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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for November 2018  |  Release Date: January 25, 2019  |  Next Release Date: February 26, 2019

Previous Issues

Highlights: November 2018

  • Wholesale natural gas prices reached $62/MMBtu in the Northwest on colder weather and limited supplies from Canada due to an earlier pipeline explosion.
  • Wholesale electricity prices hit $128/MWh in New England (ISONE) as cold weather in the Boston area pushed up natural gas demand and prices, the primary fuel for New England power generators.
  • Total U.S. net generation was up 3.7% from the previous November, due to an increased need for residential heating because of the cold November experienced by the country, as a whole.

Key indicators

Statewide average temperature ranks
Statewide precipitation ranks
Total net generation
Net generation by select fuel sources

Average U.S. residential monthly electricity bills continue to drop in 2017

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-861, Annual Electric Power Industry Report.

Contrary to a general upward trend from 2007–2014, average monthly electric bills for residential customers in the United States have gone down in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The average bill in 2017 was $111.67, a decline of 0.8% from the $112.59 average bill in 2016, and a 2.1% drop from the $114.03 average bill in 2015.

Average monthly bills are calculated by dividing total annual U.S. residential electricity sales revenues by the number of customer accounts and then dividing again by 12. Average bills have declined in five of the past ten years. In three of those years (2012, 2015, and 2016) total revenues also declined. The number of total customers have steadily risen during the last several years. Average bills tend to increase when total revenues go up and decrease when the number of customer accounts go up.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-861, Annual Electric Power Industry Report.

Average monthly residential electricity bills vary significantly by state. They tend to be higher in the south and along the east coast where summer air conditioning loads are greater. Average bills tend to be lowest in the Rocky Mountain states, which have lower cooling loads. The state with the highest average monthly residential bill in the United States in 2017 was Hawaii, at $149.33. Alabama and South Carolina followed with $142.55 and $140.80, respectively. Both states have been in the top 10 since 2009. Two other states have average monthly bills higher than $130: Connecticut ($139.97) and Maryland ($131.16).

Highest average residential electricity bills, 2017
State Number of customers Average monthly consumption (kWh) Average price (cents/kWh) Average monthly bill (dollars)
Hawaii 432,952 506 29.50 149.33
Alabama 2,213,592 1,136 12.55 142.55
South Carolina 2,251,558 1,082 13.02 140.80
Connecticut 1,495,577 690 20.29 139.97
Maryland 2,313,189 940 13.96 131.16
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-861,
Annual Electric Power Industry Report
Note: kilowatthours (kWh)

New Mexico has had the lowest average monthly bill in the United States since 2012. The average monthly bill in New Mexico in 2017 was $79.16. The other states with average monthly bills lower than $90 per month in 2017 were Utah ($81.65), Colorado ($82.47), Maine ($87.21), and Illinois ($89.63).

Lowest average residential electricity bills, 2017
State Number of customers Average monthly consumption (kWh) Average price (cents/kWh) Average monthly bill (dollars)
New Mexico 880,867 615 12.88 79.16
Utah 1,063,292 745 10.95 81.65
Colorado 2,288,358 678 12.17 82.47
Maine 707,792 546 15.97 87.21
Illinois 5,264,333 692 12.95 89.63
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-861,
Annual Electric Power Industry Report
Note: kilowatthours (kWh)
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-861, Annual Electric Power Industry Report.

The change in average monthly residential electricity bills varies by state. The state with the highest percentage increase in average monthly residential electricity bills from 2015–2017 was Washington, with an increase of 12.7 %. In the past two years, nine other states showed an increase of greater than 5% in their average monthly residential electricity bills: California (7.3%), Oregon (7.3%), West Virginia (6.9%), Alaska (6.8%), Wyoming (6.5%), Montana (6.4%), South Dakota (5.9%), Minnesota (5.7%), and Idaho (5.6%). All of these states, except West Virginia, saw significant increases in their total revenues during the past two years. They also (besides West Virginia) saw increases in their number of customer accounts during the same time period.

Nevada had the largest percentage drop in average monthly residential bills, down 12%. Texas followed with a drop of almost 10%. Nine other states had a decrease of more than 5% in their average monthly bills from 2015–2017: North Carolina (9.1%), Mississippi (8.6%), Connecticut (8.6%), Rhode Island (7.6%), New York (7.3%), Delaware (7.2%), New Jersey (7.0%), Maryland (6.2%), and Ohio (5.4%). Total revenues for this group of states also declined during this time period.


Principal Contributor:

Stephen Scott
(Stephen.Scott@eia.gov)

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