to higher consumption of electricity, natural gas, propane and heating oil.
Assuming normal weather this summer, demand for electricity and natural gas are expected to be higher than the same period last year, which was 12 percent cooler than normal from June through August.
Michigan's total electric sales are projected to increase by 1.9 percent in 2014 primarily driven by the residential sector, with first quarter demand well above last year. Higher demand across all sectors is expected to raise total annual natural gas sales in Michigan for 2014 by 9.7 percent over last year.
The PSC says assuming a return to normal weather this summer, demand in the electric power sector is expected to increase as a result of higher demand for air conditioning.
Gasoline sales in Michigan are expected to remain relatively flat in 2014, with a slight 0.6 percent increase over last year.
During the April through September summer driving season, gas prices are forecast to average about $3.57 per gallon.