Which state had the largest electricity rate hike?

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By Arthur Murray
Electricity rates stayed flat nationally in January.

Which state had the largest electricity rate hike?

The monthly Choose Energy® Rate Report shows that electricity rates nationally remained level – 12.47 cents per kilowatt hour. But that doesn’t mean they stayed constant in every state. For example, rates in Georgia increased 15.2 percent to 10.7 cents/kWh.

That was the only double-digit rate increase in January, the most recent month for which prices are available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Rates increased in 19 states and stayed the same in one.

One more thing about Georgia – while it had the largest percentage rate increase among states, it by no means had expensive prices. The Georgia rate actually was the nation’s 16th lowest.

Following are the 10 largest increases, their January rate (in cents/kWh), and the percentage hike over the previous month.

State Latest rate % increase
Georgia 10.7 15.2
Virginia 11.4 3.5
Connecticut 21.56 3.5
Arkansas 9.3 3.2
Iowa 11.43 3.2
Massachusetts 22.57 2.6
Texas 11.51 2.6
Maine 16.49 2.4
Alabama 11.85 2.0
North Carolina 10.99 1.9

Only one state had a double-digit decrease – Kansas, where rates were 10.29 cents/kWh. That was 14 percent lower than the previous month. Thirty states recorded decreases ranging from 0.1 percent to the aforementioned 14 percent.

Following are the 10 states with the largest decreases from the previous month:

State Latest rate % decrease
Kansas 10.29 -14.0
Pennsylvania 12.54 -7.7
Vermont 16.73 -7.4
Hawaii 32.09 -6.8
West Virginia 9.72 -6.6
California 18.32 -5.8
South Dakota 10.57 -4.3
North Dakota 9.16 -4.0
Missouri 9.28 -2.7
Oklahoma 8.8 -2.4

Where were the highest and lowest electricity rates?

The nation’s highest electricity rates in January were in Hawaii, where they 32.09 cents/kWh. As noted above, that was actually a 6.8 percent decrease from the previous month. Four of the next five highest rates were in the Northeast. Following are the states with the highest rates:

State Jan-19 State Jan-19
Hawaii 32.09 New Jersey 15.72
Rhode Island 22.67 Michigan 15
Massachusetts 22.57 Wisconsin 14
Alaska 21.74 Maryland 13.08
Connecticut 21.56 Minnesota 12.75
New Hampshire 19.91 Pennsylvania 12.54
California 18.32 Delaware 12.24
New York 17.29 Illinois 12.22
Vermont 16.73 Arizona 12.22
Maine 16.49 New Mexico 12.21

As for the lowest rates, Oklahoma prices were the nation’s lowest at 8.80 cents/kWh – more than 29 percent lower than the national average. Following are the nation’s lowest rates during that month:

State Jan-19 State Jan-19
Oklahoma 8.8 Kentucky 10.21
Louisiana 8.84 Kansas 10.29
North Dakota 9.16 Wyoming 10.56
Missouri 9.28 South Dakota 10.57
Arkansas 9.3 Oregon 10.61
Washington 9.31 Georgia 10.7
Nebraska 9.59 Tennesee 10.78
West Virginia 9.72 Montana 10.82
Idaho 9.83 Mississippi 10.96
Utah 10.01 North Carolina 10.99

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

Of the 20 states with the lowest electricity rates in January, nearly half generated most of their electricity by burning coal. But the two with the lowest rates, Oklahoma and Louisiana, burned natual gas for the largest percentage of their power.

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 Main source of electricity % of power from that source
Oklahoma natural gas 46.5
Louisiana natural gas 70.6
North Dakota coal 65.8
Missouri coal 76.5
Arkansas coal 47.1
Washington hydroelectric 63.2
Nebraska coal 60.5
West Virginia coal 93.8
Idaho hydroelectric 53.4
Utah coal 69.6
Kentucky coal 76.3
Kansas wind 38.5
Wyoming coal 86.1
South Dakota hydroelectric 38.5
Oregon hydroelectric 50.3
Georgia natural gas 41.3
Tennesee nuclear 48
Montana coal 55.7
Mississippi natural gas 69.1
North Carolina nuclear 34.8

As for the states with the highest rates, natural gas also played a prominent role. Half of the 10 most expensive rates were in states where natural gas provided the largest source of electricity. Following are those states, the largest source of their electricity, and the percentage generated by that source:

State Main source of electricity % of power from that source
Hawaii petroleum 70
Rhode Island natural gas 89.9
Massachusetts natural gas 65.7
Alaska natural gas 55.2
Connecticut natural gas 48.4
New Hampshire nuclear 57.6
California natural gas 52.3
New York nuclear 34.8
Vermont hydroelectric 61.7
Maine hydroelectric 35.2

For complete rates by state information, including comparisons to the same month of 2018, see the Choose Energy Electricity Rates by State page. For more information about energy generation by various sources, including solar, wind, and nuclear, 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.