Tag Archives: electricity

2017 Residential Electricity Bill by State | Bedford Real Estate

According to the U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average monthly residential electricity bill in the U.S. stood at $111.67 in 2017. Electricity is one of the biggest household expenses, as it accounted for 55 percent of total utility costs and 9 percent of total housing costs in 2017, according to the American Housing Survey (AHS).

The average monthly residential electricity bill varies widely across states (Figure 1). Hawaii had the highest average monthly electricity bill at $149, while New Mexico had the lowest ($79). Behind Hawaii, states in the Southeast region generally had higher electricity bills, including Alabama ($143) and South Carolina ($141). States contiguous to New Mexico — Colorado and Utah — also had low electricity bills (both at $82).

Electricity Prices

Electricity bills are a function of price and consumption. The average monthly retail price of electricity was $12.89 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2017. At $29.50 cents/kWh, Hawaii had the highest retail price. Other states with high electricity prices include Alaska, states in New England, and California. Washington State had the lowest electricity price among the states, followed by Louisiana, and Idaho (Figure 2).

High residential electricity bills in Hawaii are driven almost entirely by price as its residents, on average, consume the least amount of electricity among the states. The island lacks natural resources and relies on costly imports of petroleum to meets its needs, thus driving up its retail price. New England also lacks natural resources: unlike most parts of the country, it does not have natural gas reserves, nor does it have a solid network of gas pipelines. New England residents pay 50 percent more ($19.41 c/kWh) than the typical US resident ($12.89 c/kWh). It is important to note that in many states, regulatory environments, aging and inefficient infrastructure, and policies discouraging carbon-emitting fuels in favor of renewable energy also impact electricity supply and price.

Figure 2: Top Ten States with Highest (Lowest) Average 
Monthly Electricity Price (cents/kWh)
States with Highest 
Electricity Retail Price
States with Lowest 
Electricity Retail Price
1Hawaii (29.50 ¢/kWh)Washington (9.66 ¢/kWh)
2Alaska (21.27 ¢/kWh)Louisiana (9.74 ¢/kWh)
3Connecticut (20.29 ¢/kWh)Idaho (10.04 ¢/kWh)
4Massachusetts (20.06 ¢/kWh)Arkansas (10.28 ¢/kWh)
5New Hampshire (19.21 ¢/kWh)North Dakota (10.29 ¢/kWh)
6Rhode Island (18.32 ¢/kWh)Oklahoma (10.61 ¢/kWh)
7California (18.31 ¢/kWh)Oregon (10.66 ¢/kWh)
8New York (18.03 ¢/kWh)Tennessee (10.72 ¢/kWh)
9Vermont (17.68 ¢/kWh)Kentucky (10.85 ¢/kWh)
10Maine (15.97 ¢/kWh)North Carolina (10.94 ¢/kWh)

Electricity Consumption

Nationwide, average monthly consumption of electricity stood at 867 kWh in 2017. States in the Southeast region of the country had the highest average monthly residential consumption rates. Louisiana had the highest rate at 1,187 kWh, followed by Tennessee (1,150 kWh), and Alabama (1,136 kWh). States with the lowest consumption rates include Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, California, and New York (Figure 3).

Residential electricity consumption is generally higher in the Southeast region because of high demand for air-conditioning to combat hot and humid summer weather. Although the Southeast has moderate winters, it still consumes a measurable amount of electricity during this season because of the widespread use of heat pumps to generate heat. Colder regions of the country, like the Northeast and Midwest, typically use oil- or gas-burning furnaces to heat homes. States with lower rates of electricity consumption are in regions with mild summers, such as New England. It is also important to point out that some states, such as California for example, have robust energy efficiency programs that help to reduce electricity consumption.

Figure 3: Top Ten States with Highest (Lowest) Average 
Monthly Electricity Consumption (kWh)
States with Highest 
Electricity Consumption
States with Lowest 
Electricity Consumption
1Louisiana (1186.81 kWh)Hawaii (506.15 kWh)
2Tennessee (1149.83 kWh)Vermont (537.57 kWh)
3Alabama (1136.20 kWh)Maine (546.13 kWh)
4Mississippi (1131.63 kWh)California (554.33 kWh)
5Texas (1112.00 kWh)New York (572.48 kWh)
6Florida (1089.35 kWh)Rhode Island (577.31 kWh)
7South Carolina (1081.66 kWh)Massachusetts (582.57 kWh)
8Virginia (1078.47 kWh)New Hampshire (598.56 kWh)
9North Dakota (1062.94 kWh)Alaska (600.97 kWh)
10Georgia (1062.21 kWh)New Mexico (614.66 kWh)

Housing

Just as geography is an important factor impacting electricity costs, so is the age of the housing stock. NAHB analysis shows that newer homes are more energy efficient on a square foot basis than existing homes. For example, single-family detached homes built prior to 1950 consume 135.4 BTUs/square foot, compared to 100.1 BTUs/square foot among single-family detached homes built between 2000 and 2009. Builders are continually incorporating new technologies into the homes they build, such as better insulation and energy efficient appliances, that help to reduce energy costs for households.

read more…