Is your electric bill normal, or way over the top? The average electric bill in America was $121.01 per month in 2021. The regional costs range from $104.60 per month to $134.62 per month on average on the mainland. Alaska and Hawaii, however, jump all the way to $160.34 per month on average.
We’ll discuss specifics on how much the average electric bill costs in each state, as well as practical, affordable ways you can reduce electricity costs in your home.
In This Article:
- Average Costs
- Cost by Location
- Cost by Year
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- How to Save on Your Electric Bill
Average Electric Bill Costs Per Month in 2023
|National Average Cost||$121.01|
|Typical Price Range||$104.60 to $134.62|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$80.87|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$177.78|
In 2021, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,632 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, an average of about 886 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual electricity consumption at 14,302 kWh per residential customer per year, and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,369 kWh per residential customer per year.
Cost of Average Electric Bill by Location
In 2021, the average monthly electric bill in the U.S. was $121.01. Below is the data broken down by region and state, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA):
The lowest rate comes in the region of the Mountain states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Utah has the lowest rate among states at $80.87 per month (something it reaches by burning coal to the point where it is near the bottom, 45th, in “carbon dioxide emissions from electrical generation per gigawatt hour,” according to the nonprofit Citizen Utility Board).
The highest rate for a region is the East South Central region of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Alabama has the second-highest monthly average at $147.75. Connecticut has the highest on the mainland, at $156.21.
Hawaii has the highest rate of all, at $177.78 per month. This is driven by its unique location, causing homes to use three to four times the energy of the other states, according to the Economic Research Organization of the University of Hawaii.
Cost of Electricity by Year
The annual cost for electricity in a home has gone up from 11.88 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2012 to 13.66 cents per kWh in 2021, according to the EIA.
Other Factors That Affect the Cost of Your Electric Bill
- Number of People In the House: The more people living in the house, the more electricity you will use.
- Weather: Electricity rates are higher in the summer, when energy consumption increases for air conditioning. Demand goes up in winter as people turn up the heat to stay warm.
- Storm damage: If power lines are downed, the rates can rise.
- Fuel costs: The cost of natural gas is the key. The average annual cost over the last 25 years has ranged from $2.03 to $8.86 per million btu, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Delivery charges: These are the fees charged to you by the utility company to deliver power to you. To keep them down, be sure your meter isn’t faulty, and look into spreading the load of drawing electricity (perhaps charging things overnight).
- Power plant issues: They have to be kept running.
- Tax Incentives Are Available: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides federal tax credits and deductions for homeowners that switch to more efficient energy usage, including electric energy. The program is available through 2032, providing up to $3,200 annually.
The Internal Revenue Service offers incentives for homeowners who make improvements in energy efficiency, including the use of clean energy.
Insulation can be improved as needed, helping to lower your electric bill. Installing insulation costs $1 to $5.65 per square foot or $0.55 – $2 per board foot. Properly insulating your attic is a major factor in lowering overall home energy costs. Attic insulation costs range between $1,680 and $3,125 depending on your attic’s size and the materials you choose.
Plant Trees and Bushes
Landscaping improvements, such as planting trees and bushes, will add value to your home and can make better use of electricity:
- Properly placed deciduous trees reduce summer heat, saving you up to 25% on your energy costs. Planting a tree costs between $150 and $1,850, depending on the size and type of tree.
- Evergreens block winter chill.
- Shrubs and bushes reduce the load on air conditioners. Planting a bush can cost as little as $25. Bushes can help shade your outdoor AC unit and reduce the energy it needs to cool itself.
- Vines insulate a house so that there is less use of electrical divides.
Install Solar-Powered Lights Outdoors
Solar power is becoming ever more popular as an energy solution around the home. Solar-powered outdoor lighting costs range from $50 to $200 per light fixture. Since outdoor solar lights can be installed DIY, after your initial investment, the ongoing cost is $0.
How to Save on Your Electric Bill
It is common to think of a do-it-yourself project as something where you get your hands literally dirty. But there are DIY projects that can result in a lower electric bill, simply by applying yourself.
Step 1: Know Where the Energy Goes
According to the Annual Energy Outlook report:
Step 2: Know the Cost of Electrical Appliances
Silicon Valley Power, a utility provider in Santa Clara, California, researched the amount of electric energy and its cost for appliances in the home. Some of them:
|Appliance||Estimated Usage||Estimated Cost|
|Ceiling fan||0.025-0.075 kWh per hour||Less than $0.01 per hour|
|Small (under 40″) television||0.14 kWh/hour||Less than $0.01/hour|
|Whirlpool tub||1.8 kWh per hour||$0.23 per hour|
|Central air conditioner||3.0 kWh/hour||$0.39/hour|
|Heat pump heat strips||10 kWh per hour w/fan||$1.30 per hour|
|Furnace||10.5 kWh/hour w/fan||$1.37/hour|
|Washing machine||2.3 kWh/load||$0.30/load|
|Clothes dryer||2.5–4.0 kWh/load||$0.33-$0.52/load|
|Refrigerator (21 cu. ft.)||51 kWh per month||$6.63 per month|
|Water heater||380-500 kWh per month||$49.40-$65.00 per month|
Step 3: Reduce Energy Use
The U.S. Department of Energy has a special Office of Energy Saver, and it has found that there are areas that can be reviewed on a DIY basis:
- Air Leaks. Seal them. You can save 10% to 20% in energy usage. It can be a DIY project.
- Appliances. You might want to replace some of them with ones designed to use energy better. You might also save on phantom loads by simply unplugging toasters and the like when they aren’t being used.
- Heating and cooling gear. Be sure that your heating and cooling equipment is operating as it should. At the very least, you will have filters to replace.
- Insulation. Proper conduction, convection, and radiation certainly keep the electric bill down, but also provide comfort.
- Lighting. You can use some DIY time to swap light bulbs for ones that are more efficient. You might also install controls such as dimmers or timers. You might already have them, so you can make this DIY project one in which you learn how to use them.
- Ventilation. As people try to be more energy efficient, they are discovering the benefit of addressing ventilation issues.
Still yearning to learn more about electricity use and how to save costs on your electricity bill? Check out these articles on energy choice and how to make the switch to a different electricity provider:
- What is Energy Choice?
- 7 Reasons to Switch Electric Providers
- 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electricity Provider
- How to Shop for a New Electricity Provider
The average electricity usage in a home in America in 2021 was 10,632 kWh per year, an average of about 886 kWh per month, according to the EIA.
One person living is estimated to use an average of 909 kWh per month. There isn’t any energy savings for two people living together, so such a household is said to use 1,818 kWh per month.
The amounts of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels used to generate a kWh of electricity by U.S. electric utilities and independent power producers in 2021 were:
● Coal: 1.12 pounds
● Natural gas: 7.36 cubic feet
● Petroleum liquids: 0.08 gallons
● Petroleum coke: 0.82 pounds
A Call to Action
As a homeowner, you might not want to take your electric bill for granted. You can take action: Review the options presented in this article, and decide what is best for you. You may find ways to operate your home that are efficient both financially and operationally. If those changes include having work done that is beyond your DIY abilities, contact your local electric company for assistance.
But charge into it, the way you want electricity to charge into your appliances.
Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use
Lighting Choices to Save You Money
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