The SaveOnEnergy.com® Electricity Bill Report: Who paid the most, least?

March 2, 2021   By Arthur Murray

The SaveOnEnergy.com® Electricity Bill Report: Who paid the most, least?

(last updated March 2, 2021)

Electricity bills are relentless – they come every month, and there’s little alternative except to pay them. But some months are more painful for residential electricity than others. Most state electricity comparisons are made on the basis of electricity rates, usually expressed in cents per kilowatt hours (kWh). It’s a number that doesn’t mean much to average users, who care more about that figure on the bottom line of their electricity bills.

That’s why we publish the SaveOnEnergy.com® Electricity Bill Report, a monthly look factoring the latest average state rates and average state usage to show what’s happening with the monthly cost of electricity. The March 2021 Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for December, shows that Utah residents have it best when it comes to electricity bills. On the other side, Hawaii residents pay among the highest electricity bills of any state.

How does your state stack up?

10 states with the lowest electricity bills

State December 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Utah 10.19 727 74.10
New Mexico 12.27 640 78.50
Colorado 12.14 682 82.83
Illinois 12.32 709 87.36
Wyoming 10.66 864 92.08
Maine 16.51 562 92.78
Idaho 9.92 949 94.12
Montana 11.02 857 94.46
Washington 9.77 973 95.09
Minnesota 12.87 759 97.72

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises. New Mexico residents pay 12.27 cents/kWh for electricity – the 20th-highest rate in the country. So how do they have low bills? Their monthly usage is among the nation’s lowest.

Meanwhile, the state that usually records one of the lowest residential electricity rates for any month – Louisiana, which in December averaged 9.54 cents/kWh – is nowhere to be found among the 10 states with the lowest bills. That’s because residents average the highest usage in the country – 1,232 kilowatt hours per month. (We’ll show you how the math turns out later.)

Which states have the highest bills?

What about the other side of the equation? Tennessee’s rates – 10.41 cents/kWh – are the nation’s 10th-lowest, but high usage pushes residents’ bills to the eighth-highest in the nation. Tennessee residents’ average bills are over $50 more than the average in Utah.

10 states with the highest electricity bills

State December 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Hawaii 29.14 525 152.88
Connecticut 20.39 689 140.50
Alabama 11.39 1,201 136.78
Mississippi 11.25 1,206 135.67
Texas 11.87 1,140 135.31
Florida 11.86 1,108 131.40
South Carolina 11.78 1,114 131.23
Tennessee 10.41 1,217 126.70
Rhode Island 22.59 560 126.41
Virginia 11.21 1,122 125.82

We’ve outlined the best and the worst bills. See how your state did in this chart (1 = lowest bills):

Average electricity bills in all 50 states

State December 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill Cost ranking
Alabama 11.39 1,201 136.78 48
Alaska 21.93 555 121.81 36
Arizona 12.18 1,014 123.51 37
Arkansas 9.87 1,118 110.30 27
California 20.45 532 108.82 24
Colorado 12.14 682 82.83 3
Connecticut 20.39 689 140.50 49
Delaware 12.51 950 118.79 32
Florida 11.86 1,108 131.40 45
Georgia 10.80 1,121 121.04 34
Hawaii 29.14 525 152.88 50
Idaho 9.92 949 94.12 7
Illinois 12.32 709 87.36 4
Indiana 12.69 960 121.79 35
Iowa 11.31 867 98.07 12
Kansas 12.22 891 108.87 25
Kentucky 10.53 1,112 117.11 30
Louisiana 9.54 1,232 117.56 31
Maine 16.51 562 92.78 6
Maryland 12.73 975 124.16 40
Massachusetts 21.54 574 123.73 39
Michigan 16.47 637 104.86 21
Minnesota 12.87 759 97.72 10
Mississippi 11.25 1,206 135.67 47
Missouri 9.30 1,058 98.37 13
Montana 11.02 857 94.46 8
Nebraska 10.13 1,004 101.70 17
Nevada 11.20 890 99.67 16
New Hampshire 18.74 599 112.21 28
New Jersey 15.99 663 106.00 23
New Mexico 12.27 640 78.50 2
New York 18.23 577 105.28 22
North Carolina 10.60 1,079 114.42 29
North Dakota 9.39 1,109 104.16 19
Ohio 11.80 874 103.10 18
Oklahoma 8.88 1,116 99.13 14
Oregon 10.89 911 99.23 15
Pennsylvania 13.15 837 110.00 26
Rhode Island 22.59 560 126.41 42
South Carolina 11.78 1,114 131.23 44
South Dakota 11.39 1,044 118.89 33
Tennessee 10.41 1,217 126.70 43
Texas 11.87 1,140 135.31 46
Utah 10.19 727 74.10 1
Vermont 19.04 549 104.46 20
Virginia 11.21 1,122 125.82 41
Washington 9.77 973 95.09 9
West Virginia 11.41 1,084 123.65 38
Wisconsin 14.52 674 97.84 11
Wyoming 10.66 864 92.08 5
United States 12.80 887 113.59

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Georgia increased by the greatest percentage from a year ago, going up 13.2 percent year over year – meaning residents paid a little over $14 more for electricity in December 2020. Bills increased year-over-year in 29 states.

10 states with the largest increase in electricity bills

State December 2020 avg. bill December 19 avg. bill % change
Georgia 121.04 106.92 13.2
West Virginia 123.65 114.33 8.2
Arkansas 110.30 102.81 7.3
California 108.82 101.90 6.8
Wisconsin 97.84 92.45 5.8
Colorado 82.83 78.60 5.4
New York 105.28 100.08 5.2
Minnesota 97.72 92.94 5.1
New Jersey 106.00 100.90 5.1
Michigan 104.86 99.89 5.0

10 states with the biggest decrease in electricity bills

State December 2020 avg. bill December 19 avg. bill % change
South Carolina 131.23 154.85 -15.3
Maine 92.78 100.87 -8.0
Nevada 99.67 106.70 -6.6
Hawaii 152.88 162.59 -6.0
Pennsylvania 110.00 116.95 -5.9
Missouri 98.37 104.19 -5.6
New Hampshire 112.21 118.01 -4.9
Virginia 125.82 131.66 -4.4
Alaska 121.81 127.42 -4.4
Massachusetts 123.73 128.61 -3.8

What to do about high bills?

The first thing you can do is reduce the amount of energy you use. That doesn’t mean freezing or roasting in the house and taking cold showers. Some energy-saving tips are easy and painless.

The other way to cut your energy bills is, if you live in a state with deregulation, is to find lower electricity supply rates. Energy deregulation, put simply, means energy choice. States with energy choice allow residential and other customers to choose the company that provides their energy. Click on your state, enter your ZIP code and see whether you can lower your rate:

California Connecticut Illinois
Maine Maryland Massachusetts
New Hampshire New Jersey New York
Ohio Pennsylvania Texas

Remember, lower rates plus lower usage translate into lower bills.

SaveOnEnergy.com will continue to track monthly electricity bills. Bookmark this page to see which state residents are getting the best and worst deals on electricity.

(Last updated March 2, 2021)