Highest And Lowest Energy Prices By State

Mountain with a snowy trail and snow-covered trees in winter fading into the same tree-filled mountain scene in summer, representing the relationship between energy costs and climate.

Highest And Lowest Energy Prices By State

Whether you swelter in the blazing summer heat of the southern U.S. or endure the frigid winters in the northern part of the country, energy costs can add up quickly. At PointClickSwitch, we are often asked the question, “Is it really cheaper to live in a warmer climate?”. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) analyzes and collects energy data and information in order to promote sound policy making and help the public better understand energy. In January 2018, the EIA released a report that includes statistics about electricity consumption and costs per state from 2016. After reviewing the all of data, it’s clear that there are other factors besides climate that determine energy costs, such as tax laws and supply and demand.

The Winners And Losers

The EIA report shows a fair amount of variation in energy prices from state to state. Although the average retail price of energy in the U.S. is 10.41 cents cents per kilowatt hour, states such as Hawaii, Alaska, Massachusetts and Rhode Island pay upwards of 16.00 cents per kWh while states like Louisiana, Oklahoma and Washington pay closer to the 8.00 cent per kWh mark. The report also includes a close look at the net summer capacity and net generation, both of which can be impacted by climate and total population. By far, Texas, California and Florida have the highest energy retail sales, and this is likely heavily influenced energy cost and population. Meanwhile, Alaska, Rhode Island and Vermont have the lowest retail electricity costs, likely for the same reasons. The below map indicates the states with the highest and lowest average energy costs:

Map of the United States showing Louisiana, Washington, Oklahoma, Idaho and Arkansas in blue to designate lowest average energy costs and Hawaii, Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in red to designate highest average energy costs.

Misconceptions About Energy Prices

While a warmer climate may be appealing to those who are toughing out a chilly northeast winter, a warmer climate does not necessarily translate to a significantly lower cost of living or even a lower cost of energy. When considering the overall cost of living of a town or city, the local housing market and available jobs, as well as the the cost of energy in that state, are all important factors in determining whether it’s really cheaper to live there.

It’s important to remember that people in warmer climates sometimes end up “swapping costs” with those in cooler climates at different times of the year. Although folks in southern climates may save on heating during the winter, they may pay dearly in air conditioning costs once the weather warms up. This energy “swap” can really add up to hidden costs for people who live in any type of extreme climate.

Find Ways To Save

One way to reduce your monthly energy costs is to opt for a climate that has warm weather during the day and cool weather at night. Any time that you’re able to open the windows and enjoy the fresh outside air instead of running an air-conditioner or heater, you’ll be saving on energy costs. Of course, not all of us can (or want to) live in temperate states. Often there are other reasons that compel us live in a particular state besides weather — for example, family or career. But, even in the warmest or coldest climates, there are still ways to reduce energy costs. For example, if you live in a state where energy has been deregulated, you may be able to save on energy just by switching energy providers. At PointClickSwitch, we compare energy rates and help you find the best rate for your utilities. Just snap a picture of a recent energy bill, answer a few simple questions and we’ll do the rest!

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