Which US state has the cheapest and the highest electricity prices?
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, many in the US are starting to pay for more electricity. This year prices have already increased two percent.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to impact global energy markets, some households in the United States are feeling the pinch. Energy prices have increased fourteen percent since January, with the cost of electricity moving up around eleven percent from March 2021 and jumping two percent from February to March this year. Western states have seen the greatest increase in the price of electricity, jumping more than four percent from January to March.
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States with the highest energy prices
As of December 2021, the highest electricity bills were paid by residents in Hawaii (37.44 cents/kWh), Massachusetts (25.28 cents/kWh), California (23.58 cents/kWh), Rhode Island (23.56 cents/kWh), and Connecticut (22.28 cents/kWh). The residents of all these states pay significantly more than the national average which stood at around 14 cents/kWh.
Although energy costs are high in Hawaii, the state is one of the lowest energy consumers.
However, as an island, prices are higher because the state “uses about 12 times more energy than it produces,” according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). For example, imported petroleum represents around sixty percent of energy consumed in the state.
The state made history by becoming the first to “set a deadline for having 100% of its electricity sales come from renewable energy” by 2045. Currently, around thirty percent of the energy consumed on the island comes from renewable sources, with solar being the most common. Ideally, as renewable energy technologies become cheaper and Hawaii reduces its dependence on imported petroleum, costs for residents could decrease.
Residential energy consumption makes up twenty-nine percent of all resources consumed in the state. The state is not a major energy producer, contributing to its high costs. The EIA has reported that the state “consumes almost three times as much electricity as the state produces.” However, Massachusetts “uses less electricity per capita than all but three other states.”
Much of the state’s electricity comes from liquefied natural gas (LNG). The LNG terminal in Everett, Massachusett, received sixty percent of the nation’s LNG imports in 2020. The Northeast is known for its chilly and snowy winters, but the state ranked ninth in the amount of electricity from solar.
States with the lowest energy prices
On the opposite side of the scale sit Nebraska (9.43 cents/kWh), North Dakota (9.44 cents/kWh), Indiana (9.9 cents/kWh), Washington (9.92 cents/kWh), and Montana (10.08 cents/kWh).
With the lowest electricity costs in the country, Nebraska has a diverse energy portfolio. The state produces fourteen percent of all fuel ethanol in the country.
The state is a major energy producer, leading it to be “ranked seventh in the nation in per capita total energy consumption.” A large portion of Nebraska’s energy comes from fossil fuels, particularly coal, representing around fifty-one percent of all power generated in the state in 2020. The state also produces high amounts of wind (24 percent) and nuclear (17 percent) energy.
The state’s low electricity costs stem from the state being the second highest producer of petroleum in the country, after Texas. North Dakota’s small population meant that residential electricity use only accounted for eleven percent of all energy consumed.
The state is one of the most energy-rich areas globally, home to the “world’s largest known deposit of lignite,” and produces around four percent of all coal consumed in the US.
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