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

October 8, 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 October Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for July, 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 Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Rate (cents/kWh) Average bill (dollars)
1 New Mexico 615 12.93 79.52
2 Utah 745 11.13 82.92
3 Illinois 692 11.99 82.97
4 Colorado 678 12.72 86.24
5 Vermont 538 17.18 92.43
6 Wisconsin 660 14.41 95.11
7 Maine 546 17.9 97.73
8 Washington 1023 9.72 99.44
9 Nevada 854 11.86 101.28
10 Wyoming 854 11.9 101.63

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. New Mexico residents pay 12.93 cents/kWh for electricity – the 17th 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 second-lowest residential electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 9.73 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 31 percent higher – 31.42 cents/kWh – than the next highest state, so even the nation’s lowest average usage doesn’t save residents from the highest bills – about twice the average in New Mexico.

Following are the states with the highest electricity bills:

Cost ranking State Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Rate (cents/kWh) Average bill (dollars)
1 Hawaii 506 31.42 158.99
2 Alabama 1136 12.93 146.88
3 Connecticut 690 21.06 145.31
4 Alaska 601 24.02 144.36
5 South Carolina 1082 12.72 137.63
6 Georgia 1062 12.52 132.96
7 Arizona 1033 12.74 131.60
8 Virginia 1078 12.16 131.08
9 North Dakota 1063 12.33 131.07
10 Texas 1112 11.76 130.77

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

Cost ranking State Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Rate (cents/kWh) Average bill (dollars)
2 Alabama 1136 12.93 146.88
4 Alaska 601 24.02 144.36
7 Arizona 1033 12.74 131.60
14 Arkansas 1028 10.18 104.65
23 California 554 19.96 110.58
4 Colorado 678 12.72 86.24
3 Connecticut 690 21.06 145.31
26 Delaware 912 12.21 111.36
40 Florida 1089 11.98 130.46
6 Georgia 1062 12.52 132.96
1 Hawaii 506 31.42 158.99
17 Idaho 1000 10.58 105.80
3 Illinois 692 11.99 82.97
28 Indiana 928 12.22 113.40
35 Iowa 831 14.56 120.99
24 Kansas 861 12.86 110.72
27 Kentucky 1052 10.65 112.04
29 Louisiana 1187 9.73 115.50
7 Maine 546 17.9 97.73
31 Maryland 940 12.53 117.78
36 Massachusetts 583 20.9 121.85
11 Michigan 633 16.42 103.94
15 Minnesota 748 14.04 105.02
39 Mississippi 1132 11.31 128.03
38 Missouri 994 12.72 126.44
13 Montana 865 12.03 104.06
20 Nebraska 957 11.24 107.57
9 Nevada 854 11.86 101.28
30 New Hampshire 599 19.4 116.21
16 New Jersey 654 16.11 105.36
1 New Mexico 615 12.93 79.52
18 New York 572 18.65 106.68
34 North Carolina 1042 11.51 119.93
9 North Dakota 1063 12.33 131.07
12 Ohio 841 12.36 103.95
22 Oklahoma 1039 10.48 108.89
21 Oregon 969 11.19 108.43
25 Pennsylvania 805 13.79 111.01
19 Rhode Island 577 18.64 107.55
5 South Carolina 1082 12.72 137.63
33 South Dakota 978 12.26 119.90
37 Tennesee 1150 10.96 126.04
10 Texas 1112 11.76 130.77
2 Utah 745 11.13 82.92
5 Vermont 538 17.18 92.43
8 Virginia 1078 12.16 131.08
8 Washington 1023 9.72 99.44
32 West Virginia 1026 11.5 117.99
6 Wisconsin 660 14.41 95.11
10 Wyoming 854 11.9 101.63
US 867 13.27 115.05

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Maine increased the most from a year ago, going up 9.7 percent year over year – meaning residents paid more than $8 more for electricity in July 2019. Bills increased year-over-year in 33 states.

State 2019 avg. monthly bill 2018 avg. monthly bill % change
Maine 97.73 89.05 9.7
Florida 130.46 122.95 6.1
Alabama 146.88 139.50 5.3
Nevada 101.28 96.84 4.6
Texas 130.77 125.21 4.4
North Dakota 131.07 126.07 4.0
New Jersey 105.36 101.37 3.9
Mississippi 128.03 124.07 3.2
Kentucky 112.04 108.88 2.9
New Hampshire 116.21 113.09 2.8

Maryland bills decreased the most compared with last year – 6.9 percent. That meant an extra almost $9 for residents.

State 2019 avg. monthly bill 2018 avg. monthly bill % change
Maryland 117.78 126.52 -6.9
Hawaii 158.99 169.26 -6.1
Kansas 110.72 117.53 -5.8
Nebraska 107.57 113.98 -5.6
Vermont 92.43 96.09 -3.8
New York 106.68 110.85 -3.8
New Mexico 79.52 82.35 -3.4
Missouri 126.44 130.41 -3.0
Ohio 103.95 106.81 -2.7
South Carolina 137.63 140.23 -1.9

What to do about high bills?

The first thing you can do is reduce the amount of energy you use going into fall. 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.