Average Electric Bill in Georgia

We dug into the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data[1] to look at the average monthly electric bill for Georgia residential households. These averages are for the full year of 2018, not any specific month of 2019, given that electricity usage & prices fluctuate month-to-month.

$131.05
average monthly residential electric bill in Georgia
*This is 11.4% greater than the United States national average, which is $117.65.
11.47¢/kWh
average residential electric rate for households in GA
*This is 64.7% greater than the United States average, which is 12.87¢/kWh.
1,142 kWh
average monthly residential electricity consumption in GA
*This is 24.9% greater than the national average (914 kWh) & the 10th highest in the U.S..
12th
Georgia ranking for highest electric bill in the United States
*Relative to average monthly household income (2.97%), GA has the 13th highest bill.

Why Are Electric Bills in Georgia Comparatively High?

The two factors that make up the cost an electric bill are (1) cost and (2) consumption. Looking at each, you can see that, while the state enjoys a 10.9% decrease in electrical rates when compared to the national average, it also suffers a 24.9% increase when concerning electricity consumption. The high consumption doesn’t come as a surprise, however, since Georgia runs a bit higher than normal, with an average yearly temp of 63.5 degrees.

Reasons for Low Electricity Rates in Georgia

With the state enjoying a nice decrease in electricity rates when compared to other states (10.9%), it’s important to understand what makes electricity more or less expensive. The factors affecting this number are:

  1. Supplyan increase in the supply of energy brings costs down. For example, weather events such as high amounts of rain or high wind speeds can temporarily increase the supply of energy where there are hydropower plants or wind turbines to take advantage, and as a result, lower electricity rates.
  2. Demand – an increase in the demand for energy causes costs to rise. This is because the use of more costly fuels, such as natural gas, help “fill in” for the rise in demand. For example, a heat wave might temporarily increase the demand for cooling and the subsequent need for fuels, and as a result, raise electricity rates.

Additional factors that impact electricity rates include state & federal regulations, global markets and even financial speculation.

Reasons for High Electricity Consumption in Georgia

Given that Georgia consumes much more electricity than the average state (24.9%), it’s important to understand exactly what electricity is used for. The EIA looked at the end uses of electricity in the average American household and found the following breakdown:

NOTE

“Other uses” includes small electric devices, heating elements, exterior lights, outdoor grills, pool and spa heaters, backup electricity generators, and motors not listed above. Does not include electric vehicle charging.

Tips for Lowering Electric Bill

  • Reduce space heating/cooling– given that heating & cooling make up a large part of the average electric bill, increasing energy efficiency in this area can have arguably the biggest impact on your bill. Here are some things you can do to reduce your usage in this area:
    • Use a programmable thermostat (can reduce heating/cooling by ~10%)
    • Use extra insulation
    • Dress up/down to the temperature
    • Replace your air filter more often
    • Check seals on windows/doors/appliances for openings/leaks
  • Reduce water heating – one of the next biggest portions of the average electric bill is from water heating, which can be reduced by showering at lower temperatures, taking shorter hot showers and by lowering the temperature on the water heater itself (ideally to 120 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  • Adjust fridge & freezer temperatures – ideally, your fridge should be at 38 degrees and your freezer at 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where Does Georgia Get Its Electricity From?

When it comes to sources of electricity, Georgia remains one of the more interesting states in the country. While Georgia uses a ton of natural gas and plans to increase nuclear power production, the state currently uses more electricity than it can generate.

To solve this problem, Georgia receives electricity from neighboring states. Along with natural gas and other states, Georgia relies on coal and hydroelectric power.

[1] Data from: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data.php#sales 

Read About Electric Bills in Other States