Detailed Findings & Methodology
Just as somes states rely on their abundant coal or natural gas deposits for their energy needs, states with large sources of moving water can use dams for cheap hydro powered electricity generation. Hydroelectricity accounts for approximately 6.5% of electricity in the U.S. The three states with the largest shares of hydroelectricity generation are Washington (27%), California (13%), and Oregon (11%). Other states can utilize windy areas to produce relatively inexpensive wind power.
On the other hand, energy prices can increase in times of high demand and usage. For example, electricity prices rise in states with hot summers due to air conditioning use. Air conditioning use is the single largest contributor to electricity expense in these states, and it can increase significantly more during hot spells. To keep up with demand, electricity providers often add more expensive means of generating electricity, which increases prices.
To determine the states where residents pay the most for electricity, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2016 annual average retail price of a kilowatt hour of electricity from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Average monthly usage, monthly electricity bills, and the largest contributing energy source to each state’s electricity generation are also from the EIA.