Average Electric Bill in New York

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

$111.93
average monthly residential electric bill in New York
*This is 4.9% less than the United States national average, which is $117.65.
18.52¢/kWh
average residential electric rate for households in NY
*This is 43.9% greater (8th highest) than the U.S. average, which is 12.87¢/kWh.
604 kWh
average monthly residential electricity consumption in NY
*This is 33.9% less than the national average (914 kWh) & the 7th lowest in the U.S..
19th
New York ranking for the lowest electric bill in the United States
*Relative to average monthly household income (2.14%), NY has the 17th highest bill.

Why Are Electric Bills in New York Comparatively Low?

The two factors that make up the cost an electric bill are (1) cost and (2) consumption. Looking at each, New York sees a significant increase in electrical cost–43.9% more than the average state, to be exact. However, this increase in cost is offset by the lower electricity consumption of the state (33.9% less).

Reasons for High Electricity Rates in New York

With New York’s electrical rate being significantly higher than that of the national average (43.9%), 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 Low Electricity Consumption in New York

Given that New York’s electricity consumption is much lower than most other states (33.9%), 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 New York Get Its Electricity From?

New York counts on natural gas for a lot of its electricity generation, but the state plans on running on nothing but carbon-free electricity by 2040 and, as the EIA states, 29% of New York’s generation was done by renewable sources.

Speaking of renewables, New York is the third-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the nation, and the top hydroelectric producer east of the Rocky Mountains.

Other sources of energy are ethanol, fuel oil, nuclear power, and biomass. Petroleum as well, though the high use of petroleum is only because so many residents count on public transport.

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

Read About Electric Bills in Other States