On Sept. 8, the extraordinarily comprehensive annual survey by the U.S. Labor Department on what American households spend money on, reported that the average residential electric bill in 2022 was $140.25 per month.
That’s up eight and a half percent from 2021. When the average bill was $129.25.
But average total expenditures on all goods and services in 2022, across all hundred and thirty-four million American households, was up nine percent. So, electricity’s share of total household expenditures remained flat. At 2.3 percent.
As in past years, there are considerable differences between regions of the country. The average residential electric bill in the toasty South was $160.17 per month. While in the more temperate Midwest it was $123.33.
The averages in the West and Northeast were not much higher than in the Midwest. At $129.17 and $130.92 respectively. Heavy air conditioning usage down South really brings up the average bill nationwide.
This is especially the case in what the Labor Department calls the East South Central and West South Central divisions of the South. As opposed to the South’s third division, the South Atlantic.
Over the two-year period of 2021-22, the average residential electric bill was $159.67 and $159.17 per month in those first two divisions in the South Central. And significantly lower, $147.08, in the third, the South Atlantic.
The regional divisions nationally with the lowest average bills?
They are the East North Central with a 2021-22 average of $118.50 per month, the Middle Atlantic with an average of $121.50, the Pacific with an average of $121.58, and the West North Central with an average of $123.08.
And as in past years, there are considerable differences between regions with respect to electricity’s share of total household expenditures. Again, averaging over the two-year period of 2021-22, electricity’s share of household expenditures was 3.2 percent in West South Central and 3.1 percent in East South Central.
That’s Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas in the West South Central. And Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee in the East South Central.
In contrast, electricity’s share of household expenditures was 1.8 percent in Pacific and 1.9 percent in Middle Atlantic. Pacific and Middle Atlantic have some of the highest electric rates in the country. But they have some of the lowest average electric bills. And they have the lowest electric bill shares.
That’s Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington in the Pacific. And New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in the Middle Atlantic.