When apartment hunting, it’s likely that one of your first concerns is going to be the price of rent. But rent costs aren’t the only expense you need to think about. Utility costs make up a decent portion of your rental fees and you need to know those, as well.
The average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 12.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). If you use the same electricity as the average American, that would leave you paying more than $110 per month — and that’s just for power. Many rentals may also require you pay for your own gas, water, sewer services and even trash pick up!
However, depending on where you live in the country, you might be able to save money on your utility rates.
But first, what makes electricity expensive?
You might be wondering what the cause of varying electricity rates is in the first place? After all, isn’t all electricity the same? You’re mostly correct.
All of the electricity we use in our homes is the same, but not all electricity comes from the same source. The electricity we use is a secondary energy source, which means it’s produced through the conversion of a primary energy source like coal natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy or wind energy.
Since the availability of these primary energy sources varies from region to region, the cost of electricity also varies. Government regulation of utilities, or the lack thereof, also has an influence on the cost of electricity.
The cheapest states for electricity
Choose Energy compiled a list of least and most expensive places for electricity rates. Here are the five states where it’s most affordable for your energy payments.
1. North Dakota
North Dakota currently stands as the cheapest state for electricity at just 9.03 kWh. If you use as much electricity as the average American household, you’ll find yourself paying around $78 per month for electricity. For single or two-person households, you could expect to pay less than half of that amount per month.
On top of the low electricity cost in the Roughrider state, you’ll be happy to know the average rental rate in the state is an affordable $827 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
The Show-Me State? More like, the show me affordable electricity state! Electricity in Missouri costs around 9.1 kWh on average, meaning you’ll pay around the same monthly amount as you would in North Dakota.
The electricity rate and the average monthly rent costs of just $1,050 for a one-bedroom apartment in Missouri mean more money left over in your wallet.
Louisiana is much more than just Mardi Gras and Cajun cuisine. This melting pot of African, French, American and French-Canadian culture is a fantastic place to live. If you choose to call this state home, you’ll be pleased to find out that the average electricity rate in the state is only 9.15 kWh.
You can also definitely afford to live in Louisiana considering the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just $968!
Arkansas boasts a very low electricity rate of 9.32 kWh. This makes for extremely low electric bills each month. Plus, Arkansas is ranked as one of the five most affordable states to live in and one of the five states with the lowest cost of doing business!
If you’re thinking about Arkansas as the next place to call home, you’ll be thrilled to learn that, on average, rental rates in Arkansas are around $705 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Washington is the first state on this list not located in middle America so it may come as a surprise to learn that the average cost of electricity in Washington state is just 9.4 kWh.
How are Washington’s electricity rates so low? Washington has a large infrastructure dedicated to producing wind, solar and hydro-electric energy and also relies heavily on affordable natural gas from their neighbors, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
The average monthly rent cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Washington is $1,812.
What about the most expensive states?
We listed the cheapest states for electricity, but you might be wondering about what states have the most expensive electricity? Hawaii has the most expensive rate at 33.57 kWh. The most expensive electricity on the mainland U.S. is found in Rhode Island where electricity is 24.17 kWh on average.
The rent information included in this article is based on May 2019 rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
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