Where are residential electricity bills increasing the most in the U.S.?

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By Arthur Murray
For business

(October 12, 2020)

Higher bills arrived for some families.

Average residential electricity prices in the U.S. fell slightly in the October Choose Energy Rate Report, but that drop doesn’t mean prices fell everywhere. The October average of 13.26 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) represented a decrease of 0.2 percent from September.

The Rate Report is based on the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The October report reflects July pricing.

The biggest percentage rate increase came in Iowa, where rates jumped 9.2 percent month over month to 14.74 cents/kWh. That was nearly twice the percentage increase in No. 2 New Jersey. Following are the states where rates increased by the largest percentage.

Top 10 states where electricity rates increased

State July June % change
Delaware 11.90 13.22 -10.0
Illinois 11.99 12.72 -5.7
Maryland 12.24 12.84 -4.7
Nevada 10.72 11.19 -4.2
New Hampshire 18.33 19.00 -3.5
Vermont 19.01 19.67 -3.4
Wisconsin 14.53 15.00 -3.1
Indiana 12.23 12.61 -3.0
Mississippi 10.90 11.21 -2.8
Kentucky 10.55 10.85 -2.8

What do those numbers mean for my bills?

Low rates don’t always correspond to low bills. That’s because of the other factor involved in how much consumers pay for electricity – their usage. For example, Louisiana residents paid the lowest rate in the October report – 9.34 cents/kWh, but their bills were the 25th highest in the U.S. – $115.07. That’s because their usage is the nation’s highest.

So which state had the highest increase in bills for the rates shown in the October report? That again would be Iowa, where average bills increased $10.75 over the month before. Following are the states where average bills increased by the largest amount.

Top 10 states where average bills increased the most

State Avg July Bill Avg. June Bill Difference
Iowa 127.80 117.05 $10.75
New Jersey 110.06 105.09 $4.97
Idaho 102.59 99.65 $2.94
Nebraska 117.17 114.66 $2.51
New Mexico 88.51 86.27 $2.24
Connecticut 151.92 149.72 $2.20
Florida 129.75 127.75 $1.99
Massachusetts 122.38 120.60 $1.78
California 106.99 105.28 $1.70
South Dakota 128.62 127.16 $1.46

Rates didn't increase everywhere

While the national average fell only slightly in the October report, some states recorded much larger percentage decreases. Rates in Delaware fell 10 percent from the previous month to 11.90 cents/kWh. Overall, the decreased in 32 states.

Following are the states where rates decreased by the largest percentage:

Top 10 states where rates decreased the most

State Jul-20 Jun-20 % change
Iowa 14.74 13.50 9.2
New Jersey 16.60 15.85 4.7
Idaho 10.81 10.50 3.0
New Mexico 13.83 13.48 2.6
Nebraska 11.67 11.42 2.2
Utah 11.09 10.91 1.6
California 20.11 19.79 1.6
Florida 11.71 11.53 1.6
Massachusetts 21.32 21.01 1.5
Connecticut 22.05 21.73 1.5

Bills also didn’t increase in every state. The largest monthly decrease came in Delaware, where residents on average pocketed an extra $12.54.  More common were the savings in Texas, where residents on average spent $1.94 cents less in July.

Following are the states where average bills decreased by the largest amount.

Top 10 states where bills decreased the most

State Avg July Bill Avg. June Bill Difference
Delaware 113.05 125.59 -$12.54
Maryland 119.34 125.19 -$5.85
Illinois 85.01 90.18 -$5.18
Nevada 95.41 99.59 -$4.18
New Hampshire 109.80 113.81 -$4.01
Mississippi 131.45 135.19 -$3.74
Indiana 117.41 121.06 -$3.65
Vermont 104.36 107.99 -$3.62
Kentucky 117.32 120.65 -$3.34
Wisconsin 97.93 101.10 -$3.17

Arthur Murray directs content strategy for ChooseEnergy.com, taking advantage of more than 20 years of newspaper and magazine experience. His articles have appeared on Zillow.com, Business.com, Nasdaq.com, and USNews.com, among others. You may reach him at amurray@chooseenergy.com.