States With the Highest (and Lowest) Energy Costs

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Americans will be cranking up their air conditioners this month as hot weather dominates across most of the country. That’s not surprising given that July is typically the hottest month of the year and total energy consumption typically peaks during the month.

Total energy costs include more than your electric bill. Researchers at WalletHub have calculated total monthly energy bills in all 50 states and the District of Columbia using a formula that includes consumption of electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.

Where you live and how much energy you use have a big impact on monthly costs that can command between 5% and 22% of a household’s aftertax income. The poorest households pay a larger share than the wealthier, and unit costs for a gallon of gasoline or a kWh of electricity don’t tell the whole story.

WalletHub noted, for example, that while electricity is relatively cheap in southern Louisiana, the summer heat raises costs compared to more temperate northern California where electricity is more expensive but residents don’t use as much.

With that in mind, here are the 10 states where total monthly energy costs are highest:

  1. Connecticut: $380 a month
  2. Alaska: $332
  3. Rhode Island: $329
  4. Massachusetts: $327
  5. Wyoming: $320
  6. Georgia: $310
  7. Maine: $308
  8. Mississippi: $307
  9. New Hampshire: $306
  10. Vermont: $305

And here are the 10 states where total monthly energy costs are lowest:

  1. District of Columbia: $219 a month
  2. Washington: $226
  3. Colorado: $228
  4. Oregon: $246
  5. Illinois: $247
  6. Iowa: $251
  7. Nebraska: $253
  8. New Mexico: $256
  9. Arizona: $257
  10. California: $257

The full WalletHub study includes details on highest and lowest electricity prices and consumption, along with a similar breakdown by state on motor fuel, natural gas, and heating oil. The full report also includes expert commentary on why costs vary by state and how consumers can cut their costs.