Where You’ll Pay the Most in Electric Bills

July 16, 2017 by Steven M. Peters

Source: Thinkstock
Whether it is powering a refrigerator to keep food from spoiling or heating water for a shower, many of modern life’s most basic functions require electricity. However, the cost of running a refrigerator for a month could be up to three times more expensive depending on the state.

To highlight how electricity costs vary across the country, 24/7 Wall st. reviewed the average retail price of a kilowatt hour — a measure of electrical energy equivalent to 1,000 watts for 1 hour — of electricity in every state.

Many factors can impact the price of electricity in a given area. For example, natural resources and weather conditions influence which fuel sources are more likely to be used to produce electricity and how much electricity is needed. In some areas, these factors can reduce the price of energy, while in others they can cause prices to soar.

Natural gas surpassed coal in 2016 as the largest source of electricity in the United States. It is the largest source of electricity in 18 states. Coal remains the largest source in 19 states. Nuclear and hydroelectric provide the most energy in six and five states, respectively.

Residents of states with the highest costs of electricity do not necessarily have the highest electricity bills. Customers compensate for the high prices by dramatically reducing their use, especially in the states where electricity is most expensive. By contrast, households in states where electricity is much cheaper often use more than double the electricity than homes in expensive areas.

Click here to see the states where electricity is the most expensive.
Click here to see the detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Thinkstock

50. Louisiana
> Average price of electricity: 9.1¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,239 kWh (the highest)
> Average monthly bill: $113 (22nd highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

49. Washington
> Average price of electricity: 9.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 963 kWh (22nd highest)
> Average monthly bill: $90 (7th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Hydroelectric

Source: Thinkstock

48. Arkansas
> Average price of electricity: 9.9¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,083 kWh (14th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $107 (21st lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

47. Idaho
> Average price of electricity: 10.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 952 kWh (23rd highest)
> Average monthly bill: $95 (10th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Hydroelectric

Source: Thinkstock

46. Oklahoma
> Average price of electricity: 10.1¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,101 kWh (12th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $111 (24th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

45. North Dakota
> Average price of electricity: 10.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,038 kWh (16th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $106 (20th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

44. Kentucky
> Average price of electricity: 10.3¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,118 kWh (8th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $115 (19th highest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

43. Tennessee
> Average price of electricity: 10.3¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,239 kWh (2nd highest)
> Average monthly bill: $128 (8th highest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

42. Mississippi
> Average price of electricity: 10.5¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,198 kWh (4th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $126 (12th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

41. Oregon
> Average price of electricity: 10.6¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 907 kWh (25th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $96 (13th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Hydroelectric

Source: Thinkstock

40. Nebraska
> Average price of electricity: 10.9¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 966 kWh (21st highest)
> Average monthly bill: $105 (18th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

39. Missouri
> Average price of electricity: 10.9¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,039 kWh (15th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $113 (21st highest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

38. Texas
> Average price of electricity: 11.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,165 kWh (5th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $128 (7th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

37. Montana
> Average price of electricity: 11.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 803 kWh (19th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $89 (5th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

36. Utah
> Average price of electricity: 11.1¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 750 kWh (17th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $83 (2nd lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

35. North Carolina
> Average price of electricity: 11.1¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,092 kWh (13th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $122 (15th highest)
> Largest energy source: Nuclear

Source: Thinkstock

34. Wyoming
> Average price of electricity: 11.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 845 kWh (22nd lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $95 (8th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

33. West Virginia
> Average price of electricity: 11.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,102 kWh (11th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $124 (14th highest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

32. Florida
> Average price of electricity: 11.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,109 kWh (10th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $125 (13th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

31. Indiana
> Average price of electricity: 11.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 967 kWh (20th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $110 (25th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

30. Georgia
> Average price of electricity: 11.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,127 kWh (7th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $129 (6th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

29. Nevada
> Average price of electricity: 11.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 924 kWh (25th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $105 (19th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

28. Virginia
> Average price of electricity: 11.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,114 kWh (9th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $127 (10th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

27. South Dakota
> Average price of electricity: 11.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 969 kWh (19th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $111 (25th highest)
> Largest energy source: Hydroelectric

Source: Thinkstock

26. Colorado
> Average price of electricity: 12.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 698 kWh (14th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $84 (3rd lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

25. Alabama
> Average price of electricity: 12.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,209 kWh (3rd highest)
> Average monthly bill: $146 (the highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

24. New Mexico
> Average price of electricity: 12.1¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 630 kWh (10th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $76 (the lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

23. Arizona
> Average price of electricity: 12.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,036 kWh (17th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $126 (11th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

22. Illinois
> Average price of electricity: 12.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 732 kWh (16th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $89 (6th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Nuclear

Source: Thinkstock

21. Iowa
> Average price of electricity: 12.3¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 844 kWh (21st lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $103 (16th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

20. Ohio
> Average price of electricity: 12.3¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 888 kWh (23rd lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $109 (23rd lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

19. South Carolina
> Average price of electricity: 12.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 1,148 kWh (6th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $143 (2nd highest)
> Largest energy source: Nuclear

Source: Thinkstock

18. Minnesota
> Average price of electricity: 12.7¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 756 kWh (18th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $96 (12th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

17. Kansas
> Average price of electricity: 13.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 895 kWh (24th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $116 (18th highest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

16. Delaware
> Average price of electricity: 13.5¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 945 kWh (24th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $127 (9th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

15. Pennsylvania
> Average price of electricity: 14.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 836 kWh (20th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $117 (17th highest)
> Largest energy source: Nuclear

Source: Thinkstock

14. Maryland
> Average price of electricity: 14.2¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 994 kWh (18th highest)
> Average monthly bill: $141 (4th highest)
> Largest energy source: Nuclear

Source: Thinkstock

13. Wisconsin
> Average price of electricity: 14.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 677 kWh (12th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $97 (14th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

12. Michigan
> Average price of electricity: 15.3¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 662 kWh (11th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $101 (15th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Coal

Source: Thinkstock

11. New Jersey
> Average price of electricity: 15.8¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 691 kWh (13th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $109 (22nd lowest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

10. Maine
> Average price of electricity: 15.8¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 546 kWh (3rd lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $86 (4th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Other renewables

Source: Thinkstock

9. Vermont
> Average price of electricity: 17.3¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 546 kWh (2nd lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $95 (9th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Hydroelectric

Source: Thinkstock

8. California
> Average price of electricity: 17.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 548 kWh (4th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $95 (11th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

7. New York
> Average price of electricity: 17.6¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 594 kWh (7th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $104 (17th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

6. New Hampshire
> Average price of electricity: 18.4¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 603 kWh (9th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $111 (23rd highest)
> Largest energy source: Nuclear

Source: Thinkstock

5. Rhode Island
> Average price of electricity: 18.6¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 586 kWh (5th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $109 (24th lowest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

4. Massachusetts
> Average price of electricity: 19.1¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 596 kWh (8th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $114 (20th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

3. Connecticut
> Average price of electricity: 20.0¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 710 kWh (15th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $142 (3rd highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

2. Alaska
> Average price of electricity: 20.6¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 590 kWh (6th lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $122 (16th highest)
> Largest energy source: Natural gas

Source: Thinkstock

1. Hawaii
> Average price of electricity: 27.5¢/kWh
> Average monthly usage: 506 kWh (the lowest)
> Average monthly bill: $139 (5th highest)
> Largest energy source: Petroleum liquids

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.