Electric's Share of Expenditures All-Time Low

The average American has never spent such a small share of their total expenditures on electricity as in 2021.

Just 1.28 percent of American consumer expenditures in 2021 went to pay electric bills. In all the years since 1959 (when the U.S. Commerce Department first reported detailed consumer expenditure stats), this percentage has never been this low.

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The second lowest year was 2019, the year before the pandemic. That year, the percentage was 1.29 percent.

Electricity’s percentage had never fallen to 1.4 percent, let alone below 1.4, until 2016. Yet, in 2016, and in each year since, the percentage has been below 1.4 percent. For the last six years, the percentage has consistently been in the 1.3s or 1.2s.

As recently as 2013 and 2014, the percentage was significantly higher, at 1.49 percent.

When was electricity’s percentage of consumer expenditures the highest? In 1982. That year, the percentage was 2.27 percent.