Oklahoma businesses again get the best deal on electricity

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By Arthur Murray
For business

Oklahoma businesses again get the best deal on electricity

Once again, businesses in Oklahoma receive the best deal on electricity, according to the May Choose Energy Rate Report and Business Index, both compiled using the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Commercial electricity rates were 7.49 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), the lowest among the 50 stages. Industrial rates were 5.03 cents/kWh – the nation’s second lowest price. The combined rate of 12.52 cents/kWh is less than 73 percent of the combined national average – 17.20 cents/kWh.

Compare that with Hawaii, which ranked 50th in the Index. The combined commercial/industrial rate there is 56.70 cents/kWh – nearly 230 percent more than the U.S. average.

Below are the states where businesses paid the lowest combined rates for business energy, their combined commercial and industrial rates, and the percentage of the U.S. combined average – 17.20 cents/kWh:

State Combined % of US average
Oklahoma 12.52 72.8
Idaho 13.31 77.4
Texas 13.46 78.3
Nevada 13.62 79.2
Louisiana 13.92 80.9
Washington 13.92 80.9
Missouri 13.93 81.0
Utah 14.00 81.4
Arkansas 14.39 83.7
Georgia 14.70 85.5

While Hawaii is an extreme case, other states also pay much more than the national average. Below are the next 10 states where businesses paid the highest rates, their combined commercial and industrial rates, and the percentage of the U.S. combined average:

State Combined % of US average
Alaska 37.13 215.9
Rhode Island 37.11 215.8
Connecticutt 32.08 186.5
Massachusetts 31.93 185.6
New Hampshire 30.57 177.7
Vermont 27.04 157.2
California 26.92 156.5
New Jersey 22.32 129.8
Maine 19.97 116.1
Wisconsin 18.78 109.2

How have business electricity rates changed since last year?

Overall, business electricity rates declined 0.9 percent from the same month last year. They fell in 26 states. The largest decline came in Maine, where the combined rate fell 13.7 percent.

Below are the 10 states where rates fell the most:

State 2019 % change
Maine 19.97 -13.7
Texas 13.46 -10.1
West Virginia 15.46 -7.4
New York 18.74 -7.3
Maryland 18.53 -7.2
Missouri 13.93 -7.0
Pennsylvania 15.58 -6.1
Delaware 17.52 -5.0
Ohio 16.37 -5.0
Idaho 13.31 -4.7

Rates increased by the largest percentage in South Carolina, where they were up 29.4 percent compared with the same month last year.

Below are the 10 states where rates increased by the greatest percentage:

State 2019 % change
South Carolina 16.53 29.4
Montana 16.43 11.2
Rhode Island 37.11 8.2
Illinois 15.78 5.5
Iowa 16.21 5.5
Indiana 18.40 5.4
Hawaii 56.70 5.4
Oregon 15.51 5.1
Vermont 27.04 4.9
Colorado 17.38 4.5

How do states with lower business energy prices produce most of their power?

There’s no definitive answer among the top 20. The same number – eight – generated the largest percentage of their electricity from natural gas and coal. But four of the five states with the lowest combined rates, including No. 1 Oklahoma, generated the largest percentage of their electricity using natural gas.

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

State Largest electricity source % of state's elecricity
Oklahoma Natural gas 47.2
Idaho Hydroelectric 53.8
Texas Natural gas 45.5
Nevada Natural gas 59.5
Louisiana Natural gas 69.6
Washington Hydroelectric 65.9
Missouri Coal 76.1
Utah Coal 67.1
Arkansas Coal 34
Georgia Natural gas 48.6
Virginia Natural gas 61.5
North Carolina Natural gas 40.2
West Virginia Coal 92.8
Oregon Hydroelectric 51.6
New Mexico Coal 47.2
Pennsylvania Natural gas 39.8
Kentucky Coal 77.8
Nebraska Coal 59.9
Illinois Nuclear 52.8
Iowa Coal 45.8

As for the states with the highest rates, Hawaii generates most of its electricity by burning petroleum. But no other state depends heavily on that source. Surprisingly, natural gas provides the largest source of electricity in 10 higher-priced states.

Below are the 20 states with the highest rates for business electricity, the largest source of that power, and the percentage generated by that source:

State Largest electricity source % of state's elecricity
Hawaii Petroleum 65.8
Alaska Natural gas 53.4
Rhode Island Natural gas 89.0
Connecticut Natural gas 48.7
Massachusetts Natural gas 65.0
New Hampshire Nuclear 66.3
Vermont Hydroelectric 59.8
California Natural gas 49.4
New Jersey Natural gas 52.9
Maine Hydroelectric 32.8
Wisconsin Coal 47.2
New York Natural gas 35.4
Michigan Coal 36.8
Maryland Natural gas 44.5
Indiana Coal 60.9
Kansas Coal 44.5
Minnesota Coal 33.1
Delaware Natural gas 88.5
Florida Natural gas 72.4
Colorado Coal 45.3

What about industrial natural gas prices?

In addition to electricity prices in general, natural gas prices are important for industrial customers. The lowest natural gas prices, according to the most recent data from EIA, are in Idaho, where they average $3.57 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Below are the states with the lowest rates, in dollars per 1,000 cubic feet, for industrial users:

State Latest price State Latest price
Idaho 3.57 North Dakota 4.31
Oklahoma 3.72 Nevada Natural Gas Indutrial Price (Dollars per Thousand Cubic Feet) 4.59
Texas 3.91 Alabama 4.63
West Virginia 4.08 Oregon 4.91
Wyoming 4.19 New Mexico 4.97

As for the most expensive, Hawaii again finish first. Here are the states with the highest rates for industrial users:

State Latest price State Latest price
Hawaii 19.59 Delaware 9.47
New Hampshire 11.54 New Jersey 9.33
Maine 11 California 9.15
Massachusetts 10.5 New York 8.91
Rhode Island 9.7 Maryland 8.61

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 power in each state, including natural gas, 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.