Things you should know when reading this guide The energy usage and cost figures listed in the following tables should be taken as a guide only.
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When you look at your monthly electricity bill, you probably focus on the number with a dollar sign in front of it. But there’s another value listed: how much energy you actually used. If you are a perfectly average American living in a perfectly average household, your monthly electricity bill will read 911 kilowatt hours (kWh), which costs $114. But most of us don’t live in perfectly average households.
(The state that comes closest to matching the average monthly electricity usage is Ohio). Depending on whether a state is hot or cold, urban or rural, an average household can use as little as 506 kWh a month (Hawaii) or as much as 1,291 kWh (Louisiana). Costs vary state-by-state, too. Hawaiians, even though they use the least, pay the most for electricity ($188 a month) and New Mexicans pay the least ($78 a month).
As for our Inside Energy focus states: Colorado homes use 687 kWh and spend $84 per month North Dakota homes use 1,240 kWh and spend $113 a month Wyoming homes use 863 kWh and spend $91 a month How is energy use and cost changing? Nationwide, average monthly electricity use rose 8 kWh per household between 2012 and 2014 and prices rose three-quarters of a cent per kWh. As a result, average monthly bills went up about $7 per household between 2012 and 2014.
How does your electricity bill measure up? A kilowatt hour isn’t an intuitive unit, so we also have a post explaining what you can do with a month’s worth of electricity. Editor’s note: This post was originally published on May 22, 2014 and included 2012 data. We published an updated version with 2014 data on October 27, 2015. Data source: Energy Information Administration, 2012 and 2014