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

August 6, 2020   By Arthur Murray

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

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 August Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for May, shows that New Mexico residents have it best when it comes to electricity bills. On the other side, there’s a cost to living in an island paradise – Hawaii residents pay among the highest electricity bills of any state.

How does your state stack up? First, let’s take a look at the 10 states with the lowest electricity bills:

State May 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
New Mexico 12.24 615 75.28
Utah 10.56 745 78.67
Colorado 12.06 678 81.77
Maine 16.82 546 91.84
Nevada 11.42 854 97.53
Illinois 14.1 692 97.57
Wyoming 11.52 854 98.38
Idaho 9.9 1,000 99.00
Wisconsin 15.24 660 100.58
Montana 11.67 865 100.95

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. New Mexico residents pay 12.24 cents/kWh for electricity – the 26th-highest rate in the country. So how do they have the lowest bills? Their monthly usage is among the nation’s lowest.

Meanwhile, the state with the lowest residential electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 9.66 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 – 1,187 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? Connecticut’s rates – 23.96 cents/kWh – are the nation’s second-highest (behind Hawaii), but higher usage pushes residents’ bills past those of Aloha State residents. Connecticut average bills are more than twice the average in New Mexico.

Following are the states with the highest electricity bills:

State May 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Connecticut 23.96 690 165.32
Hawaii 30.94 506 156.56
Alabama 12.66 1,136 143.82
Alaska 23.17 601 139.25
South Carolina 12.75 1,082 137.96
Arizona 12.99 1,033 134.19
Mississippi 11.8 1,132 133.58
Virginia 12.36 1,078 133.24
Texas 11.98 1,112 133.22
Massachusetts 22.27 583 129.83

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

State May 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill Cost ranking
Alabama 12.66 1,136 143.82 48
Alaska 23.17 601 139.25 47
Arizona 12.99 1,033 134.19 45
Arkansas 10.48 1,028 107.73 21
California 18.69 554 103.54 16
Colorado 12.06 678 81.77 3
Connecticut 23.96 690 165.32 50
Delaware 13.58 912 123.85 37
Florida 9.83 1,089 107.05 20
Georgia 11.81 1,062 125.42 39
Hawaii 30.94 506 156.56 49
Idaho 9.9 1,000 99.00 8
Illinois 14.1 692 97.57 6
Indiana 12.65 928 117.39 28
Iowa 14.35 831 119.25 31
Kansas 13.75 861 118.39 29
Kentucky 11.13 1,052 117.09 27
Louisiana 9.66 1,187 114.66 25
Maine 16.82 546 91.84 4
Maryland 13.23 940 124.36 38
Massachusetts 22.27 583 129.83 41
Michigan 16.32 633 103.31 15
Minnesota 13.71 748 102.55 13
Mississippi 11.8 1,132 133.58 44
Missouri 12.12 994 120.47 33
Montana 11.67 865 100.95 10
Nebraska 11.7 957 111.97 23
Nevada 11.42 854 97.53 5
New Hampshire 19.34 599 115.85 26
New Jersey 15.63 654 102.22 12
New Mexico 12.24 615 75.28 1
New York 18.53 572 105.99 18
North Carolina 11.72 1,042 122.12 34
North Dakota 11.27 1,063 119.80 32
Ohio 12.32 841 103.61 17
Oklahoma 9.88 1,039 102.65 14
Oregon 11.41 969 110.56 22
Pennsylvania 13.99 805 112.62 24
Rhode Island 21.2 577 122.32 35
South Carolina 12.75 1,082 137.96 46
South Dakota 12.13 978 118.63 30
Tennessee 10.99 1,150 126.39 40
Texas 11.98 1,112 133.22 42
Utah 10.56 745 78.67 2
Vermont 19.75 538 106.26 19
Virginia 12.36 1,078 133.24 43
Washington 9.87 1,023 100.97 11
West Virginia 12.03 1,026 123.43 36
Wisconsin 15.24 660 100.58 9
Wyoming 11.52 854 98.38 7
U.S. average 13.14 867 113.92

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Vermont increased by the greatest percentage from a year ago, going up 13.6 percent year over year – meaning residents paid about $12.70 more for electricity in April 2020. Bills increased year-over-year in 20 states.
Following are the states where rates increased the most:

State May 2020 bill May 2019 bill % change
Vermont 106.26 93.56 13.6
New York 105.99 99.18 6.9
Michigan 103.31 99.63 3.7
South Carolina 137.96 133.95 3.0
Arkansas 107.73 104.75 2.8
Connecticut 165.32 161.12 2.6
Iowa 119.25 116.51 2.4
Alaska 139.25 136.13 2.3
North Carolina 122.12 120.25 1.6
Oregon 110.56 109.01 1.4

Florida bills decreased the most compared with last year – 16.2 percent.

State May 2020 bill May 2019 bill % change
Florida 107.05 127.74 -16.2
Nevada 97.53 105.38 -7.5
Hawaii 156.56 169.16 -7.4
Maine 91.84 99.04 -7.3
New Jersey 102.22 109.87 -7.0
New Hampshire 115.85 124.11 -6.7
Louisiana 114.66 121.67 -5.8
Oklahoma 102.65 108.26 -5.2
Ohio 103.61 108.74 -4.7
Idaho 99.00 103.70 -4.5

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 below, 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 Aug. 6, 2020)