(Power Engineering) The overall demand has fallen, but natural gas-fired power plants in the U.S. are generating about 12 percent more electricity this year than same time in 2019, according to statistics released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA’s Hourly Electric Grid Monitor shows that year-to-date gas-fired power generated 301,100 GWh nationwide up through March 18. This is a double-digit increase even excluding the additional leap day this year.

The growth in gas-fired generation happened despite an overall 5 percent drop in total electricity generation in the U.S. That decline is likely a result of warmer than average winter weather and maybe the social distancing impact on commercial operations.