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

January 31, 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 February Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for November, 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:

State November 2019 rate
(cents/kWh)
Avg. monthly
usage (kWh)
Avg. bill
New Mexico 12.18 615 74.91
Utah 10.31 745 76.81
Colorado 11.68 678 79.19
Illinois 13.32 692 92.17
Minnesota 12.48 748 93.35
Wyoming 10.98 854 93.77
Idaho 9.51 1,000 95.10
Wisconsin 14.46 660 95.44
Maine 17.82 546 97.30
Missouri 9.79 994 97.31

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. New Mexico residents pay 12.18 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 lowest.

Meanwhile, the state with the lowest-lowest residential electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 9.47 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 – 30.99 cents/kWh – are nearly 35 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 New Mexico.

Following are the states with the highest electricity bills:

State November 2019 rate
(cents/kWh)
Avg. monthly
usage (kWh)
Avg. bill
Hawaii 30.99 506 156.81
Connecticut 21.64 690 149.32
Alabama 12.56 1,136 142.68
South Carolina 13.04 1,082 141.09
Alaska 22.96 601 137.99
Texas 12.21 1,112 135.78
Florida 12.35 1,089 134.49
Virginia 12.11 1,078 130.55
Mississippi 11.53 1,132 130.52
Massachusetts 21.74 583 126.74

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

State November 2019 rate
(cents/kWh)
Avg. monthly
usage (kWh)
Avg. bill Cost
ranking
Alabama 12.56 1,136 142.68 48
Alaska 22.96 601 137.99 46
Arizona 12.12 1,033 125.20 38
Arkansas 9.65 1,028 99.20 13
California 20.14 554 111.58 27
Colorado 11.68 678 79.19 3
Connecticut 21.64 690 149.32 49
Delaware 13.27 912 121.02 36
Florida 12.35 1,089 134.49 44
Georgia 10.82 1,062 114.91 30
Hawaii 30.99 506 156.81 50
Idaho 9.51 1,000 95.10 7
Illinois 13.32 692 92.17 4
Indiana 12.39 928 114.98 31
Iowa 12.27 831 101.96 18
Kansas 12.87 861 110.81 26
Kentucky 10.94 1,052 115.09 32
Louisiana 9.47 1,187 112.41 28
Maine 17.82 546 97.30 9
Maryland 12.78 940 120.13 34
Massachusetts 21.74 583 126.74 41
Michigan 15.82 633 100.14 15
Minnesota 12.48 748 93.35 5
Mississippi 11.53 1,132 130.52 42
Missouri 9.79 994 97.31 10
Montana 11.4 865 98.61 12
Nebraska 10.69 957 102.30 19
Nevada 12.43 854 106.15 22
New Hampshire 20.24 599 121.24 37
New Jersey 15.28 654 99.93 14
New Mexico 12.18 615 74.91 1
New York 18.00 572 102.96 20
North Carolina 11.57 1,042 120.56 35
North Dakota 9.85 1,063 104.71 21
Ohio 12.00 841 100.92 16
Oklahoma 9.76 1,039 101.41 17
Oregon 10.97 969 106.30 23
Pennsylvania 14.07 805 113.26 29
Rhode Island 21.94 577 126.59 40
South Carolina 13.04 1,082 141.09 47
South Dakota 11.30 978 110.51 25
Tennessee 10.95 1,150 125.93 39
Texas 12.21 1,112 135.78 45
Utah 10.31 745 76.81 2
Vermont 19.76 538 106.31 24
Virginia 12.11 1,078 130.55 43
Washington 9.54 1,023 97.59 11
West Virginia 11.60 1,026 119.02 33
Wisconsin 14.46 660 95.44 8
Wyoming 10.98 854 93.77 6
U.S. average 13.04 867 113.06

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Vermont increased by the greatest percentage from a year ago, going up 8.2 percent year over year – meaning residents paid about $8 more for electricity in November 2019. Bills increased year-over-year in 31 states and stayed the same in two.

State November
2019 bill
November
2018 bill
% change
Vermont 106.31 98.29 8.2
Maine 97.30 91.35 6.5
Alaska 137.99 130.18 6.0
Michigan 100.14 94.89 5.5
Texas 135.78 128.99 5.3
South Carolina 141.09 134.17 5.2
Iowa 101.96 96.98 5.1
Florida 134.49 127.96 5.1
Montana 98.61 93.85 5.1
Virginia 130.55 125.05 4.4

Hawaii bills decreased the most compared with last year – 8.4 percent.

State November
2019 bill
November
2018 bill
% change
Hawaii 156.81 171.18 -8.4
Missouri 97.31 102.68 -5.2
Ohio 100.92 105.71 -4.5
Colorado 79.19 82.58 -4.1
Arizona 125.20 129.95 -3.7
Minnesota 93.35 95.97 -2.7
Kansas 110.81 113.65 -2.5
Maryland 120.13 123.14 -2.4
Oklahoma 101.41 103.80 -2.3
Indiana 114.98 117.39 -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 Jan. 29, 2020)