Which states have the best business electricity rates?

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By Arthur Murray

Companies in Oklahoma get the best deal on electricity among states in the U.S., according to the April Choose Energy® Rate Report and Business Index, both based on the latest information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Commercial rates in the state were 7.10 cents per kilowatt hour – the nation’s lowest – and industrial rates were 4.85 cents/kWh – the country’s second lowest.

That meant businesses paid rates that are, on average, 70.8 percent of the U.S. average. Contrast that with Hawaii, where the combined rates are 340.1 percent higher than the national mean.

Following are the states where businesses paid the lowest rates for business energy, their combined commercial and industrial rates, and the percentage of the U.S. combined average – 16.87 cents/kWh:

State Combined % of U.S. average
Oklahoma 11.95 70.8
Nevada 12.36 73.3
Idaho 13 77.1
Texas 13.13 77.8
Utah 13.31 78.9
Washington 13.34 79.1
Louisiana 13.46 79.8
Missouri 13.96 82.8
West Virginia 14.18 84.1
Arkansas 14.4 85.4

Hawaii, as mentioned earlier, had the most expensive combined rate – 57.37 cents/kWh, while Alaska came in second at 36.19 cents/kWh. Following are the 10 continental states with the highest rates for businesses, their combined commercial and industrial rates, and the percentage of the U.S. combined average:

State Combined % of U.S. average
Rhode Island 35.51 210.5
Connecticutt 31.95 189.4
Massachusetts 31.76 188.3
New Hampshire 30.67 181.8
California 26.33 156.1
Vermont 26.29 155.8
Maine 22.01 130.5
New Jersey 21.99 130.3
Maryland 18.67 110.7
New York 18.66 110.6

How have business electricity rates changed since last year?

Overall, business electricity rates have declined 3.3 percent from the same month of 2018. The largest decline was in Georgia, where the combined rate fell 14.8 percent.

Following are the 10 states where rates fell the most:

State Combined % change from 2018
Georgia 14.88 -14.8
South Carolina 15.45 -14.5
Kansas 15.48 -11.7
New York 18.66 -10.2
Illinois 15.43 -10.1
West Virginia 14.18 -9.0
Pennsylvania 15.27 -8.9
Oklahoma 11.95 -8.3
Maryland 18.67 -7.8
Nevada 12.36 -7.2

But of course, rates didn’t fall everywhere. Rates increased the most year-over-year in Hawaii. Following are the next 10 states where business electricity rates went up the most:

State Combined % change from 2018
Rhode Island 35.51 5.3
Mississippi 17.02 5.0
New Hampshire 30.67 4.2
Tennessee 16.73 4.2
Delaware 18.01 3.8
Montana 15.33 2.7
Iowa 15.18 2.6
Michigan 18.45 2.4
Indiana 17.72 2.4
Kentucky 15.02 2.2

How do states with lower business energy rates generate most of their electricity?

Oklahoma, which reported the best business energy prices, gets the largest percentage of its electricity from natural gas. The Sooner State also produced the fourth-most natural gas during the month.

Following are the 20 states with the lowest rates for electricity, the largest source of that power, and the percentage generated by that source:

State Primary source % of state's electricity
Oklahoma natural gas 46.5
Nevada nuclear 62.6
Idaho hydroelectric 53.4
Texas natural gas 49.4
Utah coal 69.6
Washington hydroelectric 63.2
Louisiana natural gas 70.6
Missouri coal 76.5
West Virginia coal 93.8
Arkansas coal 47.1
North Carolina nuclear 34.8
Oregon hydroelectric 50.3
New Mexico coal 47.6
Georgia natural gas 41.3
Virginia natural gas 57.4
Kentucky coal 76.3
Iowa coal 41.7
Pennsylvania natural gas and nuclear 36.2
Montana coal 55.7
Illinois nuclear 51.0

Of the 20, coal was the leading factor in generation for eight states, while natural gas was the top source for electricity in five states in addition to Oklahoma.

What were the electricity sources in the state’s with higher rates? Hawaii got 70 percent of its electricity from petroleum. The only other state that gets more than 10 percent of its power from petroleum is Alaska.

Following are the 10 states with the lowest rates for electricity, the largest source of that power, and the percentage generated by that source:

State Primary source % of state's electricity
Hawaii petroleum 70.0
Alaska natural gas 55.2
Rhode Island natural gas 89.9
Connecticutt natural gas 48.4
Massachusetts natural gas 65.7
New Hampshire nuclear 57.6
California natural gas 52.3
Vermont hydroelectric 61.7
Maine hydroelectric 35.2
New Jersey natural gas 50.3

For complete commercial rates by state, see the Choose Energy® Electricity Rates by State page. For more on business rates, see the Choose Energy® Business Energy Index. And for more information on various sources of electricity in each state, see the Choose Energy® Data Center.

Arthur directs ChooseEnergy.com’s newsroom, taking advantage of nearly 30 years of newspaper and magazine experience. A native of Virginia, Arthur attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism.