Average Electric Bill in Vermont

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

$100.83
average monthly residential electric bill in Vermont
*This is 14.3% less than the United States national average, which is $117.65.
18.02¢/kWh
average residential electric rate for households in VT
*This is 40% greater (9th highest) than the U.S. average, which is 12.87¢/kWh.
560 kWh
average monthly residential electricity consumption in VT
*This is 38.7% less than the national average (914 kWh) & the 3rd lowest in the U.S..
12th
Vermont ranking for the lowest electric bill in the United States
*Relative to average monthly household income (2.09%), VT has the 14th lowest bill.

Why Are Electric Bills in Vermont Comparatively Low?

The two factors that make up the cost of an electric bill are (1) cost and (2) consumption. Looking at each, cost in significantly higher in Vermont than the national average–40% higher to be exact. However, the average residential electricity consumption in the state is 38.7% lower than the national average, helping balance the price out.

Reasons for High Electricity Rates in Vermont

Since the electricity rates in Vermont are significantly higher than the national average by 40%, 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 Vermont

Given that residential electricity consumption in Vermont is significantly lower than the national average by 38.7%, 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 Vermont Get Its Electricity From?

Vermont consumes a lot of electricity. According to the EIA, the state consumes four times more electricity than it produces, so it’s clear it gets energy from other states. When talking about sources of electricity, 6 out of 10 households rely on petroleum for heat, while others rely on natural gas and/or wood.

Windpower, hydropower and other renewable energies made up 99.7% of Vermont’s electricity generation in 2018, making it the cleanest state in the United States (as far as energy is concerned).

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

Read About Electric Bills in Other States