Electric bills represent the largest utility bill for everyday Americans, accounting for over 7% of monthly housing expenditures. However, not all of us pay the same amount for that power. In fact, there’s a pretty wide disparity.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute recently released its annual state-by-state comparison of electricity prices. Using the most recent full year of data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, their map gives insight into what electricity costs across the country.
While the energy mix available within a state will play a large role in state electricity prices, energy-limiting policies in some states act to artificially elevate prices, making the price of electricity much more burdensome for consumers and businesses.
"In 2017, we actually have the highest national average retail electricity price of the past four years: 10.54 cents/kWh," said GEI's Heath Knakmuhs.
Many of the states with lower prices, such as Louisiana and Texas, are paying significantly lower rates today than they experienced back in 2014. In Wyoming, we average 8.29 cents per kilowatt hour. That's up nearly 10% from previous years, though still below the national average.
There’s reason to believe that electricity prices may come down across the country this year as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered corporate tax rates for utility companies from 35% to 21%. Those reduced costs are expected to translate into lower rates for customers, which could ease some of rate increases we witnessed this past year.
“The tax cuts are highly likely to have positive impacts on state rates and the overall national average,” Knakmuhs stated. “Here’s hoping that next year sees more state level rate decreases. That would be good for those states, and good for America’s global competitiveness.”
Click here for a printable version of the map. And see the maps from previous years: 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Brenda Kirk is a writer with over two decades of journalism experience.