Average Utilities Cost By State: 2021’s Most Expensive States Ranked
5-Minute ReadUPDATED: July 13, 2022
Paying the utility bill might not be on the top of your list when it comes to finding your new home. But rest assured, it will shoot to the top once you have settled in.
Nothing can kill that new house feeling like being surprised by a higher than expected utility bill, so taking it into account while you are home shopping isn't the worst idea. A lot of factors go into those costs, like home size, what you like to keep the thermostat set to, the type of insulation you have and more.
A big factor is where your home is located, as the average cost of utilities per state can vary widely across the country. Understanding the average cost of utilities by state is a good way to do some smart financial planning and make sure you know what you are getting into before and after you buy a home.
Average Cost Of Utilities By State
As mentioned, location and climate are huge factors for utility costs. Heating during frigid months and bumping that AC during the summer heat can add up when it comes to utility bills. Other factors you may not think of right away come into play as well though. For example, population density is important to take into account because utilities cost more where there is higher demand.
That said, places like Hawaii that aren't as densely populated often have some of the highest costs because of how remote they are. Building the necessary infrastructure for these places to get the utilities they need makes it more expensive, driving up their rankings in the cost of utilities by state.
The Top And Bottom 10 States In Average Cost Of Utilities
Now that you know some of the factors in play when it comes to determining average utility costs, let’s take a look at some of the most – and least – expensive places to live when it comes to the major utilities (electricity and natural gas), according to Statista.
The Most Expensive Utility Cost States
While there certainly are good reasons to call each of these states home, loving what you will pay for utilities probably won't be one of them.
Feeling the aloha spirit when you land in this tropical paradise? You may not feel it as strongly when you get your first utility bill. Natural gas and electricity costs are high here due to the remote nature of the islands and the expense associated with getting these critical utilities to the people that live there.
- Electricity 149.33
- Natural gas 223.07
The sunshine state might not feel so sunny when the utility bills come each month, unless you plan to power your house with solar panels.
- Electricity 126.44
- Natural gas 117.57
3. South Carolina
Electric rates are the big culprit when it comes to the utility expensiveness of The Palmetto State.
- Electricity 140.80
- Natural gas 94.32
Roll Tide®? More like roll up your sleeves and get to work covering the second highest electric bill in the country.
- Electricity 142.55
- Natural gas 90.79
This southern belle is not so polite when it comes to both gas and electric. They don't call the capital
"hotlanta" for nothing.
- Electricity 126.38
- Natural gas 99.33
You don’t need a degree from Yale to know this is not the most cost-effective place to live when it comes to your utility bills.
- Electricity 139.97
- Natural gas 84.67
Most of us think of a hot desert when we think of the copper state, so it’s not surprising that it's not cheap to stay cool.
- Electricity 128.40
- Natural gas 87.28
This "diamond" can be a little rough when it comes to paying the bills.
- Electricity 121.73
- Natural gas 83.41
Although one of the smallest states in the U.S., Maryland sneaks into the top 10 when it comes to utility costs.
- Electricity 131.16
- Natural gas 73.95
10. New Hampshire
New Hampshire rounds out our top 10 most expensive utility states. Too bad granite can’t be used to make that furnace churn out heat.
- Electricity 114.95
- Natural gas 88.83
The Least Expensive Utility Cost States
Now let’s look at the utility cost bargain bin. Here are the states that will put a smile on your face when you pay those utility bills every month. Ok, maybe not a smile, but at least a little less of a frown.
1. New Mexico
The uranium capital of the world is the most power friendly state when it comes to what you pay for gas and electric.
- Electricity 79.16
- Natural gas 50.00
Electricity and natural gas costs in Utah both fall within the top 10 least expensive, so it’s no surprise that Utah comes in at #2 when it comes to affordability.
- Electricity 81.65
- Natural gas 47.99
Rocky Mountains beat rocky utility bills every time. Colorado delivers the best of both.
- Electricity 82.47
- Natural gas 50.57
Montana’s super cheap natural gas allows it to stay near the top of this list even with higher (yet still affordable) electricity costs.
- Electricity 94.75
- Natural gas 42.60
The Gem State is a real, well, gem when it comes to your utility bills. Electricity is reasonably priced and natural gas is especially affordable.
- Electricity 100.38
- Natural gas 41.76
Electricity is pricey in The Badger State, but cheap natural gas and internet allow Wisconsin to crack the top 10 on the list of utility costs per state.
- Electricity 94.67
- Natural gas 49.74
Illinois is not small by any measure, with the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP) and the sixth largest population in the U.S. Fortunately, the utility bill doesn’t follow suit.
- Electricity 89.63
- Natural gas 57.86
Surrounded by the great lakes, Michigan has an abundance of natural resources. This helps keep utility costs down.
- Electricity 97.41
- Natural gas 50.64
The land of 10,000 lakes won’t let you drown in those monthly bills with affordable electricity and natural gas.
- Electricity 97.58
- Natural gas 53.91
The 10th largest, least populated state does a great job getting power and gas over large swaths of land while keeping it affordable.
- Electricity 97.10
- Natural gas 55.45
So, there you have it – the 10 most and least expensive states when it comes to utility costs.
Deciding where to live should not solely be based on where the bills are the lowest, but having a better understanding of where you will pay the most for electricity and natural gas can help make sure whatever decision you make won't lead to big surprises when you get those bills every month.
Wondering where your state falls? Here is a complete list from highest to lowest in terms of average utility costs:
- South Carolina
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- New York
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
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