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

October 1, 2020   By Arthur Murray

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

(last updated Oct. 1, 2020)

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 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 among the highest electricity bills of any state.

How does your state stack up?

10 states with the lowest electricity bills

State July 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Utah 11.09 745 82.62
Illinois 11.99 692 82.97
New Mexico 13.83 615 85.05
Colorado 12.84 678 87.06
Nevada 10.72 854 91.55
Maine 16.84 546 91.95
Wisconsin 14.53 660 95.90
Washington 9.85 1,023 100.77
Wyoming 11.89 854 101.54
Ohio 12.09 841 101.68

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises, including at the top of the list. Utah residents pay 11.09 cents/kWh for electricity – only the 10th-lowest rate in the country. So how do they have the lowest bills? Their monthly usage also is low.

Meanwhile, the state with the lowest residential electricity rates for the month – Louisiana, 9.34 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? Connecticut’s rates – 22.05 cents/kWh – are the nation’s third-highest (behind Hawaii and Alaska), but higher usage pushes residents’ bills past those of Aloha State residents. Connecticut average bills are nearly twice the average in Utah.

10 states with the highest electricity bills

State July 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Connecticut 22.05 690 152.15
Hawaii 28.87 506 146.08
Alaska 23.99 601 144.18
Alabama 12.69 1,136 144.16
Georgia 12.67 1,062 134.56
South Carolina 12.36 1,082 133.74
Virginia 12.28 1,078 132.38
Texas 11.82 1,112 131.44
Arizona 12.70 1,033 131.19
Florida 11.71 1,089 127.52

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

Average electricity bills in all 50 states

State July 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill Cost ranking
Alabama 12.69 1,136 144.16 47
Alaska 23.99 601 144.18 48
Arizona 12.70 1,033 131.19 42
Arkansas 10.74 1,028 110.41 23
California 20.11 554 111.41 27
Colorado 12.84 678 87.06 4
Connecticut 22.05 690 152.15 50
Delaware 11.90 912 108.53 19
Florida 11.71 1,089 127.52 41
Georgia 12.67 1,062 134.56 46
Hawaii 28.87 506 146.08 49
Idaho 10.81 1,000 108.10 18
Illinois 11.99 692 82.97 2
Indiana 12.23 928 113.49 30
Iowa 14.74 831 122.49 35
Kansas 12.88 861 110.90 25
Kentucky 10.55 1,052 110.99 26
Louisiana 9.34 1,187 110.87 24
Maine 16.84 546 91.95 6
Maryland 12.24 940 115.06 31
Massachusetts 21.32 583 124.30 38
Michigan 16.34 633 103.43 13
Minnesota 13.82 748 103.37 12
Mississippi 10.90 1,132 123.39 36
Missouri 12.58 994 125.05 39
Montana 12.09 865 104.58 14
Nebraska 11.67 957 111.68 28
Nevada 10.72 854 91.55 5
New Hampshire 18.33 599 109.80 22
New Jersey 16.60 654 108.56 20
New Mexico 13.83 615 85.05 3
New York 18.73 572 107.14 17
North Carolina 11.25 1,042 117.23 32
North Dakota 11.89 1,063 126.39 40
Ohio 12.09 841 101.68 10
Oklahoma 10.12 1,039 105.15 15
Oregon 11.30 969 109.50 21
Pennsylvania 13.30 805 107.07 16
Rhode Island 19.52 577 112.63 29
South Carolina 12.36 1,082 133.74 45
South Dakota 12.32 978 120.49 34
Tennessee 10.77 1,150 123.86 37
Texas 11.82 1,112 131.44 43
Utah 11.09 745 82.62 1
Vermont 19.01 538 102.27 11
Virginia 12.28 1,078 132.38 44
Washington 9.85 1,023 100.77 8
West Virginia 11.69 1,026 119.94 33
Wisconsin 14.53 660 95.90 7
Wyoming 11.89 854 101.54 9
U.S. average 13.26 867 114.96

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in Vermont increased by the greatest percentage from a year ago, going up 10.7 percent year over year – meaning residents paid nearly $10 more for electricity in July 2020. Bills increased year-over-year in 23 states.

10 states with the largest increase in electricity bills

State July 2020 rate (cents/kWh) July 2019 bill % change
Vermont 102.27 92.43 10.7
New Mexico 85.05 79.52 7.0
Arkansas 110.41 104.65 5.5
Rhode Island 112.63 107.55 4.7
Connecticut 152.15 145.31 4.7
Nebraska 111.68 107.57 3.8
New Jersey 108.56 105.36 3.0
Idaho 108.10 105.80 2.2
Massachusetts 124.30 122.08 1.8
West Virginia 119.94 117.99 1.7

10 states with the biggest decrease in electricity bills

State July 2020 bill July 2019 bill % change
Nevada 91.55 101.28 -9.6
Hawaii 146.08 158.99 -8.1
Maine 91.95 97.73 -5.9
New Hampshire 109.80 116.27 -5.6
Louisiana 110.87 115.50 -4.0
Pennsylvania 107.07 111.33 -3.8
Mississippi 123.39 128.03 -3.6
North Dakota 126.39 131.07 -3.6
Oklahoma 105.15 108.89 -3.4
South Carolina 133.74 137.63 -2.8

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 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, 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 Oct. 1, 2020)