Let us accept it. Nobody likes utility bills. Utility bills knock on our doors every month like unwanted guests, and we have no other option but to welcome them. According to a study by the Census Bureau, on an average, a typical American family spends about $2,850 a year on their utility bills. This is roughly about 22 percent of their total housing costs.
However, as more Americans are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their utility spending has drastically increased. The rise in utility spending is certainly one of the hidden costs of working remotely.
Although every US citizen has bills to pay, utility pricing differs from state to state. Few states have higher utility pricing as compared to others. That means your utility spending is based on the state that you live in. But why is that so?
Well, there are several reasons for that. To understand these reasons, let us first understand the different types of utility bills. The different types of utility bills are water, gas, internet, cable, electricity, garbage and other bills. There are various factors that influence each of these bills. For instance, the cost of electricity is impacted by the fuels used to generate it, the type of powerplants, and even the weather for that matter. Moreover, there are different laws in different states. In deregulated states, consumers can pick and choose their own electricity provider, and thus, the pricing in those states will be significantly different from the others.
Here are the six states with the highest utility bills:
As per a published report, it is Hawaii where the utility spending is the maximum in the US. Every paradise has a price, you see! This Aloha island has the highest energy cost of 33.53 cents per kWh. About two-thirds of its electricity is generated from the petroleum that is shipped over there and hence, the whooping average utility bill.
Hawaii is followed by Alaska, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Alaskans pay for internet and cable more than anyone else in the US. They pay roughly $107.43 for a 60 Mbps internet connection. Some of its high utility costs are also due to infrastructure limitations, a sparsely spread-out population, and its isolated and self-contained electricity grid. It depends predominantly on natural gas for electricity. The highest internet bills coupled with second-highest electricity costs make Alaska the second-most expensive state in the US with respect to average utility bills.
Rhode Island may be the tiniest state in the US; however, its utility bills are not so tiny. Its average internet bill is second-most expensive in the country. Its other utility bills such as electricity and water bills are quite high as well. It generates almost 90 percent of its electricity from natural gas. Fortunately, enough, it is the only state in the US that does not use even a single coal plant to generate electricity. However, it consumes more electricity than it produces, and, its average utility cost is 15.57 cents per kWh.
High utility bills are a common sight in the Northeast of the country mainly because of its highly frigid and unpredictable weather. The frosty winters demand energy-eating heating systems, while the scorching summers require electricity-consuming cooling systems. Connecticut is one such country where such frigid weather exists.
The average utility bill in Connecticut is $440.03 per month. Here is the segregation of the average utility bill on a monthly basis for Connecticut:
- Average electricity bill: $139.97
- Average water bill: $70.39
- Average Internet bill: $60
- Average cable bill: $85
- Average natural gas bill: $84.67
In Connecticut, almost half of the electricity is generated using natural gas while the other half is generated using nuclear power. Thus, the average utility cost in Connecticut is 16.98 cents per kWh.
When other states are surging ahead in this race of most expensive utility bills, how can New York stay behind? So, yes, New York ranks fifth among the states with the most expensive average utility bills. The average energy costs in New York are 16.25 cents per kWh. The high energy costs make sense considering its fluctuating weather throughout the year. It generates the majority of its electricity from natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric plants.
Right after New York, we have New Hampshire on rank six. Its average utility bill is $477.02, just a few cents lower than that of New York. It produces most of its electricity using nuclear plants and, on an average, spends 15.25 cents per kWh.