The U.S. Energy Information Administration launched its interactive electricity data browser that makes it easier for the public to access all types of data about U.S. electricity, including electricity generation, retail sales, average electricity prices and the cost and quality of fossil fuels used to generate electricity.
EIA's electricity data browser can be found here.
Users can retrieve electricity information at the national level, narrow their search to a specific state, or dig down for data on any local power plant that has at least one megawatt of generating capacity. Before, users had to look online at separate EIA electricity reports or databases to find specific data, especially trends in data over time. Now, up to 10 years of current and historical annual or monthly electricity data can be accessed from a single system.
Data can also easily be displayed in line graphs, bar graphs, or color-coded maps of the U.S. Users can save in Excel the source data used to create the graphic for their own analysis, or save the graphic directly to their computers.
A special feature of the browser allows users to graph and compare multiple data series using up to four different units of measure on the same graph.
Web and mobile app developers can use the browser to identify data series and then link directly to EIA's API, or application programming interface. The electricity data browser's plant-level data can also be directly accessed from EIA's State Energy portal by clicking on any power plant shown on the portal's state energy infrastructure maps.
"Researchers, academics, analysts and the public can now tap into the EIA's vast electricity data library with a simple click of the computer mouse and easily save what they've found in a data table format or a graphic," said Mark Elbert, Director of EIA's Office of Web Management.
The browser's development included a period on EIA's beta test site that allowed users to test and comment on the product, and review other users' comments. This approach lets EIA crowd test innovations before they are introduced on the agency's official website. EIA also conducted a round of one-on-one interviews with a group of representatives from key target audiences such as Congressional staff and industry analysts as part of the requirements gathering for the browser.