Average Electric Bill in Missouri

We dug into the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data[1] to look at the average monthly electric bill for Missouri 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.

$126.79
average monthly residential electric bill in Missouri
*This is 7.8% greater than the United States national average, which is $117.65.
11.34¢/kWh
average residential electric rate for households in MO
*This is 11.9% less (18th lowest) than the U.S. average, which is 12.87¢/kWh.
1,118 kWh
average monthly residential electricity consumption in MO
*This is 22.3% greater than the national average (914 kWh) & the 14th highest in the U.S..
14th
Missouri ranking for the highest electric bill in the United States
*Relative to average monthly household income (2.95%), MO has the 12th highest bill.

Why Are Electric Bills in Missouri Comparatively High?

The two factors that make up the cost an electric bill are (1) cost and (2) consumption. Looking at each, you’ll notice that, while cost takes a moderate dive down from the national average, the average consumption suffers from a significant increase. With an average temperature of 54.5 degrees, the need for cooling and heating flip flop throughout the year, meaning electrical consumption is prone to increase.

Reasons for Low Electricity Rates in Missouri

Despite the electricity rate being decreased by 11.9% compared to the national average, it’s important to understand what makes electricity more or less expensive. The factors affecting this number are:

  1. Supply – an 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 Missouri

If we want to figure out why the electricity consumption in Missouri is so high (22.3%), 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 Missouri Get Its Electricity From?

The EIA points to coal as Missouri’s #1 source of electricity. In fact, the EIA points out that 73% of Missouri’s electricity generation can be attributed to coal power plants. Natural gas plays a moderate role in generation as well.

Nuclear power has been picking up some steam in the state, however, and Missouri’s one nuclear power plant was responsible for 13% of the state’s electricity. Along with nuclear power comes wind power, and Missouri has steadily been increasing their usage of wind power.

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

Read About Electric Bills in Other States