Government's Best Survey on Electric Bills

In mid-September, the U.S. Department of Labor made its semiannual release of the very best data on residential electric bills. Based on an extremely extensive survey of the expenditures of nearly thirty thousand American households, one can analyze how a household’s income, age, region, race, family size, type of neighborhood and type of home tend to affect how much their bills are.

There’s so much data that we’re downloading into Database Utilities Fortnightly, but here’s a few highlights that we’ve discovered thus far:

  1. Americans’ average electric bill fell from $124.67 per month in 2018 to $122.67 in 2019. That comes to two dollars less per monthly bill.
  2. Westerners’ average bill was $105.42 in 2018, Midwesterners’ average was $111.67, Northeasterners’ average was $111.92, and Southerners’ average was $143.67.
  3. If you divide all 132.2 million households in the country into quintiles based on their income before taxes, then the lowest-income households had an $87.42 average electric bill in 2019. In comparison, the highest-income households had a $160.33 average.
  4. Households with someone sixty-five years or older average $119.67 electric bills. That’s 2.9 percent of their total consumer expenditures. In comparison, middle-age households pay 2.1 percent of their total expenditures on electricity on average.
  5. Households in central cities average $105.50 electric bills. While those in rural areas average $141.50.