Summer brings with it two certainties: rising temperatures and rising electric bills.
In 2020, renters and homeowners spent more time in their residences amid pandemic closures and companies shifting to work-from-home models. Homes and apartments that were previously dormant during work hours were suddenly filled with people working and kids attending online school. Amid this new reality, heat waves blanketed the country, causing a spike in energy use as Americans tried to keep their homes cool.
These heat waves weren’t an aberration, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. In fact, the number of deadly heat waves that swept the nation tripled from the 1960s to the 2010s, and they’re expected to continue.
For the average electricity customer, that means that rates are likely to rise as demand rises, and bills are bound to go up. According to the Census Bureau, electricity already accounts for nearly 60% of residential utility bills and more than 12% of total housing costs for owner-occupied households. And if the past two decades are any indication—rates have increased 70%—the future looks to be an expensive one.
While the data is clear that electricity prices are on the rise, some states are feeling the increase far more than others. Hawaiians paid the highest rates at an average with Louisiana being one of the lowest. Knowing a state’s energy prices is just part of understanding the economics of electricity for its residents. A state with expensive electricity rates doesn’t necessarily have the highest median electricity bills, which are a function of both energy prices and consumption. For example, Hawaii’s electricity costs more than any other state, but the median electric bill of $140 ranks 26th.
To determine the states with the largest electric bills, researchers at Commodity.com analyzed Census Bureau data and calculated the median monthly electricity costs for owner-occupied, non-farm households. The analysis found that at a median $150 per month, electricity costs in Virginia account for 62.5% of total utility costs and 11.5% of total housing costs. Out of all states, Virginia has the 13th highest electric bills. %
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Commodity.com’s website: https://commodity.com/blog/cities-electric-bills/