Electric Bills' Share of Consumer Expenditures

The U.S. Department of Commerce calculates the Gross Domestic Product. Since consumer expenditures are around seventy percent of the GDP, the Commerce Department tracks consumer expenditures in extraordinary detail. 

The following percentages are easy to understand. 2% means that one-fiftieth of consumer expenditures goes to pay electric bills. 1% means that one-hundredth of consumer expenditures goes to pay electric bills. 

The lower these percentages are, the smaller is electricity’s share of consumers’ budgets. And the larger is the share of consumers’ budgets for all other goods and services. 

So, the lower these percentages are, the less costly electricity has become. And the wealthier that consumers have become.


Electricity Share Latest Month – U.S. (April 2017): 1.35%

Record High (June 1981): 2.53%

Record Low (February 2017): 1.22%

Year Earlier (April 2016): 1.36%

Two Years Earlier (April 2015): 1.44%


Electricity Share Latest Quarter – U.S. (Q1 2017): 1.28%

Record High (Q3 1983): 2.37%

Record Low (Q1 2017): 1.28%

Year Earlier (Q1 2016): 1.34%

Two Years Earlier (Q1 2015): 1.51%


Electricity Share Latest Year – U.S. (2016): 1.39%

Record High (1982): 2.27%

Record Low (2016): 1.39%

Year Earlier (2015): 1.44%

Two Years Earlier (2014): 1.49%


Check out PUF Quant Services in our new digital mag PUF 2.0. Unique insightful number-crunching courtesy of Public Utilities Fortnightly. 

Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com