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

May 30, 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 the average user, who cares more about that figure on the bottom line.

That’s why we’re introducing 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 June Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for March, shows that Maine 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:

Cost
Ranking
State Average Monthly
Usage (in kWh)
Rate
(cents/kWh)
Average Bill
(dollars)
1 Maine 546 11.99 65.47
2 Utah 745 10.17 75.77
3 New Mexico 615 12.58 77.37
4 Colorado 678 12.1 82.04
5 Illinois 692 12.81 88.65
6 Vermont 538 17.05 91.73
7 Wyoming 854 10.83 92.49
8 Montana 865 10.78 93.25
9 Nebraska 957 9.8 93.79
10 Missouri 994 9.51 94.53

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. Maine residents pay 11.99 cents/kWh for electricity – the 27th highest rate in the country. So how do they have the lowest bills – their monthly usage is the nation’s third-lowest.

Meanwhile, the state with the lowest electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 9.29 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 are 50 percent higher – 33.99 cents/kWh – than the next highest state, so even the nation’s lowest average usage doesn’t save residents from the highest bills – just shy of three times higher than Maine rates.

Following are the states with the highest electricity bills:

Cost Ranking State Average Monthly
Usage (kWh)
Rate
(cents/kWh)
Average Bill
dollars)
1 Hawaii 506 33.99 171.99
2 Connecticut 690 22.51 155.32
3 Alabama 1136 12.68 144.04
4 South Carolina 1082 12.75 137.96
5 Alaska 601 22.53 135.41
6 Rhode Island 577 23.14 133.52
7 Mississippi 1132 11.51 130.29
8 Massachusetts 583 22.29 129.95
9 Texas 1112 11.67 129.77
10 Florida 1089 11.84 128.94

We’ve outlined the best and the worst bills. See how your state did in the chart below:

Cost
Ranking
State Average Monthly
Usage (kWh)
March 2019 Rate
(cents/kWh)
2019 Average
Bill (dollars)
48 Alabama 1136 12.68 144.04
46 Alaska 601 22.53 135.41
40 Arizona 1033 12.35 127.58
18 Arkansas 1028 9.59 98.59
26 California 554 19.3 106.92
4 Colorado 678 12.1 82.04
49 Connecticut 690 22.51 155.32
32 Delaware 912 12.5 114.00
41 Florida 1089 11.84 128.94
35 Georgia 1062 11.33 120.32
50 Hawaii 506 33.99 171.99
16 Idaho 1000 9.66 96.60
5 Illinois 692 12.81 88.65
33 Indiana 928 12.29 114.05
12 Iowa 831 11.52 95.73
30 Kansas 861 12.84 110.55
27 Kentucky 1052 10.29 108.25
29 Louisiana 1187 9.29 110.27
1 Maine 546 11.99 65.47
39 Maryland 940 13.44 126.34
43 Massachusetts 583 22.29 129.95
13 Michigan 633 15.22 96.34
15 Minnesota 748 12.91 96.57
44 Mississippi 1132 11.51 130.29
10 Missouri 994 9.51 94.53
8 Montana 865 10.78 93.25
9 Nebraska 957 9.8 93.79
25 Nevada 854 12.27 104.79
36 New Hampshire 599 20.16 120.76
24 New Jersey 654 15.95 104.31
3 New Mexico 615 12.58 77.37
14 New York 572 16.86 96.44
34 North Carolina 1042 11.41 118.89
20 North Dakota 1063 9.53 101.30
21 Ohio 841 12.15 102.18
19 Oklahoma 1039 9.66 100.37
22 Oregon 969 10.66 103.30
28 Pennsylvania 805 13.63 109.72
45 Rhode Island 577 23.14 133.52
47 South Carolina 1082 12.75 137.96
23 South Dakota 978 10.64 104.06
37 Tennesee 1150 10.82 124.43
42 Texas 1112 11.67 129.77
2 Utah 745 10.17 75.77
6 Vermont 538 17.05 91.73
38 Virginia 1078 11.7 126.13
17 Washington 1023 9.46 96.78
31 West Virginia 1026 10.97 112.55
11 Wisconsin 660 14.35 94.71
7 Wyoming 854 10.83 92.49

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Rhode Island increased the most from a year ago, going up 14.5 percent year over year – meaning residents paid nearly $17 more for electricity in 2019. The good news: It was the only state with a double-digit percentage increase.

Following are the 10 states with the largest year-over-year percentage hikes:

State 2019 Average
Bill (dollars)
2018 Average
Bill (dollars)
% change
Rhode Island 133.52 116.61 14.5
Connecticut 155.32 145.18 7.0
Hawaii 171.99 162.17 6.1
Alaska 135.41 128.91 5.0
California 106.92 102.27 4.6
Maryland 126.34 121.92 3.6
New Jersey 104.31 100.78 3.5
Colorado 82.04 79.46 3.2
North Carolina 118.89 116.39 2.1
Minnesota 96.57 95.07 1.6

Maine bills not only are the nation’s lowest on average, they decreased the most compare with last year – 23.1 percent. That meant an extra almost $20 for residents.

Following are the 10 states with the larges year-over-year percentage drops since last year:

State 2019 Average
Bill (dollars)
2018 Average
Bill (dollars)
% change
Maine 65.47 85.18 -23.1
Oklahoma 100.37 112.73 -11.0
Missouri 94.53 104.17 -9.3
Arkansas 98.59 107.63 -8.4
Louisiana 110.27 116.21 -5.1
Mississippi 130.29 136.29 -4.4
Iowa 95.73 100.14 -4.4
Nebraska 93.79 98.00 -4.3
West Virginia 112.55 117.27 -4.0
New York 96.44 100.27 -3.8

What to do about high bills?

The first thing you can do is reduce the amount of energy you use going into summer. That doesn’t mean 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 translates 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.