Average monthly utility costs by state
Now that we’ve discussed the national averages for utility expenses and how to save money on your utility bills, let’s talk about how much utilities cost per month in different states.
States with the least expensive utilities
Utah residents have paid some of the lowest utility costs in the country for years. Dominion Energy provides natural gas to about 90% of the population, and Rocky Mountain Power supplies electricity to more than 80%. Between policymakers, regulators, and gas and electric utility companies, the state has been consistent in keeping energy prices affordable for homeowners and other residents.
Idaho residents enjoy the lowest average electricity price of any state, partially because a lot of its electricity comes from hydropower, which accounted for 51% of the state's generation in 2021.29 Idaho’s other renewable energy sources include solar and wind energy to power homes. Idaho ranks as one of the best states for energy overall.
About 7 out of 10 Colorado households use natural gas as their primary home heating source, which makes sense given it has the seventh-largest natural gas reserves of any state.29 While water utility bill costs in Colorado are in line with the rest of the country, there has been growing concern over the state’s water resources and an increase in wildfires. Colorado also has one of the highest monthly averages for streaming services ($50).
Not even one year ago, New Mexico was number one on our list for the lowest utility costs in the US. Rising energy costs have been a recent concern for many New Mexicans, while others continue to look to the future of renewable energy with initiatives like the Energy Transition Act.
Montana's extreme temps and small population (1.062 million) contribute to the state's residential sector being the second-highest per capita energy consumption of any state besides North Dakota. About half of Montana households use natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating. The state also has the largest single underground natural gas storage site in the US.29 Montana ranks as one of the best states for energy overall but one of the top states for slowest internet with the highest costs.
Wyoming is a national leader in energy production from coal, uranium, natural gas, and crude oil. Not only does Wyoming make our list for the least expensive utility bills, but its residents also enjoy one of the lowest costs of living of Rocky Mountain states and no state income tax. It’s a shame not many American homeowners get to enjoy these benefits, as the state has the smallest population in the US, aside from Alaska. Internet speeds in Wyoming do seem to run pretty slow and at a higher cost.
The easternmost state of the US is known for its plethora of forests and for having some of the coldest winters. While three-fifths of Maine's households use fuel oil as their primary energy source for home heating—a larger share than any other state—most of Maine's electricity comes from renewable resources, mostly from hydroelectric dams, wind turbines, and wood and wood-derived fuels.29 Maine was on our most expensive utilities list not even a year ago, and many contribute this major win to its recent expansion of renewable energy.
6 out of 10 households in the Hawkeye State use natural gas as their primary heating fuel. The windy farmland was responsible for producing 58% of Iowa’s total electricity, the largest wind power share of any state.29 Aside from low utility bills, the state enjoys being 9% below the national average in costs of living.
Michigan jumped from the middle of our list from last year (#30) to a spot here in the top 10 due to its decrease in energy bills. Along with some of the best utility bills in the country, Michigan enjoys a cost of living that is 9% below the national average. When it comes to the cost of water, however, the Great Lakes State hasn’t always had a great track record. A recent report finds that the rising cost of water and sewer service in Michigan is consuming a larger share of household income.
The most populous state in the Midwest barely made it into our top 10, but we’re happy to welcome it aboard as a state with some of the lowest utility bills. Fun fact: about 95% of Illinois households use electric air conditioning, but only one in six Illinois households rely on electricity for home heating. (Almost 8 in 10 Illinois households use natural gas for heating).29 The Land of Lincoln also enjoys a low cost of living, among other things.
States with the most expensive utilities
While Hawaii is known for its incredible beaches and laid-back lifestyles, it costs the average islander a pretty penny to live there and afford utilities, food, and housing. Hawaii has the highest electricity price, nearly triple the US average rate, and the state relies on imported petroleum for 60% of its electricity generation.29 In just one year, Hawaii pushed out Connecticut as the state with the most expensive utilities.
We’re sorry, Connecticut, but we’ve saved a spot for you as the runner-up on our most expensive utilities list. The average electric bill squeaks close behind Hawaii’s average electric bill at $161.55. It’s hard for the state to point to a single reason why Connecticut homeowners face astronomical electric bills, but lawmakers are looking to create more measures to scrutinize utility companies.
Alabama’s hot summers account for some of the highest electricity bills in the country, where 7 out 10 Alabama residents rely on electric energy to power their homes.29 Alabama took the eleventh spot on our list last year. While their average electric and natural gas bills decreased, other states experienced more drastic decreases.
Georgia has some of the highest average electric ($129.92), natural gas ($85.88), and streaming service ($50.75) bills in the country. Luckily though, Georgians enjoy a lower cost of living, which is, on average, 50.38% lower than the national average.
Arizona made a dramatic ascension from #32 on our list of monthly utility averages. Arizonans saw an increase in their average natural gas bill from $37.00 to $78.22. Arizona also has some of the highest water bills in the country.
6. Massachusetts: $433.30
Massachusetts makes a comeback on our list of the most expensive monthly utility bills. The number of residents who have been scrambling to keep up with high costs is worrisome. A recent report finds that 794,947 Massachusetts residential customers owe nearly $674.7 million in electric and gas bills.
Rhode Island also makes a comeback to this list. While it doesn’t have the highest average bill for any single utility, each of the bills we checked was among the highest in the US. Who would have thought that the smallest state would have some of the biggest utility prices?
8. New Hampshire: $421.84
New Hampshire made our list for the most expensive monthly utilities two years in a row. New England relies heavily on natural gas, and like many of the states in the country, New Hampshire is taking a heavy hit along with the rest of the global market.
9. South Carolina: $418.23
At $138.16 a month, South Carolina’s average electricity bill is one of the highest in the nation. Like a few other states in our top ten, South Carolina has a hot climate that necessitates a lot of AC, which contributes to these hefty bills.
Everything is bigger in Texas, as they say, including monthly utility bills. Texans remember the 2021 winter storm, where millions were without electricity and many homeowners found themselves with astronomical electric bills. There are many reasons Texas residents are facing high utility costs, including a volatile deregulated electric market, extreme weather, and demand from a growing population.
Joe Roberts contributed to this article.