Everyday, I get hit with folks that believe that energy innovation is bad for the United States and the people who live in it. Policies that promote solar, wind, and energy efficiency are actually great for Americans. In fact, California, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Colorado, and other clean energy leaders rank as some of the most affordable places to live in terms of energy costs.
Did you know that for 25 million households, energy costs in the United States could eat up 22 percent of a families’ total after-tax income. And because of dismal energy efficiency in some states, lower unit energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation. For instance, although electricity is relatively cheaper in Southern Louisiana, its scorching summer heat raises costs for residents compared with the temperate climate in more energy-expensive Northern California, where heating and cooling units stay idle most of the year.
To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their analysis went beyond just electricity and included natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil as well.
The highest cost state in the country is: Wyoming, the state where folks drive more than anywhere else, would benefit from more fuel-efficient vehicles. The more surprising states on this list are coal-heavy states in the South. Southern Company owns the utility companies in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. They have far more expensive electricity bills than California. You would think that the politicians and utility company would work together to help folks with energy efficiency like better insulation that would reduce air conditioning bills, but you would be wrong. Rounding out the top ten are more energy heavy states like West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. I have no idea why Indiana is in the top ten at all…wait yes I do. It is because the utility companies defunded energy efficiency to the point of almost killing the program. You can read more about this great study here: https://wallethub.com/edu/energy-costs-by-state/4833
(#) in parentheses are the States’ ranking in that column, (1) is most expensive monthly bills.
Co-Founder, Generate Capital Inc
Jigar Shah is a LinkedIn Top Energy Influencer for 2017. He is the Co-Founder at Generate Capital Inc.