Which State Has the Lowest Utility Bills?

02/27/2017 |

ASAP/ACEEE report ranks each state in electricity, gas and water bill savings

The average American family saved nearly $500 on utility bills in 2015 as a direct result of existing efficiency standards for appliances and lighting, according to a new report issued today by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report details average household savings for all 50 states and the nation’s capital in four categories:  household utility bill savings; electricity savings; natural gas and oil savings; and water savings. The top 10 states for each are ranked. Consumers in Hawaii save the most on overall household utility bills — a whopping $945.

Appliance standards protect consumers and save them money by eliminating energy- and water-wasting products in the market, while preserving the performance and features consumers value and encouraging manufacturers to develop and bring to market products with improved efficiency performance.

Available online at http://www.appliance-standards.org/documents/reports/white-paper-overview, the new ASAP/ACEEE report updates previous estimates of the consumer and business benefits achieved by all existing national standards. In addition to the consumer savings, ASAP/ACEEE show big benefits for businesses too. Total business utility bill savings from standards reached nearly $23 billion in 2015. Business energy bill savings equaled 8% of total business spending on electricity and natural gas.

Average household savings by state ranged from 11-27% of total consumer utility bills, with a national average savings of 16%. The top 10 states for household utility bill savings from existing appliance standards are: 

 

State

Average household utility bill savings in 2015

1

Hawaii

$945

2

Connecticut

$648

3

Massachusetts

$620

4

Rhode Island

$610

5

Alaska

$608

6

New Hampshire

 $603

7

New York

$584

8

Vermont

$555

9

California

$552

10

 New Jersey

$536

 

U.S.

$489

 

Consumers in states with highest bill savings save the most, because they tend to pay the most for energy. Other factors affecting savings include the types of appliances consumers have (e.g. electric versus gas water heaters), and how much cooling and heating they use and household size. States appearing at the bottom of the overall utility bill savings list include: Washington (50), North Dakota (49), Idaho (48), Montana (47), West Virginia (46), Wyoming (45), Oregon (44), Nebraska (43), Arkansas (42) and Louisiana (41). Savings in 2015 for the bottom ten states were still significant, ranging from $360-$405.

ASAP Executive Director Andrew deLaski said:  “Appliance efficiency standards are a win for Americans in every single state. There are no ‘losers’ when it comes to household savings from appliance standards.”

Commenting on the ASAP/ACEEE report, Charlie Harak, senior attorney for energy and utilities issues, National Consumer Law Center, said: "Appliance standards save low-income households money, leaving them more to buy food and pay the rent. They disproportionately are renters, not homeowners, and move into housing where the owner purchases major energy-consuming appliances like furnaces. Standards ensure that low-income renters aren't saddled with inefficient appliances that are energy hogs." 

Tom Eckman, senior advisor and former Director of Power Planning, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, said: “Appliance standards have produced a virtual trifecta of benefits across the Northwest. By significantly slowing the growth in electricity demand across the Northwest, they’ve reduced the need to build expensive new power plants, kept regional power costs lower and produced significant consumer bill savings.”

ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said: “Appliance standards are good for the US economy, benefitting both consumers and businesses. They generate savings that create more jobs.”

The top 10 states for per household electricity savings span the Southeast plus Texas and Arizona. These tend to be the states with the greatest air conditioner use and where electric water heating is most common.  The top 10 states are as follows:

 

State

2015 electricity savings per household (kWh)

1

Florida

3,315

2

Arizona

3,029

3

Mississippi

2,937

4

Texas

2,920

5

South Carolina

 2,915

6

Alabama

2,864

7

Georgia

2,856

8

Louisiana

2,836

9

North Carolina

 2,831

10

 Tennessee

2,798

 

The top 10 states for per-household gas and heating oil savings are those with the largest heating needs (which is where gas and oil heating is most common) and where gas water heating is prevalent. They are as follows:

 

State

2015 gas/heating oil savings per household (MMBtu)

1

Alaska

5.5

2

New Jersey

5.1

3

Illinois

4.9

4

North Dakota

4.8

5

Colorado

4.8

6

Minnesota

4.7

7

Wisconsin

4.5

8

South Dakota

4.4

9

New York

4.4

10

 New Hampshire

 4.4

 

In addition to the state-by-state data on overall utility bill as well as electricity and gas/heating oil savings, the new ASAP/ACEEE report provides detailed information on water savings at the national level and for all 50 states and Washington, DC. At a national level, water savings in 2015 reached 1.5 trillion gallons, enough to meet the needs of all the households in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado combined. The top 10 states for household water savings from existing appliance standards in order are: 

 

State

2015 water savings per household (gallons)

1

Utah

14,457

2

Hawaii

13,896

3

California

13,461

4

Texas

13,131

5

Alaska

12,868

6

Georgia

12,498

7

Nevada

12,435

8

Arizona

12,379

9

New Jersey

 12,283

10

 Idaho

12,281

 

ASAP’s deLaski added:  “Appliance standards work to boost local economies by putting savings in consumers’ and business owners’ pockets. Money saved on utility bills gets plowed back into the economy, creating jobs. Energy savings in turn reduce the need to site and pay for new power generation facilities, transmission lines and pipelines, thereby helping to moderate energy prices, which further benefits all consumers and businesses. Less energy and water waste lead to less pollution, helping to protect the air and public health and easing pressure on over-burdened water supplies.”

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

  • The utility bill savings from standards easily outweigh estimates of the cost to make products more efficient to meet standards. Benefits outweigh estimated costs by 5 to 1 using cost estimates made at the time standards were established.
  • Accounting for products sold between 1987 and 2035 and for estimated product price increases, total net present value savings from national standards for products sold through 2035 are $2.4 trillion for US consumers and businesses, or roughly enough to purchase 70 million new cars based on 2016 average prices.


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