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

January 5, 2021   By Arthur Murray

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

(last updated Jan. 5, 2021)

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 January 2021 Report, using the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data for October, shows that Nevada residents have it best when it comes to electricity bills. On the other side, Connecticut residents pay among the highest electricity bills of any state.

How does your state stack up?

10 states with the lowest electricity bills

State October 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Nevada 4.07 854 34.76
Utah 10.25 745 76.36
New Mexico 13.35 615 82.10
Colorado 12.44 678 84.34
Maine 16.86 546 92.06
Illinois 13.98 692 96.74
Wisconsin 14.8 660 97.68
Wyoming 11.69 854 99.83
Montana 11.58 865 100.17
Minnesota 13.64 748 102.03

Digging into those numbers provides some surprises. Colorado residents pay 12.44 cents/kWh for electricity – the 29th-highest rate in the country. So how do they have low bills? Their monthly usage is low.

Meanwhile, the state that usually records lowest residential electricity rates for any month – Louisiana, which in November averaged 10.57 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 – 22.68 cents/kWh – are the nation’s third-highest (behind Hawaii and Alaska), but much higher usage pushes residents’ bills past those of Hawaii and Alaska residents. Connecticut average bills are more than four times the average in Nevada.

10 states with the highest electricity bills

State October 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill
Connecticut 22.68 690 156.49
Alabama 13.07 1,136 148.48
Hawaii 28.95 506 146.49
South Carolina 13.15 1,082 142.28
Alaska 23.17 601 139.25
Virginia 12.5 1,078 134.75
West Virginia 13 1,026 133.38
Texas 11.89 1,112 132.22
Mississippi 11.53 1,132 130.52
Maryland 13.85 940 130.19

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 October 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Avg. monthly usage (kWh) Avg. bill Cost ranking
Alabama 13.07 1,136 148.48 49
Alaska 23.17 601 139.25 36
Arizona 12.14 1,033 125.41 33
Arkansas 10.76 1,028 110.61 22
California 20.79 554 115.18 27
Colorado 12.44 678 84.34 4
Connecticut 22.68 690 156.49 50
Delaware 13.93 912 127.04 36
Florida 11.49 1,089 125.13 32
Georgia 12.03 1,062 127.76 37
Hawaii 28.95 506 146.49 48
Idaho 10.3 1,000 103.00 12
Illinois 13.98 692 96.74 6
Indiana 13.98 928 129.73 40
Iowa 12.51 831 103.96 13
Kansas 13.08 861 112.62 25
Kentucky 11.7 1,052 123.08 30
Louisiana 10.57 1,187 125.47 34
Maine 16.86 546 92.06 5
Maryland 13.85 940 130.19 41
Massachusetts 21.63 583 126.10 35
Michigan 16.83 633 106.53 15
Minnesota 13.64 748 102.03 10
Mississippi 11.53 1,132 130.52 42
Missouri 11.05 994 109.84 19
Montana 11.58 865 100.17 9
Nebraska 11.36 957 108.72 17
Nevada 4.07 854 34.76 1
New Hampshire 19.32 599 115.73 28
New Jersey 15.92 654 104.12 14
New Mexico 13.35 615 82.10 3
New York 19.28 572 110.28 21
North Carolina 11.99 1,042 124.94 31
North Dakota 10.62 1,063 112.89 26
Ohio 13.01 841 109.41 18
Oklahoma 10.79 1,039 112.11 23
Oregon 11.37 969 110.18 20
Pennsylvania 13.93 805 112.14 24
Rhode Island 22.43 577 129.42 39
South Carolina 13.15 1,082 142.28 47
South Dakota 12.51 978 122.35 29
Tennessee 11.18 1,150 128.57 38
Texas 11.89 1,112 132.22 43
Utah 10.25 745 76.36 2
Vermont 20.13 538 108.30 16
Virginia 12.5 1,078 134.75 45
Washington 10.02 1,023 102.50 11
West Virginia 13 1,026 133.38 44
Wisconsin 14.8 660 97.68 7
Wyoming 11.69 854 99.83 8
U.S. average 13.6 867 117.91

How have electricity bills changed since last year?

Bills in California increased by the greatest percentage from a year ago, going up 39.5 percent year over year – meaning residents paid nearly $33 more for electricity in November 2020. Bills increased year-over-year in 36 states.

10 states with the largest increase in electricity bills

State October 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Oct-19 % change
California 115.18 82.55 39.5
Arkansas 110.61 99.82 10.8
Indiana 129.73 119.43 8.6
Ohio 109.41 101.42 7.9
West Virginia 133.38 124.86 6.8
Idaho 103.00 96.80 6.4
Georgia 127.76 120.22 6.3
Tennessee 128.57 121.10 6.2
Kentucky 123.08 116.56 5.6
Connecticut 156.49 149.52 4.7

10 states with the biggest decrease in electricity bills

State October 2020 rate (cents/kWh) Oct-19 % change
Nevada 34.76 106.49 -67.4
Maine 92.06 100.14 -8.1
Hawaii 146.49 155.75 -5.9
New Hampshire 115.73 122.38 -5.4
Arizona 125.41 131.91 -4.9
Oklahoma 112.11 115.23 -2.7
Pennsylvania 112.14 114.47 -2.0
Florida 125.13 126.98 -1.5
Maryland 130.19 132.07 -1.4
Alaska 139.25 140.81 -1.1

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 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 Jan. 5, 2021)