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

July 26, 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 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 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 (kWh)
Rate
(cents/kWh)
Average bill
(dollars)
1 New Mexico 615 12.21 75.09
2 Utah 745 10.5 78.23
3 Colorado 678 12.02 81.50
4 Vermont 538 17.39 93.56
5 Illinois 692 14.14 97.85
6 Wyoming 854 11.57 98.81
7 Maine 546 18.14 99.04
8 New York 572 17.38 99.41
9 Michigan 633 15.74 99.63
10 Washington 1023 9.81 100.36

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. New Mexico residents pay 12.21 cents/kWh for electricity – the 27th highest rate in the country. So how do they have the lowest bills? Their monthly usage is among the nation’s third-lowest.

Meanwhile, the state with the third-lowest electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 10.19 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 nearly 50 percent higher – 33.43 cents/kWh – than the next highest state, so even the nation’s lowest average usage doesn’t save residents from the highest bills – well more than twice the New Mexico.

Following are the states with the highest electricity bills:

Cost
Ranking
State Rate
(cents/kWh)
Average monthly
usage (in kWh)
Average bill
(dollars)
1 Hawaii 34.43 506 169.16
2 Connecticut 23.35 690 161.12
3 Alabama 12.90 1136 146.54
4 Arizona 13.25 1082 136.87
5 Alaska 22.65 601 136.13
6 Mississippi 11.94 1132 135.16
7 Virginia 12.46 1078 134.32
8 Texas 12.06 940 134.11
9 South Carolina 12.38 1033 133.95
10 Massachusetts 22.27 1112 129.83

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)
Rate
(cents/kWh)
Average bill
(dollars)
1 New Mexico 615 12.21 75.09
2 Utah 745 10.5 78.23
3 Colorado 678 12.02 81.50
4 Vermont 538 17.39 93.56
5 Illinois 692 14.14 97.85
6 Wyoming 854 11.57 98.81
7 Maine 546 18.14 99.04
8 New York 572 17.38 99.41
9 Michigan 633 15.74 99.63
10 Washington 1023 9.81 100.36
11 Montana 865 11.66 100.86
12 Wisconsin 660 15.34 101.24
13 Minnesota 748 13.86 103.67
14 Idaho 1000 10.37 103.70
15 California 554 18.89 104.65
16 Arkansas 1028 10.19 104.75
17 Nevada 854 12.34 105.38
18 Oklahoma 1039 10.42 108.26
19 Ohio 841 12.93 108.74
20 Oregon 969 11.25 109.01
21 New Jersey 654 16.8 109.87
22 Nebraska 957 11.69 111.87
23 Pennsylvania 805 14.24 114.63
24 Iowa 831 14.02 116.51
25 Kansas 861 13.58 116.92
26 Kentucky 1052 11.18 117.61
27 South Dakota 978 12.17 119.02
28 North Carolina 1042 11.54 120.25
29 Rhode Island 577 20.95 120.88
30 Louisiana 1187 10.19 120.96
31 Indiana 928 13.06 121.20
32 Missouri 994 12.2 121.27
33 North Dakota 1063 11.41 121.29
34 West Virginia 1026 11.98 122.91
35 New Hampshire 599 20.72 124.11
36 Georgia 1062 11.75 124.79
37 Tennesee 1150 10.99 126.39
38 Maryland 940 13.45 126.43
39 Delaware 912 14 127.68
40 Florida 1089 11.73 127.74
41 Massachusetts 583 22.27 129.83
42 South Carolina 1082 12.38 133.95
43 Texas 1112 12.06 134.11
44 Virginia 1078 12.46 134.32
45 Mississippi 1132 11.94 135.16
46 Alaska 601 22.65 136.13
47 Arizona 1033 13.25 136.87
48 Alabama 1136 12.9 146.54
49 Connecticut 690 23.35 161.12
50 Hawaii 506 33.43 169.16
US 867 13.32 115.48

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Maine increased the most from a year ago, going up 13.8 percent year over year – meaning residents paid nearly $12 more for electricity in 2019. California and Hawaii also had double-digit percentage increases.

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

State 2019 average
bill (dollars)
2018 average
bill (dollars)
% change
Maine 99.04 88.83 11.5
Connecticut 161.12 148.63 8.4
Illinois 97.85 91.41 7.0
Louisiana 120.96 113.12 6.9
Indiana 121.20 114.14 6.2
New Jersey 109.87 103.86 5.8
Iowa 116.51 110.36 5.6
Kentucky 117.61 112.14 4.9
New Hampshire 124.11 118.36 4.9
Rhode Island 120.88 115.57 4.6

Vermont bills decreased the most compared with last year – 4.1 percent. That meant an extra almost $4 for residents.

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

State 2019 average
bill (dollars)
2019 average
bill (dollars)
% change
New York 99.41 105.93 -6.2
Vermont 93.56 98.72 -5.2
South Carolina 133.95 139.04 -3.7
Wyoming 98.81 102.31 -3.4
Utah 78.23 80.39 -2.7
Missouri 121.27 123.75 -2.0
Idaho 103.70 105.50 -1.7
Michigan 99.63 100.77 -1.1
Mississippi 135.16 136.63 -1.1
Pennsylvania 114.63 115.28 -0.6

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.