Infrastructure

This American City Has the Highest Utility Bills

Home energy costs have been rising in much of America. Home heating oil prices rose over 50% in October, compared to the same month last year. This is due almost entirely to the sharp rise in crude oil prices, which has a 52-week low of just over $44 a barrel and, very recently, a 52-week high of just over $85. Natural gas prices also surged this year, though they have dropped some recently. Electricity prices have posted similar increases. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that Pennsylvania electricity prices rose as much as 50% in December.

Among the by-products of increases in utility prices, and along with the gasoline prices that have made it much more expensive to drive, is that they will erode consumer spending as they take a larger and larger part of household income. This comes just as America enters the most active retail shopping period of the year.

Doxo’s just-released “Utilities Market Size and Household Spending Report for 2021 study looked at $380 billion spent on utilities annually. The bill-paying service provider pointed out that 78% of U.S. households have a utility bill, and the average utility bill among Americans who have one is $319 a month, or $3,792 a year.

The report broke out spending by state and major metropolitan areas. It noted:

A statistical analysis of actual household payments toward utility bills was used to size the market. It draws on anonymized data from doxo’s 6 million customers who have paid bills across more than 97% of U.S. zip codes.

The city where people have the highest utility bills is Milwaukee, at $5,278 a year, or 39% above the national average. Geographically, there is no pattern among the five cities with the highest utility bills:

  • Milwaukee ($5,278 a year)
  • Birmingham ($4,758 a year)
  • Pittsburgh ($4,555 a year)
  • Hartford ($4,547 a year)
  • San Francisco ($4,365 a year)

Click here to see which is the most expensive city in each state.