Average Monthly Electrical Bill by State – Updated Data

According to latest release from the U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential monthly electric bill was $110.21 in 2013. The most expensive utility bill for homeowners is the electric bill, accounting for roughly 9% of expenditure on housing according to NAHB tabulations of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on consumer expenditures.

The average monthly electric bill varies widely by state. In the contiguous United States, the West South Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) had the highest average monthly electric bill at $126.75, while the Pacific states (California, Oregon, and Washington) had the lowest at $90.84. The state with the highest average monthly electric bill was Hawaii at $190.36 or nearly 2.5 times the average electric bill in New Mexico. New Mexico was the state with the lowest average electric bill in 2013 at $76.56.

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Variation in the monthly electric bill by state is function of consumption and pricing for which EIA also provides estimates. The EIA is the government agency responsible for the collection and dissemination of energy information. EIA conducts an annual survey of the electrical power industry. Results from the survey are used to estimate the average residential monthly electrical bill, average monthly consumption, and average monthly price by state. A direct link to the 2013 statistics is provided below.

2013 Average Monthly Bill – Residential Electric

In 2013, the state with highest average monthly consumption was Louisiana at 1,273 kilowatt hours. The state with the lowest average monthly consumption was Hawaii at 515 kilowatt hours. The noncontiguous Pacific states (Alaska and Hawaii) had the lowest average monthly consumption.

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Maine was state with the second lowest level of average monthly consumption. Relatively mild summers and reliance on heating oil during the winter largely explain the low levels of consumption in Maine. According to the EIA over 80% of the homes in the Northeast rely on heating oil for space heating instead of electricity.

In 2013, the state with the highest average price per-unit was Hawaii at 36.98 cents per kilowatt hour. The state with the lowest average price per-unit was Washington at 8.70 cents per kilowatt hour.

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Of the four types of electric industry consumers tracked by the EIA, residential consumers account for the largest share of electric industry sales at 37.4%. Commercial consumers are a close second at 36.1%. Industrial consumers account for 26.3% of sales.

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In addition to being the largest consumer of electricity, residential consumers generally pay the highest prices. The average retail price paid by U.S. residential consumers in 2013 was 12.13 cents/kWh. The average retail price paid by commercial consumers was 10.31 cents/kWh while industrial consumers paid 6.88 cents/kWh.

The electric bill is a large share of a homeowner’s expenditure on housing and the most expensive utility. Although climate plays a significant role in consumption, and production a significant role in pricing, the age of the housing stock also plays a role. Newer homes tend to be more energy efficient than older homes. NAHB analysis of the EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) found that on a square footage basis newer homes use less energy and housing built in previous 10 years accounts for only 3.2% of energy consumption.

Of course, one method for reducing electric costs is the installation of residential solar systems. Besides offering tax benefits, such installations add value to a home and reduce utility expenses.



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14 replies

  1. Remarkable how the states with the most sun have the highest bills. Most likely due to air-conditioning, but these states should also have the highest amount of solar panels? In Australia the bills show a a high opposite connection with the amount of sun received.

    • Yet, in the middle of the states with the highest, are the two states with the lowest. Now explain that to me. ???

      • Hi Ken,
        I have lived in those states in the middle with low consumption and ithe ones around it– Southern Utah has a fairly moderate heating climate as well as A/C requirement while Northern Utah has almost no A/C and a medium Heating load, New Mexico is the same —little A/c req. and Moderate heating as well– Most of Arizona and southern Nevada / Las Vegas have huge A/C loads— temps can start over 105* F as early as April 1st, and continue into October and then have winters at or below freezing.

  2. i would love to have solar power on my south facing home but im retired and on a fix’s income and we adopted 1 grandchildren so is there help for this for our home

  3. It was stated that electricity is the most costly utility. I average around 110 per month, but for water I pay around 150!

  4. The last statement about reducing electric costs with solar is only true if your state has real high electric costs, area on your property that is not shaded(my roof is partially shaded) and state rebates. Beware of leases for solar equipment, it can make your house hard to sell. Some of the leases are very, very misleading. If you pay about $100 month for electricity don’t waste your time right now. If the government uses tax dollars to pay for 80% of the install and equipment take it. Which they will probably do,lol, because oh my God!!! If we increase CO2 by 1 ppm we will melt the south pole. A guy who drives a subaru told me that because some environmental climate scientists who can’t change an air filter on a car ran a model on sketchy data that the small amount of co2 produced by man made sources caused this. Plus Obama went to Alaska a week ago at the end of summer and showed some ice was melting, lol.

    • I’m always surprised to hear how much electricity is used in US households. I could imagine that having a house with maybe somewhat out of date wiring and equipment might cause losses, but 10 – 15 kwh per person per day (I honestly hope I misunderstood this number)! The only thing I can think of is that this amount includes heating and air conditioning. Although not all of the US is in a climate location where airconditioning is absolutely necessary, there’s no need for it if temperatures arent 32c or above for prolonged periods of time.

      Personally I average about 1 – 2 kwh a day (excluding heating). If you have a family I can understand using about 5 – 10kw on average for the entire household and up to 15kw on wash days but more than that simply smells of old tech and rampant power wasting. For one thing you can easily light a room with about 10 watts nowadays, so maybe 50 – 80watts per household (assuming all lights are on, which shouldn’t be the case if you’re not in the room anyway). Incandescent bulbs on the other hand would be more like 300w – 500w. Leaving them all on for 3 – 5 hours a day would then be up to 2.5kwh a day (500w for 5h). If this is some of what is happening then there’s no excuse. Even if global warming leveraged by humanity is a hoax, which one can only believe by maintaining a comfortable ignorance, this is a ridiculous and unnecessary waste of energy.

      So my question is this, how does a 30kwh a day household average (I’m assuming this is for the 2.54 person household) materialize in a time when a fridge uses about 400kwh per year, lights are practically energy free at 10w for decent luminance and modern laptops can easily do most of the work average people require for about 5 – 10w?

      My suspicion is that most of this excess energy waste is due to bad habits and the use of outdated tech. There won’t be any place for these in the emerging global modern society.

      • Of course it includes air conditioning. Most of the United States are areas where air conditioning is necessary, and in the top users (Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi), it is used very heavily by necessity. Many Americans do have a problem with keeping their houses 20C during the summer or 25C during the winter. Many Americans have houses that are much bigger than they need to be. Many Americans live in condos or apartments where they don’t pay for their utilities, but instead the entire building pays for the utilities in their monthly coop fee (this is obviously a bad idea). But both air conditioning and heating are an absolute necessity for nearly all Americans.

        Not everyone is going to only use air conditioning when it is “absolutely necessary” in your opinion. Some people use air conditioning when it’s only 30C outside. Some people use air conditioning during the day when it gets up to 35C during the day and drops to 25C at night. Get over it. We also use 40W or 60W bulbs instead of 10W bulbs like you do. Get over it.

        There is a problem with people wasting electricity, but to complain about our usage of air conditioning when it’s “not necessary because it’s not over 32C for a prolonged period” is offensive.

        I set my AC at 25C during the day over the summer, even if the temperature outside will be less than 25C when I get home. Because I don’t want to get home where it’s 23C outside and 28C inside my house. The temperature outside drops faster than it does inside. It’s quite easy for the temperature inside the house to be 5C higher than it is outside the house during the summer.

        You seem to be very ignorant of what it’s like to live through a hot humid summer in the USA, especially as a person whose body does not handle hot weather well. My house of 3 people (1250 square feet), uses about 480kWh per month in the spring, summer, and early fall, and about 1200kWh per month during the late fall and winter.

      • With your math you are only running a refrigerator (400kWh/year / 12months = 33kWh/month) which is what you’re saying is the total you’re using each month (1-2kWh/day x 30 days = 30-60kWh/month). Do you have an stove, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, garage opener, coffee pot, microwave, tv, wifi, cable box, laptop, phone charger, stereo, home alarm system, hair dryer, vacuum, fans, power tools, dehumidifier, crock pot, outdoor security lights? They all add up. 5-10W is great, but how many hours are you leaving it plugged in? 5W x 8hrs x 30 days = 1.2kWh is your efficient laptop; 10W x 5hrs x 30days = 1.5kWh per light. It all adds up.

        Solar is scaled to your needs. Yes the price of a panel here or there should be about the same. Maybe the cost of labor is different, and permitting/engineering vary. Yes you do get a quicker return with the higher electric rate. But it’s not always about the return. We have to have electricity to live. We don’t talk about the return on investment on a pair of pants or a new truck, we look at the benefits to us. After 10 years can you sell those pants you wore every day or that truck your drove every day for the amount you spent 10 years ago? Would anyone want them, even for free? Not even close. But you can with solar–you used it every day, you can sell it with the increased sale price of your home, and they still have more than 50% life on their warranty.

        The biggest benefit to solar is that you are not subject to utility rate increases. You buy solar today and it works for the next 25+ years for you. Even financed, those payments are consistent, and then when they’re paid off, you have free electricity. It’s about the independence and stability of not being tied to the historical average 4% yearly rate increase. Your $50 monthly electric bill today is $75 in ten years, or a 50% increase from today’s bill. Solar panels could be paid for by then.

  5. Keep electricity low

  6. States with hydro power tend to have lower electricty costs

    • I live on a lake that produces electricity I wish I had cheap rates. I’m in Louisiana and am shocked we are highest user of electricity. I wish our bill would be less than $200. It’s $250-300.

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