Even if take advantage of energy deregulation and shop around for electricity, the state you live in has a big impact on how much your energy bills add up to. Additionally, conserving energy will only go so far to lower your electric bill if you live in a state like Hawaii or New York, both in the top five states with the highest electricity rates.
Ultimately, every state is different and every state has their own laws governing energy pricing and purchase options. The state you live in plays a big role in how much you pay for electricity.
While these average numbers are from 2014 and are simply averages, they still paint a pretty clear picture on which states tend to pay the most, and the least for their electricity. As always, customers in deregulated states and areas can shop around for electric plans and find today’s rates here.
1. Hawaii – 33.53 cents per kWh
Year in and year out Hawaii has the most expensive energy rates in the country. However, with its mild, tropical, Hawaii is consistently in the top five lowest states for overall energy consumption. The state is also one of eight states with geothermal capacity. While costly petroleum is still the main source of electricity in Hawaii, the state is starting to rely more on this renewable resource and on solar. It should come as no surprise that residents in Hawaii, despite their low energy consumption rates still spend the most of any other state on their monthly bills.
2. Alaska – 17.58 cents per kWh
Like Hawaii, most of Alaska?s electricity is generated from petroleum liquids. It is also one of the only states that has harnessed the power of geothermal energy sources to create renewable energy. The fees are still costly and most Alaskans still rely primarily on diesel powered electric generators for their home power source.
3. Connecticut – 16.98 cents per kWh
Electricity in Connecticut is the most expensive in the northeast. Nearly half of the state?s electricity in 2014 came from the Millstone nuclear. The state has a goal of obtaining 23% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020, but as of 2014 only 3.5% of their electricity was from renewable sources.
4. New York – 16.25 cents per kWh
In 2014, New York produced more hydroelectric power than any other state east of the Rocky Mountains. This was thanks to the 2,535 megawatt Robert Moses Niagra hydroelectric power plant within the state. The state also has plans to install 3,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic facilities by 2023. Individuals living in the state may pay a great deal for electricity, but only 20% of residents have central air conditioning systems in their homes.
5. Rhode Island – 15.57 cents per kWh
Rhode Island is one of two states in the country that does not have coal-fired electricity generation, this also makes Rhode Island the second lowest carbon dioxide emitter in the country. Approximately 95% of the state?s electricity generation in 2014 came from natural gas. The state is in the process of creating the first off-shore wind generation facility in the country, which is expected to open in 2016.
6. Massachusetts – 15.34 cents per kWh
The state of Massachusetts currently generates approximately 59% of its electricity from natural gas, and less than 10% from coal; only about 9.1% of this electricity comes from renewable resources. A majority of residents in the state, approximately 31%, use fuel oil as their primary heating fuel; that is more than five times the national average.
7. New Hampshire – 15.25 cents per kWh
Approximately 22% of New Hampshire?s electricity comes from natural gas, while almost 52% comes from Seabrook; the largest nuclear power reactor in New England. The state currently has a plan to get 24.8% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
8. California – 15.23 cents per kWh
With its state-wide energy conservation programs and mild climate, California has the second lowest per capita energy consumption rates in the country, with the average home in the state using less than the national average of 6.9 megawatts per year. The state also produces more geothermal energy than any other state and is in the top five producers of hydroelectric generation and energy from other renewable resources.
9. Vermont – 14.58 cents per kWh
After the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant shut down in 2014, Vermont lost the source of more than 70% of its electricity. All new electricity generating capacity added the grid in 2014, was solar powered, and the state already has 27% of its electricity produced by renewable energy.
10. New Jersey – 14.01 cents per kWh
New Jersey may have the tenth most expensive electricity rates in the country, but the state is attempting to improve their current renewable energy efforts. Their Renewable Portfolio Standard will require 25% of net electricity sales to come from renewable resources by 2021. The state is also home to the Gloucester Marine Terminal Complex, which has the largest collection of photovoltaic solar rooftop cells in the country.
11. Maine – 12.66 cents per kWh
Maine actually has the lowest average electricity retail prices in all of New England. As of 2014, 3/5 of the state?s electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, with the majority of energy coming from biomass.
12. District of Columbia – 12.17 cents per kWh
However, despite fairly high kWh rates, residents of the District of Columbia has the lowest average monthly electricity bill in the country, and the state uses less total energy than almost every other state in the country. The District of Columbia is also the leading U.S. city when it comes to Energy Star certified buildings.
13. Maryland – 12.66 cents per kWh
Approximately 98% of the electricity generation in Maryland comes from independent power producers. The state still has some work to do when it comes to green energy as only 7 percent of the state?s electricity comes from renewable resources.
14. Delaware – 11.33 cents per kWh
Approximately 82% of electricity in Delaware is generated from natural gas. Approximately 11% of the state?s energy comes from coal. There are currently plans in place for a wind farm off of the coast of Delaware near Rehoboth Beach that the state plans to use to reach their goal of generating 25% of their power from renewable resources.
15. Michigan – 11.10 cents per kWh
Michigan uses coal for over half of its net electricity generation. While electricity prices are fairly high when it comes to the rest of the country, most residents of Michigan spend 55% of their bill on heating costs. This is more than the national average of just 41%.
16. Florida – 10.86 cents per kWh
Thanks to Florida?s hot and humid climate, the state ranked second in the country in total retail electricity sales, after Texas. The average home in Florida spends $1900 per year in electricity, which is 40% higher than the national average. Approximately 61% of this electricity generated in the state comes from natural gas.
17. Wisconsin – 10.73 cents per kWh
Approximately 62% of the energy generated in Wisconsin comes from coal, while less than 7% comes from renewable resources. Wisconsin households use approximately 15% more Btu of energy per home than the national average, thanks in large part to the heating costs needed to keep homes warm during the state?s cold winter months.
18. Pennsylvania – 10.29 cents per kWh
Pennsylvania is the first state on the list to have their average electricity costs lower than the national average of 10.45 cents per kWh. The state?s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards require that by 2012, 18% of the state?s electricity comes from renewable resources. Currently, renewable energy constitutes just 4% of state?s electricity.
19. Arizona – 10.24 cents per kWh
Approximately 25% of the electricity consumed in Arizona homes goes to air conditioning, thanks to the hot, dry climate the state is known for. This is more than four times the national average. The state does put its warm, sunny climate to use, as Arizona is second in the country when it comes to solar electricity generation.
20. Colorado – 10.04 cents per kWh
In Colorado, investor-owned electric utilities are required to provide 30% of their generation from renewable energy. These consumers also tend to pay more on household energy than most of the nation. The average homeowners pays around $1,551 per year in energy, 23% less than the national average, although it is due mostly to that state?s dramatically low natural gas prices.
21. Kansas – 10.04 cents per kWh
In Kansas, electric utilities provide 82% of the state?s total electricity generation. The flat planes of Kansas have come in handy when it comes to developing wind farms, not 19% of the electricity generation in the state comes from wind energy.
22. Georgia – 9.94 cents per kWh
Georgia is currently rated 10th in the country when it comes to total net electricity generation, and 8th when it comes to electricity sales. Approximately 30% of the average household?s energy consumption is used for space heating, which is 11% lower than the national average. Approximately 10% of that energy is used for air conditioning, which is higher than the national average of 4%.
23. Nevada – 9.76 cents per kWh
Nevada hardly produces any energy within the state boundaries and more than 90% of their energy comes from outside of the state. As of 2013, approximately 18% of the electricity used in the state came from renewable resources.
24. New Mexico – 9.69 cents per kWh
Even though they don?t have the lowest energy rates in the country, state of New Mexico is tied with Illinois for having the second cheapest average electricity bills of any state in the entire country. The average household in New Mexico spends around $87 per month on electricity. The state also uses its warm climate to its advantage and is one of the country?s top five produces of solar energy.
25. Ohio – 9.97 cents per kWh
The state of Ohio is known for its crude oil, but coal makes up approximately 67% of the state?s electricity generation. The Buckeye State also gets approximately 18% of their electricity from natural gas.
26. Mississippi – 9.66 cents per kWh
The state of Mississippi is known for its ethanol production. A single ethanol plant in the state can produce as much as 54 million gallons of biofuel per year. Only about 2.7% of the state?s electricity generation comes from renewable energy, with almost all of this energy coming from wood waste.
27. Minnesota – 9.63 cents per kWh
Even though Minnesota is known for its cold weather, it is only 25th in the nation in terms of average energy use. Approximately 46% of the electricity in Minnesota comes from coal, but it also ranks seventh in the nation when it comes to wind energy generation, with the state increasing their total wind energy production year after year.
28. South Carolina – 9.32 cents per kWh
South Carolina also has the second highest average monthly electricity bills in the country, after Hawaii and is ranked eighth in per capital retail electricity sales, thanks to its hot summer months. South Carolina currently gets 5% of its electricity from renewable resources, with most of that electricity coming from hydroelectric power.
29. Tennessee – 9.50 cents per kWh
Tennessee is among one of the top producers of hydroelectric power in the United States, creating more than 9.6 million megawatt hours of electricity from hydropower in 2014 alone. Households in Tennessee also consume approximately 33% more electricity than the average home in the United States.
30. North Carolina – 9.32 cents per kWh
North Carolina currently ranked sixth in the entire country when it comes to nuclear power generation, as the state produces approximately 5.1% of the total amount of nuclear energy in the country. However, around 1/3 of the state?s electricity actually comes from coal shipped in from nearby states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.
31. Alabama – 9.30 cents per kWh
Even though Alabama has relatively low rates, the state racks up some of the most expensive electricity bills in the country. The Alabama heat has most residents paying an average of $160 per month on electricity. The state is also one of the country?s top ten producers of renewable energy, with 75% of their renewable energy coming from hydroelectric power.
32. Virginia – 9.25 cents per kWh
Although their rates are relatively low, the average Virginia household spends more money per year on energy than the average American home. The average home in the state consumes around 14 megawatts per year and spends approximately $1,584 on electricity according to the EIA.
33. South Dakota – 9.06 cents per kWh
The state of South Dakota is known for its ethanol production, but in 2013 the state was the number one producer of hydroelectric power in the United States. In fact, wind and hydroelectric power provides South Dakota with 65% of their total electric generation.
34. Missouri – 9.06 cents per kWh
Approximately 90% of the homes in Missouri use central air conditioning systems, which is a major contributor to the high overall energy bill average of homes in this state. This is a characteristic that is more common in the south than in the Midwest.
35. Texas – 8.99 cents per kWh
Texas is one of the country?s leaders in wind power generation, with a generation capacity of more than 12,000 megawatts. In the year 2013 alone, the state generated nearly 36 million megawatt hours of wind energy. Thanks to deregulation, Texas electricity rates are relatively low, but the average annual electricity cost in the state is still around $1801 thanks to the Lone Star State?s hot climate, this is one of the highest annual costs in the country.
36. Indiana – 8.97 cents per kWh
Approximately 85% of the electricity generated in Indianan comes from coal, but the state is also a major producer of ethanol and has the capacity of producing more than 1.2 billion gallons per year. The state is also making strides with renewable energy resources, with the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in the US residing at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.
37. Illinois – 8.87 cents per kWh
Households in Illinois average using 129 million Btus of site energy per home, which is more than 44% higher than the US average. However, Illinois homes only spend around 2% more than the national average for their energy plans.
38. Nebraska – 8.80 cents per kWh
Nebraska produces more corn-based ethanol than any other state, besides Iowa, in the US. However, studies on the landscape of this state have found that more than 92% of Nebraska is actually suitable for wind-powered electricity generation, thanks to its flat, even terrain.
39. Oregon – 8.78 cents per kWh
Oregon is the nation?s second biggest producer of hydroelectric power. In fact, approximately 70% of the state?s total electricity generation comes from hydroelectric power plants and other renewable resources. This has helped keep the state?s total electric costs below the national average.
40. Montana – 8.62 cents per kWh
Montana has a Renewable Energy Resource Standard that requires their public utilities to obtain 15% of their sales from renewable energy resources. These are not the only strides that state is making, more than 6% of the state?s electric generation comes from wind power and the numbers are continuing to climb.
41. North Dakota – 8.49 cents per kWh
North Dakota?s total energy consumption is one of the lowest in the nation, however the amount used per capita is among the highest in the nation thanks to the state?s cold winters. Of the power used in North Dakota, approximately 16% comes from wind energy.
42. Utah – 8.41 cents per kWh
Utah is currently undergoing an effort to bring more cost-effective renewable energy resources to their state. The goal is to have 20% of their retail energy sales comes from these sources by 2025. Currently less than 4% of the state?s electricity comes from these green sources.
43. Iowa – 8.24 cents per kWh
Iowa accounts for 28% of the country?s ethanol production, but it also ranks third in the country in terms of net electricity from non-hydroelectric renewable resources. Approximately 27% of the state?s electricity generation comes from wind power.
44. Kentucky – 8.13 cents per kWh
Approximately 92% of Kentucky?s net electricity generation comes from coal. The state also has two of the 100 largest U.S. power plants within its state lines. Energy rates for the state are repeatedly among the lowest in the country, as are the state?s total average energy bills.
45. Louisiana – 8.11 cents per kWh
While Louisiana is known by many for its oil refineries, this state also has some of the highest total energy consumption per capita in the country. This is thanks, in most part, to the large industrial sector. Fortunately, the state also frequently has among the 10 lowest prices for energy in the country.
46. Oklahoma – 8.10 cents per kWh
Oklahoma is one of the country?s top natural gas producers, accounting for 8.4% of the country?s natural gas production in 2013. The state is also a big player in the wind power industry. The state was ranked fourth in total electricity generation from wind, providing nearly 15% of Oklahoma?s total power.
47. Idaho – 7.95 cents per kWh
Idaho not only has some of the lowest energy rates in the country, but they also have access to more renewable energy resources than most other states as well, including geothermal resources. In 2013, approximately 78% of the state?s net electricity generation came from renewable resources, with 58% of this coming from hydroelectric power.
48. Arkansas – 7.85 cents per kWh
Approximately 21% of all electricity in Arkansas actually comes from independent power producers. The state also generates over half of their energy from coal. As for their non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources; all of it came from biomass.
49. Wyoming – 7.78 cents per kWh
Wyoming, which is known for its coal mines, produces around 40% of all of the coal in the United States. This I why it should come as no surprise that almost 90% of the state?s electricity generation comes from coal. The other 10% comes from renewable energy, primarily wind power.
50. West Virginia – 7.65 cents per kWh
The state of West Virginia produces around 5% of the nation?s total energy. In fact, it typically generates more electricity than it consumes. The state mostly focuses on coal-fired electric power plants, with only 3.5% of their electricity coming from renewable resources.
51. Washington – 7.15 cents per kWh
Washington not only has the lowest average energy prices in the country, but it is also one of the country?s leading producers of hydroelectric sources, counting for 29% of the nation?s hydroelectric generation. The state has the largest hydroelectric power producer in the United States; the Gran Coulee Dam, which has a total generating capacity of 6,809 megawatts of power.
(51 listed due to District of Columbia)