The Cost of Utilities: Which States Pay the Most?

Colin Holmes
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on January 29, 2018
5 min read
Which State Has the Most Expensive Utilities?

Let’s face it: Nobody likes paying utility bills. They pop up each month and keep you from putting your paycheck toward more exciting areas of your budget, like your vacation fund or that cheese of the month club you’ve always wanted to join.

No matter what you’re saving for, utility bills are a burden we all have to bear. But which states’ residents bear the largest burden?

We crunched the numbers so you can see how the average monthly utility costs in your state stack up against the rest.


Factors we considered

We broke down each state’s utility costs into a few distinct categories:

  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Water

To calculate electricity and natural gas costs, we multiplied average national consumption rates by the average cost for these services in each state—individual bills may vary depending on actual usage.

When determining internet costs, we look at a service level that included speeds of 60 Mbps, unlimited data, and Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL).

State-by-state information was unavailable for cable and water, so we used the national averages to supply those figures for each state.

You can learn more about our ranking criteria in our methodology section.

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Interested in learning how you can cut your utility costs? Check out the tips in our Utility Bills 101 article.

National average utility cost

Utility
National average cost per month
Electricity

$125.22

Natural gas

$100.53

Internet (60 Mbps)

$62.33

Cable

$100

Water

$40

Total cost of utilities

$422.08


The top 10 least expensive states for utilities


Complete state rankings

We ranked all fifty states from most to least expensive average monthly utility costs. Take a look below to see where your state sits on our list.

#1: Hawaii

Life in Hawaii isn’t all fun in the sun.

The Aloha State’s utilities are upward of $200 more than the second most expensive state, Alaska, thanks largely to staggeringly high electricity and natural gas costs on the islands.

Utility
Cost per month
Rank
Electricity

$300.04

1

Natural gas

$232.20

1

Internet (60 Mbps)

$58.62

31

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$730.86

1

#2: Alaska

While it may not surprise you that Alaska lands so high on our list, the reasons it earned the number two spot might.

Alaskans pay more for internet than anyone else in the nation, spending an average of $107.43 for a 60 Mbps connection. Couple that with the second-highest electricity costs on our list, and you can see why Alaska is the second-most expensive state for utilities.

Alaska’s natural gas is quite affordable, however, if that’s any consolation.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$210.17

2

Natural gas

$70.36

42

Internet (60 Mbps)

$107.43

1

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$527.96

2

#3: Rhode Island

Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the union, but it certainly doesn’t have the smallest utility bills.

Rhode Island’s electricity, natural gas, and internet all land within the top ten most expensive for each category with its average internet bill costing the second-most in the country.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$163.52

9

Natural gas

$141.04

4

Internet (60 Mbps)

$77.42

2

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$521.98

3

#4: Connecticut

Right next door to our number three state is state number four: Connecticut.

Electricity costs are mostly to blame for Connecticut’s high overall utility bill, but its natural gas costs are much higher than most as well at an average of $114.11 per month.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$187.29

3

Natural gas

$114.11

14

Internet (60 Mbps)

$54.67

47

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$496.07

4

#5: New York

New York cracks the top five for the country’s most expensive utility costs. Although natural gas and internet costs land squarely in the middle of the rankings, the Empire State has the seventh most expensive power bill at $173.84.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$173.84

7

Natural gas

$102.76

24

Internet (60 Mbps)

$60.71

25

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$477.31

5

#6: New Hampshire

New Hampshire isn’t too far behind New York when it comes to total utility costs. In fact, New Hampshire’s total average utility bill of $477.02 is only twenty-nine cents cheaper than New York’s.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$169.35

8

Natural gas

$107.67

20

Internet (60 Mbps)

$60.00

27

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$477.02

6

#7: South Carolina

Generally speaking, electricity is the largest contributor to a state's total utility costs, but that’s not the case in South Carolina.

South Carolina’s natural gas bill is the second highest in the nation at $150.03. That’s not the only expensive utility in the state, however. South Carolina’s internet bill also falls within the top ten most expensive in the country.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$116.25

20

Natural gas

$150.03

2

Internet (60 Mbps)

$67.50

9

Cable

$100

National average

Water

$40

National average

Total cost of utilities

$473.78

7

#8: Massachusetts

You may have noticed a pattern: the northeastern states tend to have the most expensive electricity rates in the country. Massachusetts ranks as the fourth most expensive state for electricity with monthly rates reaching $185.05 on average.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$185.05

4

Natural gas

$79.66

36

Internet (60 Mbps)

$64.42

16

Cable

$100

National average

Water

$40

National average

Total cost of utilities

$469.13

8

#9: Vermont

Vermont has the tenth most expensive electricity cost on our list and a much higher natural gas bill than our number eight state, Massachusetts. However, lower internet costs help residents save a bit of money and put Vermont at number nine overall.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$160.20

10

Natural gas

$110.43

18

Internet (60 Mbps)

$57.67

37

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$468.30

9

#10: Maine

Maine rounds out the top ten for our most expensive states for utilities. Both electricity and natural gas put a pretty big dent in residents’ budgets.

If you’re looking for cheap internet, however, Maine may be the state for you.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$146.30

11

Natural gas

$132.04

7

Internet (60 Mbps)

$46.11

50

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$464.45

10

#11: Georgia

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$110.15

28

Natural gas

$141.19

3

Internet (60 Mbps)

$64

18

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$455.34

11

#12: Florida

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$101.27

39

Natural gas

$135.72

5

Internet (60 Mbps)

$72

5

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$448.99

12

#13: Ohio

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$114.68

22

Natural gas

$135.36

6

Internet (60 Mbps)

$57.26

38

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$447.30

13

#14: Arizona

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$115.89

21

Natural gas

$115.95

13

Internet (60 Mbps)

$69.57

6

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$441.41

14

#15: California

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking
Electricity

$176.26

5

Natural gas

$63.16

46

Internet (60 Mbps)

$58.43

33

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$437.85

15

#16: Missouri

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$117.69

19

Natural gas

$123.20

10

Internet (60 Mbps)

$55.60

45

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$436.49

16

#17: Iowa

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$129.80

13

Natural gas

$100.68

26

Internet (60 Mbps)

$65.99

12

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$436.46

17

#18: New Jersey

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$173.84

6

Natural gas

$61.88

47

Internet (60 Mbps)

$57

40

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$432.72

18

#19: Oklahoma

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

92.57

46

Natural gas

$131.28

8

Internet (60 Mbps)

$68.05

8

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$431.90

19

#20: Pennsylvania

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$125.22

16

Natural gas

$100.97

25

Internet (60 Mbps)

$64.61

15

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$430.80

20

#21: Virginia

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$110.60

26

Natural gas

$104.81

22

Internet (60 Mbps)

$75

3

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$430.41

21

#22: Maryland

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$120.73

17

Natural gas

$100

28

Internet (60 Mbps)

$68.88

7

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$429.61

22

#23: Kansas

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$110.69

25

Natural gas

$112.37

15

Internet (60 Mbps)

$59

30

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$422.06

23

#24: Delaware

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$107.82

30

Natural gas

$119.17

11

Internet (60 Mbps)

$55.00

46

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$421.99

24

#25: North Carolina

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$102.53

36

Natural gas

$119.11

12

Internet (60 Mbps)

$56.27

42

Cable

$100

National average

Water

$40

National average

Total cost of utilities

$417.91

25

#26: Kentucky

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$90.05

47

Natural gas

$127.80

9

Internet (60 Mbps)

$56.00

43

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$413.85

26

#27: North Dakota

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$106.38

33

Natural gas

$106.24

21

Internet (60 Mbps)

$59.33

29

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$411.95

27

#28: Alabama

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$110.15

27

Natural gas

$112.06

16

Internet (60 Mbps)

$49.57

49

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$411.78

28

#29: Indiana

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$108.09

29

Natural gas

$103.17

23

Internet (60 Mbps)

$60.10

26

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$411.36

29

#30: Michigan

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$143.34

12

Natural gas

$68.93

43

Internet (60 Mbps)

$58.45

32

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$410.72

30

#31: Texas

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$100.91

41

Natural gas

$110.58

17

Internet (60 Mbps)

$58.29

34

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$409.78

31

#32: Minnesota

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$127.55

15

Natural gas

$78.69

37

Internet (60 Mbps)

$58.26

35

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$404.50

32

#33: Colorado

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$113.65

23

Natural gas

$88.10

32

Internet (60 Mbps)

$62.50

21

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$404.25

33

#34: Illinois

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$105.49

34

Natural gas

$96.99

29

Internet (60 Mbps)

$61.15

24

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$403.63

34

#35: Tennessee

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$95.80

44

Natural gas

$100.56

27

Internet (60 Mbps)

$65.99

13

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$402.35

35

#36: Nebraska

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$106.65

32

Natural gas

$80.33

35

Internet (60 Mbps)

$72.47

4

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$399.45

36

#37: West Virginia

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$102.44

37

Natural gas

$92.95

30

Internet (60 Mbps)

$58.00

36

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$393.39

37

#38: Wyoming

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$107.73

31

Natural gas

$82.68

34

Internet (60 Mbps)

$62.50

22

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$392.91

38

#39: New Mexico

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$119.93

18

Natural gas

$65.36

45

Internet (60 Mbps)

$66.83

11

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$392.12

39

#40: Mississippi

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$98.31

42

Natural gas

$89.58

31

Internet (60 Mbps)

$63.57

19

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$391.46

40

The 10 least expensive states for utilities

#41: Wisconsin

Despite the fact that Wisconsin ranks as the fourteenth most expensive state for electricity costs, its cheap natural gas and internet bills help bring its average total utility cost down to just $390.65, the tenth cheapest on our list

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$128.09

14

Natural gas

$65.61

44

Internet (60 Mbps)

$56.95

41

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$390.65

41

#42: Arkansas

Arkansas’s electricity and internet costs both rank at forty-eight, making them some of the best bargains in the country. With an average internet bill of $51.04, only Alabama and Maine can get you online for less.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$89.52

48

Natural gas

$107.72

19

Internet (60 Mbps)

$51.04

48

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$388.28

42

#43: South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State lands at number forty-three on our list. Its electricity bill isn’t anything to write home about, but inexpensive natural gas and internet costs make its total average utility bill much easier on your budget.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$111.41

24

Natural gas

$75.27

40

Internet (60 Mbps)

$55.89

44

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$382.57

43

#44: Oregon

Inexpensive electricity and natural gas costs make Oregon a very affordable state for utilities. Although its average internet price isn’t the cheapest around, it isn’t expensive enough to negate the benefits of its other low-cost utilities.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$100.91

40

Natural gas

$77.16

38

Internet (60 Mbps)

$63.23

20

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$381.30

44

#45: Louisiana

Louisiana boasts the lowest average electricity cost on our list. At only $86.83, this gives Louisiana residents a small reprieve from their higher-than-average internet bills.

Although our analysis puts Louisiana near the bottom of the list, residents’ actual usage rates may cause their bills to differ from our estimate—the US Energy Information Administration reports Louisiana consumes more electricity than any other state.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$86.83

50

Natural gas

$86.72

33

Internet (60 Mbps)

$67.24

10

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$380.79

45

#46: Nevada

Nevada ranks as the fifth most affordable state for utilities. Although its average internet cost is among the more expensive on our list, inexpensive natural gas helps bring its overall utility costs down.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$101.71

38

Natural gas

$70.82

41

Internet (60 Mbps)

$64.40

17

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$376.93

46

#47: Washington

Although Washington has one of the more expensive average internet costs, its extremely affordable electricity rates help bring down its total average utility costs to only $369.18.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$87.37

49

Natural gas

$76.55

39

Internet (60 Mbps)

$65.26

14

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$369.18

447

#48: Montana

Montana has the lowest average natural gas bills in the nation. Although its electricity and internet costs are both near the middle of the rankings, cheap natural gas makes Montana one of the most affordable states for utilities.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$105.13

35

Natural gas

$52.12

50

Internet (60 Mbps)

$61.78

23

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$359.03

48

#49: Utah

Utah takes the silver medal for affordable utility costs. Its electricity and natural gas costs both fall within the top ten least expensive on our list and help contribute to the second-lowest overall utility bill of $350.17.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$98.13

43

Natural gas

$52.33

49

Internet (60 Mbps)

$59.71

28

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$350.17

49

#50: Idaho

If you’re hoping to save money on utilities, look no further than the Gem State. At $343.71, Idaho’s total average utility bill is the lowest in the country. Natural gas is especially affordable with an average cost of $52.89 per month.

Utility
Cost per month
Ranking

Electricity

$93.82

45

Natural gas

$52.89

48

Internet (60 Mbps)

$57.00

39

Cable

$100.00

National average

Water

$40.00

National average

Total cost of utilities

$343.71

50


Want to save money on your utility bill?

No matter where you live or how high your utility bills are, there’s always an opportunity to cut those costs. Check out our Utility Bills 101 piece to learn the best ways to save.

How does your utility bill stack up against the average of your state? Let us know in the comments below!


Methodology

Move.org analyzed the costs of five different utilities to determine our rankings: electricity, natural gas, internet, cable, and water. Our final ranking was based on the total cost of utilities in each state.

  • Electricity—To determine each state’s average electricity bill, we used US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data to find the average monthly electricity consumption for US residents (897 kWh) and multiplied this average by each state’s electricity cost per kWh.
  • Natural gas—The average US home uses 168 cubic feet of natural gas per day. We used this number and the cost of natural gas per cubic foot in each state, according to the EIA, to find the average monthly cost of natural gas.
  • Internet and cable—We used Numbeo to calculate the cost of both internet and cable. For internet, we found the cost of service that included 60 Mbps, unlimited data, and ADSL.
  • Water—The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average American family uses 300 gallons of water per day, so we referenced the Circle of Blue to find the average cost of residential water in thirty major US cities and used the average cost of those cities to arrive at our figure of $40 per month.

Colin Holmes
Written by
Colin Holmes
Colin Holmes is no stranger to moving: he’s done so five times in the last five years, and he’s used his expertise to help over 185,000 readers plan their moves in the last year alone. As a former journalist and documentary interviewer, Colin brings a wealth of research experience to Move.org.