Many Americans dread having to pay their electricity bills, especially in the summer. Keeping the lights on, phones charged, and air conditioning running is an expensive but necessary cost. In most states, people pay over $111 a month for electricity. In some states, the average bill is less than $80, but in others it is more than $140.
With most goods or services, prices tend to increase with demand, but that is not always the case with necessities — and today electricity is a necessity. Despite this, behavior seems to be affected by price, as people tend to use more electricity in state where electricity prices are lower and less electricity in states where prices are higher. Many of the places with the highest usage are states with the lowest costs of living.
But there are a number of other components that can alter one’s electric bill. Fuel type, power plants, transmission and distribution systems, weather, and regulations can all play a major role in influencing energy prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the price of electricity in cents per kilowatt hour by state, using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, to determine the states where you will pay the most in electric bills.
States can get their power from a variety of sources, like coal, hydroelectric dams, natural gas, nuclear, and petroleum. A decline in natural gas prices, for example, can then help lower electricity bills in states that use natural gas for a large share of their power source.
An electricity bill does not just include the price of power itself, but also accounts for the costs of building, maintaining, and operating power plants and the electricity grid. In some states, this is less expensive, leading to lower prices.
The electricity systems in America and their usage are heavily dependent on weather. Some states can use natural resources such as hydroelectric power and wind to power turbines. And in some states with extreme temperatures people often use increased amounts of energy to make their homes more comfortable, and this can drive up prices. Electricity is often regulated by state governments to ensure that people are not priced out of this basic necessity, especially in the states that get the hottest in the summer.