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

December 31, 2019   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 January Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for October, shows that Utah 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 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 October rate
(cents/kWh)
Avg. monthly
usage (kWh)
Avg. bill
Utah 10.42 745 77.63
New Mexico 13.06 615 80.32
Colorado 11.98 678 81.22
California 14.97 554 82.93
Illinois 13.62 692 94.25
Idaho 9.7 1,000 97.00
Wyoming 11.47 854 97.95
Washington 9.67 1,023 98.92
Ohio 11.81 841 99.32
Arkansas 9.71 1,028 99.82

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. Utah residents pay 10.42 cents/kWh for electricity – the sixth 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 fourth-lowest residential electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 9.89 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? Hawaii’s rates – 30.78 cents/kWh – are more than 30 percent higher than the next highest state, so even the nation’s lowest average usage doesn’t save residents from the highest bills – more than twice the average in Utah.

Following are the states with the highest electricity bills:

State October rate
(cents/kWh)
Avg. monthly
usage (kWh)
Avg. bill
Hawaii 30.78 506 155.75
Connecticut 21.67 690 149.52
Alabama 12.96 1,136 147.23
South Carolina 13.01 1,082 140.77
Alaska 23.38 601 140.51
Virginia 12.39 1,078 133.56
Arizona 12.91 1,033 133.36
Texas 11.97 1,112 133.11
Maryland 14.05 940 132.07
Florida 11.91 1,089 129.70

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

State October 2019 rate
(cents/kWh)
Avg. monthly
usage (kWh)
Avg. bill Cost ranking
Alabama 12.96 1,136 147.23 48
Alaska 23.38 601 140.51 46
Arizona 12.91 1,033 133.36 44
Arkansas 9.71 1,028 99.82 10
California 14.97 554 82.93 4
Colorado 11.98 678 81.22 3
Connecticut 21.67 690 149.52 49
Delaware 14.03 912 127.95 40
Florida 11.91 1,089 129.70 41
Georgia 11.02 1,062 117.03 30
Hawaii 30.78 506 155.75 50
Idaho 9.7 1,000 97.00 6
Illinois 13.62 692 94.25 5
Indiana 12.55 928 116.46 29
Iowa 12.49 831 103.79 18
Kansas 13.03 861 112.19 25
Kentucky 10.89 1,052 114.56 28
Louisiana 9.89 1,187 117.39 31
Maine 18.33 546 100.08 11
Maryland 14.05 940 132.07 42
Massachusetts 21.23 583 123.77 36
Michigan 16.35 633 103.50 17
Minnesota 13.4 748 100.23 12
Mississippi 11.22 1,132 127.01 39
Missouri 10.3 994 102.38 16
Montana 11.71 865 101.29 14
Nebraska 11.1 957 106.23 20
Nevada 12.52 854 106.92 21
New Hampshire 20.46 599 122.56 34
New Jersey 15.51 654 101.44 15
New Mexico 13.06 615 80.32 2
New York 18.57 572 106.22 19
North Carolina 12.07 1,042 125.77 37
North Dakota 10.51 1,063 111.72 24
Ohio 11.81 841 99.32 9
Oklahoma 10.98 1,039 114.08 26
Oregon 11.21 969 108.62 23
Pennsylvania 14.19 805 114.23 27
Rhode Island 21.83 577 125.96 38
South Carolina 13.01 1,082 140.77 47
South Dakota 12.28 978 120.10 33
Tennessee 10.44 1,150 120.06 32
Texas 11.97 1,112 133.11 43
Utah 10.42 745 77.63 1
Vermont 20.16 538 108.46 22
Virginia 12.39 1,078 133.56 45
Washington 9.67 1,023 98.92 8
West Virginia 12.05 1,026 123.63 35
Wisconsin 15.26 660 100.72 13
Wyoming 11.47 854 97.95 7
U.S. average 12.84 867 111.32

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Vermont increased by the greatest percentage from a year ago, going up 9.1 percent year over year – meaning residents paid about $9 more for electricity in October 2019. Bills increased year-over-year in 23 states.

State October 2019 bill October 2018 bill % change
Vermont 108.46 99.37 9.1
Maine 100.08 93.42 7.1
Michigan 103.50 96.85 6.9
West Virginia 123.63 115.73 6.8
Louisiana 117.39 111.10 5.7
Wisconsin 100.72 95.57 5.4
Alabama 147.23 140.07 5.1
Virginia 133.56 127.64 4.6
Alaska 140.51 134.32 4.6
Wyoming 97.95 93.94 4.3

 

Ohio bills decreased the most compared with last year – 7.1 percent.

State October 2019 bill October 2018 bill % change
Ohio 99.32 106.89 -7.1
Missouri 102.38 109.44 -6.4
Idaho 97.00 102.70 -5.6
Hawaii 155.75 164.15 -5.1
California 82.93 86.76 -4.4
Kansas 112.19 116.75 -3.9
New York 106.22 110.34 -3.7
Tennessee 120.06 123.74 -3.0
Colorado 81.22 83.39 -2.6
North Dakota 111.72 114.06 -2.1

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 a 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 Dec. 31, 2019)