How many times did your parents tell you not to touch the thermostat? Now that you’re paying the bills, how often do you tell your kids the same thing?
Besides playing a rousing game of “the thermostat is lava,” you can save money on utilities by making small changes. Turn the lights off when you leave a room, for example, or dry your clothes outside.
Along with energy use habits, your utility costs depend largely on where you live. You’re about to find out where residents pay the most — and the least — for their electricity. How does your state stack up?
Below you will find the 10 most expensive, and then the 10 least expensive, states on the list.
Blasting the air conditioning can cost you a pretty penny, and Mississippians know that all too well.
While Mississippi residents only pay 11.98 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), they use around 1,146 kWh every month. The resulting $137.29 average monthly energy bill is the tenth most expensive in the U.S.
Louisiana’s average monthly electric bill stands at $138.84. The state only charges its residents 11.56 cents per kWh, but they consume a whopping 1,201 kWh monthly — which is understandable, given the sweltering Gulf Coast climate.
Sensing a Southern theme here? Florida’s year-round heat and humidity are behind its expensive electric bills.
Floridians pay 12.2 cents per kWh and use an average of 1,142 kWh each month, incurring $139.32 in monthly energy costs.
Electricity runs high out west, too, just like the desert temperatures. In Arizona, residents consume around 1,114 kWh monthly. At a rate of 12.63 cents per kWh, the average electric bill runs about $140.
5. South Carolina
Hopping back over to the Eastern Seaboard, we have South Carolina, with the sixth most expensive energy bills in the country.
South Carolinians pay 13.07 cents for every kWh they use. Their average usage is about 1,081 kWh, bringing their average monthly bill to $141.29.
Despite the state’s 2021 power grid failure, Texans do have regular access to electricity. In fact, they use 1,132 kWh every month and pay 12.55 cents for each one, totaling an average monthly spend of $142.07.
Surprised to see a northeastern state among the most expensive? Massachusetts uses more than double the energy it generates, contributing to a sky-high 24.3 cents-per-kWh rate. High usage at a high rate brings the average electric bill in this state to $146.29.
Even though Connecticut creates more electricity than it needs, residents here still pay about 20.85 cents per kWh. Their average monthly of 711 kWh means they spend around $148.24 in monthly energy costs.
9. Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s energy bills average just under $150 a month, making them the second most expensive in the country.
Interestingly, residential consumption is relatively low, with monthly usage typically around 594 kWh. Still, at a per-kWh price of 25.11 cents, Rhode Island’s utility costs can add up fast.
Hawaii tops the list of most expensive utility bills nationwide — rather ironic since residents here use the least amount of energy, averaging just 537 kWh each month.
The cost of bringing electricity to this Island State is to blame for the high rates. Electricity in Hawaii runs about 35.57 cents per kWh, with the average monthly bill at a staggering $191.01.
Minnesota’s relatively low per-kWh rate of 12.8 cents combined with low residential consumption (775 monthly kWh) makes it the tenth least expensive state on our list. In fact, Minnesota’s residents only pay around $99.20 in average monthly energy costs.
At 14.22 cents per kWh, Wisconsin’s energy rate is slightly higher than the U.S. average of 13.75 cents, yet its residents only pay $98.69 each month.
Summers are far cooler in the Badger State than they are in other parts of the country, which helps keep household energy costs low.
Hydropower generates 51% of Idaho’s electricity, and as the cheapest renewable energy source, it’s helping Idahoans save big.
The state charges its residents just 10.33 cents per kWh, and the average Idaho electric bill is a mere $98.65 per month.
The nation’s largest producer of hydroelectricity, Washington state’s reliance on renewable energy benefits both its environment and its residents.
Washingtonians pay one of the lowest average energy rates at 10.07 cents per kWh. Monthly usage averages 969 kWh, making the typical electric bill less than $98.
People in Illinois pay 13.53 cents per kWh for their electricity, but they use very little of it.
For this reason, the state’s average electric bill hovers around a comparatively inexpensive $97.55.
Colorado imports electricity from neighboring states, but its residents use less electricity than most others.
While Coloradans pay 13.51 cents per kWh, their low consumption helps keep the average monthly bill at around $96.
Out in Big Sky Country, electric bills are among the cheapest in the U.S.
Montana charges 11.14 cents per kWh, and residents pay an average of just $95.58 a month.
Wyoming uses less than half of the electricity it generates, exporting the rest to other states. That surplus may be why the state’s energy costs are so affordable, enabling residents to pay 10.63 cents per kWh for an average monthly bill of $92.37.
9. New Mexico
Given the warm weather and New Mexico’s per-kWh rate of 13.07 cents, you might think electricity in this southwestern state would be expensive. The average electric bill in New Mexico is only $87.57, however, partly due to the state’s low electricity consumption.
Imagine powering your entire home for the cost of a tank of gas. That’s the reality in Utah, the state with the least expensive electric bills in the entire country.
Here, residents pay a mere 10.16 cents per kWh, and the average electric bill is barely over $78.
Whether you live in a state with exorbitant energy bills or affordable ones, you probably wouldn’t mind paying less. Lifestyle changes are a good start for cutting costs, but eventually, you may want to invest in energy-efficient home improvements.
Build an energy-efficient home fund to save for more expensive improvements, like switching to energy-saving appliances. Every month, tuck money away into one of the best savings accounts. When you’re ready, start updating your home. As your energy bills drop, save what you would’ve spent and keep that energy-efficient snowball rolling for maximum long-term ROI.
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