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 United States. 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.
Renewable energy sources continue to contribute more to overall electricity generation in the United States. Nearly 20% of electricity produced in the country comes from renewable energy sources. While wind power has accounted for the largest portion of the increased usage in recent years, hydropower remains the largest source out of all renewable forms of energy generation.
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 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 2017 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 electricity source to each state’s electricity generation are also from the EIA. Monthly usage and monthly bill figures are for 2016. The largest source of electricity is based on power generated in 2017.