Here’s What Average Homeowners Pay for Utilities in the U.S.
By NOPEC on May 15, 2023
If you think your utility bills were higher than normal in 2022, you aren’t wrong.
A study released in January by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics showed that consumers paid 14.3% more for electricity last year on average than in 2021. Natural gas consumption, production, and exports also broke records – hitting a 14-year high.
Unlike cable TV, which many families choose to go without, gas and electricity are necessities that make our homes more comfortable and livable. While a typical U.S. family pays around $2000 annually for utilities, that number can vary based on the climate you live in, the size, age, and energy efficiency of your home, and your energy usage.
States with some of the highest utility costs are Hawaii, Connecticut, Alabama, Georgia, and Arizona, with prices ranging from $438 on the low end to over $600 on the high end. Because of its dry climate, Arizona has some of the highest water bills in the U.S., and Alabama’s hot summers account for its soaring electric bills.
People who live in the U.S. saw a dramatic increase in utility prices at the end of 2022 due to several events that coincided, including:
- Widespread, below-normal temperatures
- High natural gas consumption
- Lower natural gas imports from Canada
- Reduced pipeline capacity due to maintenance in West Texas
- Low natural gas storage levels in the Pacific region
States With the Lowest Monthly Utility Bills
- Utah ($81.69)
- New Mexico ($87.60)
- Wyoming ($90.08)
- Iowa ($96.43)
- Washington ($98.70)
- Nebraska ($98.89)
- North Dakota ($100.14)
- Colorado ($100.25)
- Idaho ($101)
- Wisconsin ($102.60)
For Gas: (Dollars/Thousand cubic feet)
- Idaho (8.32)
- South Dakota (9.4)
- Iowa (9.94)
- Alaska (10.77)
- Utah (11.08)
- North Dakota (11.09)
- Wisconsin (11.09)
- Minnesota (11.46)
- Indiana (11.48)
- Montana (11.67)
If you don’t happen to live in one of the states mentioned above, there are still things you can do to help lower your energy bills. Consider doing an energy audit to assess your home’s energy use and identify areas where you can improve its efficiency. This could be as simple as sealing air leaks around windows and doors, determining if you need more home insulation, or upgrading old appliances that aren’t energy efficient. You can also install low-flow showerheads and toilets, a smart thermostat, and LED lighting.
Another option to help lower your bills is to join a community choice aggregation (CCA) group (if your community offers one). Currently, only 7 states (California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) allow local governments to provide aggregation by cities, townships, or counties. Energy aggregators buy electricity and/or natural gas from one company for its members. Since aggregators bring large groups of customers together, they have the buying power to negotiate fair, stable rates and sometimes additional benefits (like energy audits) for its members. These types of aggregators are certified by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which means they are qualified to acquire electricity or natural gas from an alternate supplier while still utilizing local utility providers for distribution.
As our country looks to renewable energy sources (solar, wind, and water) in the future, the hope is the cost will decrease for consumers. The advantages of renewable energy don’t just affect your energy bills; they also impact the economy (job creation), the environment (reduced carbon footprint), and our health (better air quality for us to breathe).
Interested in Reducing Your Bills?
If you live in Ohio in a NOPEC member community and want more information on current electric and gas prices, visit nopec.org.Tags: Energy Efficiency, Gas, Utility Bill, Energy Use, Electricity
Categories: Energy Efficiency