US Average Electricity Costs by State
In terms of energy use per capita, the United States is the largest electricity consumer in the world. Energy usage varies considerably depending on which state you live in and how much energy you use, so let’s look at the averages and electricity costs in each state.
How much electricity does the average person use per month?
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that the average US citizen uses an average of around 909 kWh of energy per month, which equates to around 10,909 kWh per year. This energy is mostly used to heat and cool the home, heat water, run appliances, and turn on lights.
How is an average electricity bill calculated?
The cost of electricity varies greatly depending on what state you live in and even what zip code you live in. If you live in a deregulated state, you will find that you can shop around for the best possible energy price and even choose what percentage of energy supplied to your home is generated from renewable resources.
Although other charges may be applied by your state or municipality, the average electricity bill can typically be calculated using this equation:
- Average kWh Used x Average Cents per kWh ÷ 100 = Average Electric Bill
kWh, or kilowatt-hour, is the measure of how much electricity is used per hour by any consumer of energy, such as a divide or home.
How much electricity does an American home use?
According to the EIA, in 2019, the average American home used 10,649 kWh annually or about 877 kWh per month. This is based on the fact that Louisiana consumed 14,787 kWh per customer annually (one of the states that consumes the most power), and Hawaii consumed 6,296 kWh per customer annually (and the state that consumes the least). This is a good indication of how much electricity consumption differs by state.
How much electricity will cost per month depends on factors such as your home's size, how old your home is, how energy efficient it is, and how many people you have living in your household.
A larger home means more space that needs to be heated, cooled, lit, etc. Therefore, your electricity bill is likely to be higher.
If you live in a newer home, it is likely that it will be more efficiently insulated and free of draughts due to modern windows and doors and insulation methods. This will keep heat or cool air in your home so that less energy is needed throughout the day to maintain a comfortable temperature. Newer homes also tend to be fitted with more energy-efficient appliances so that you can save more on your electricity bills.
Here is an idea of how much your electricity bill is likely to cost you on average per month, depending on the size of your home:
- Studio Apartment (1 resident) - $55/month
- One Bedroom (1 resident) - $60/month
- One Bedroom (2 residents) - $66/month
- Two Bedroom (2 residents) - $76/month
- Three Bedroom (2 residents) - $87/month
- Three Bedroom (3 residents) - $93/month
How much electricity is used for lighting in the United States?
The US Energy Information Administration estimated that, in 2019, the United States used a total of around 216 billion kWh of electricity for lighting, with residential electricity consumption of 75 billion kWh and commercial electricity consumption of 141 billion kWh (including street and highway lighting). This amounts to approximately 8% of electricity use within these sectors and approximately 5% of total electricity use across the US.
How much electricity is used for cooling in the United States?
In their Annual Energy Outlook 2020 report, the EIA estimated that, in 2019, the United States used a total of around 380 billion kWh of electricity for cooling, with residential electricity consumption of 226 billion kWh and commercial electricity consumption of 154 billion kWh. This equates to around 10% of total electricity use across the US.
Of course, the amount of electricity consumed for cooling is affected largely by the weather and climate of an area, so this figure fluctuates annually, depending on the weather.
How much electricity comes from renewable energy sources?
According to the EIA, renewable energy sources produced about 17% of electricity in the United States in 2019, primarily hydropower and wind power.
In the Global Energy Review 2020, the International Energy Agency states that, as of the first half of 2020, renewable energy sources were responsible for almost 28% of electricity generation worldwide, an increase of about 2% since 2019.
What is the average monthly electric bill by state?
The US average electricity cost varies by state, as each state will set a different amount that needs to be paid per kWh either by a distribution company or an electricity provider. If you live in a state with a deregulated electricity market (marked below with a star), you should be able to choose an electricity provider and plan that is right for you.
Below you will find each US state listed with the average amount of electricity used per month, in kWh, and the average cost of an electric bill in that state per month.
|State||Avg. monthly kWh usage||Avg. monthly electric bill|
|District of Columbia||787 kWh||$101.01|
|New Hampshire*||621 kWh||$122.27|
|New Jersey*||690 kWh||$106.28|
|New Mexico||639 kWh||$81.08|
|New York*||604 kWh||$111.93|
|North Carolina||1,129 kWh||$125.17|
|North Dakota||1,118 kWh||$114.60|
|Rhode Island*||589 kWh||$121.05|
|South Carolina||1,159 kWh||$144.20|
|South Dakota||1,045 kWh||$121.16|
|West Virginia||1,133 kWh||$126.70|
From this table, you can see that even though Louisiana has the highest energy usage of all the states at 1,282 kWh per month, the price per month is fairly mid-range. However, Hawaii has the lowest energy usage of all the states at only 518 kWh per month, but the highest electricity price at nearly $170 per month.
This shows just how variable the price per kWh is and, therefore, how the cost of your electric bill will be largely determined by the electricity distributor in your state.
How to lower your monthly bill
If you are lucky enough to live in a state with a deregulated energy market, you can quickly lower your monthly electric bill by comparing all the providers that are available to you at the lowest price. If, however, you live in a regulated state, there are still many ways in which you can work to lower your monthly electricity bill as well as make positive environmental changes.
Here are some tips to help you save more energy:
Turn off electronics: Actively turning off appliances and other electronics, instead of leaving them on standby, can save you a significant amount of money in the long term. Consider investing in timer plugs that will automatically turn off your electronics at times which are convenient for you.
Install a smart thermostat: This technology makes the heating and cooling of your home more efficient, maintaining the temperature of rooms you are actually using and not wasting energy on others. They also enable you to control your home's temperature right from your smartphone so you can turn your heating down when you are out of the house and turn it up when you are on your way home.
Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models: If any of your appliances are on the way out, it is worth investing in a replacement with a high energy-efficiency rating. Yes, these models are more expensive, but they use less energy during operation and will therefore help to lower your monthly electric bill. Don’t forget about the light bulbs!
Improve draught-exclusion measures in your home: A substantial amount of hot or cold air can be lost through even the smallest of gaps in your home. This is why it is beneficial to make sure windows and doors are properly sealed, particularly exterior doors and windows. Eliminating draughts and preventing air from escaping will ensure that your heating or cooling system doesn’t have to work for longer than it truly should.
The price of electricity depends on where you live, your home's size, the number of occupants, and your electricity distributor and provider. If you would like to use only energy from clean sources, such as wind power and solar power, then it’s time to make the switch to renewable energy. We’ve helped thousands of customers source their electricity from clean sources, and we can do the same for you, too! To find out more about our unlimited clean energy membership, click here.