Average Electricity Rates
The national average rate for electricity is all but useless for two reasons:
Reason 1: Electricity rates vary widely. They vary not only by region (e.g., an average of 7.5¢ in Idaho vs. 36¢ in Hawaii), but they also vary from the same utility. We have found rates ranging from 12¢ to 50¢ per kWh from the same provider. The only way to know what you’re actually paying is to check your bill – carefully. You can’t find out your own kWh rate by reading this web page but it’s still useful because you’ve already learned where to get exactly what you’re paying.
Reason 2: Electric rates are usually tiered, meaning that excessive use is billed at a higher rate. This is important because your savings are also figured for the highest tier you’re in. For example, let’s say you pay 10¢/kWh for the first 500 kWh, and then 15¢/kWh for use above that. If you normally use 900 kWh a month, then every kWh you save reduces your bill by 15¢. (Well, once you get your use below 500 kWh, then your savings will be 10¢ kWh, but you get the point.) When using any type of savings calculator, you should generally choose the highest tier you’re currently paying.
So the “average” rate of electricity is all but useless for most purposes. Therefore, on this site, I generally use a sample rate of 15¢ per kWh. This isn’t a “typical” rate, since there’s no such thing as typical when it comes to electricity rates. And it’s certainly not average. It’s just a reasonable example.
Fine print: Your own rate could be higher or lower than whatever you find in this or any other website.
Last year, the average US residential electricity rate was 13¢/kWh