How Much Electricity Do You Use Each Month?

When you look at your monthly electricity bill, you probably focus on the number with a dollar sign in front of it. But there’s another value listed: how much energy you actually used.

If you are a perfectly average American living in a perfectly average household, your monthly electricity bill will read 911 kilowatt hours (kWh), which costs $114.

But most of us don’t live in perfectly average households. (The state that comes closest to matching the average monthly electricity usage is Ohio).

Depending on whether a state is hot or cold, urban or rural, an average household can use as little as 506 kWh a month (Hawaii) or as much as 1,291 kWh (Louisiana). Costs vary state-by-state, too. Hawaiians, even though they use the least, pay the most for electricity ($188 a month) and New Mexicans pay the least ($78 a month).

As for our Inside Energy focus states:

  • Colorado homes use 687 kWh and spend $84 per month
  • North Dakota homes use 1,240 kWh and spend $113 a month
  • Wyoming homes use 863 kWh and spend $91 a month

How is energy use and cost changing? Nationwide, average monthly electricity use rose 8 kWh per household between 2012 and 2014 and prices rose three-quarters of a cent per kWh. As a result, average monthly bills went up about $7 per household between 2012 and 2014.

How does your electricity bill measure up?

A kilowatt hour isn’t an intuitive unit, so we also have a post explaining what you can do with a month’s worth of electricity.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on May 22, 2014 and included 2012 data. We published an updated version with 2014 data on October 27, 2015.

Data source: Energy Information Administration, 2012 and 2014

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  • kyle

    I dont understand. We do nothing special and we are using about 150 kWh per month. What are the rest of you doing to use so much power?

    • John

      I can’t speak for other people, just myself. I use around 2100 kWh per month. I am a freelance programmer with a pretty beefy computer and 3 monitors, which is on all the time. I also play a lot of games and have multiple TV’s running at the same time occasionally. I also have two servers that are always on to host some dedicated games and a website. Also since the Xbox One doesn’t allow for split-screen anymore, when friends come over I have multiple Xbox One’s and TV’s so we can play together and sometimes host LAN parties. Not to mention my entire electrically ran house. Electric stove, water heater, dishwasher, furnace/ac, microwave, coffee machine, etc. Also, size of house makes a difference too. I live in a 2800 square foot house, which can take a lot to heat and cool. Personally I think I’m doing alright in power consumption, but I guess that’s just a matter of perspective.

      • Dan Boyce

        Hey guys, I’m one of the reporters at Inside Energy. It’s sweet that you guys pay attention to your energy use–a lot of people don’t. On our end, it’s interesting to see the difference in use between you.

        Now, onto my pitch: we have just the thing for you energy-conscious folks! You can sign up for our newsletter by following the prompts at this link here:

        http://us10.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d72986e338f1e1dea558fc29e&id=e836bd51d3&e=a0dac5a0e5

        email newsletters are totally cool these days, and this one lets you know all about our coverage. It comes out twice a month!

        Hope to see you there!

    • Lisa

      I just moved to a 1,500 sq ft house in Washington State. It’s cold, so we have the heat running, the house is 100% electric, as opposed to gas + electric, and we have only baseboard heaters and space heaters rather than more efficient heating methods (unfortunately). We used just over 850 kWh for the last month.

  • John

    I can’t speak for other people, just myself. I use around 2000 kWh per month. I am a freelance programmer with a pretty beefy computer and 3 monitors, which is on all the time. I also play a lot of games and have multiple TV’s running at the same time occasionally. I also have two servers that are always on to host some dedicated games and a website. Also since the Xbox One doesn’t allow for splitscreen anymore, when friends come over I have multiple Xbox One’s and TV’s so we can play together and sometimes host LAN parties. Not to mention my entire electrically ran house. Electric stove, water heater, dishwasher, furnace/ac, microwave, coffie machine, etc. Personally I think I’m doing alright in power consumption.

  • kris

    we use 517 KWh, on averge, per month. the bill is around $83 per month. Califonia. malibu

    • Tim Carmichael

      is this also in the summer when using air condition? How many sq ft home do you have?

    • Raymond

      I’m in the San Fernando Valley by myself in a studio. With AC running occasionally throughout the day I’m averaging 6.95 kWh per day, or about 200 kWh per month.

  • lizzie

    I am currently in an uproar over my utility bill. I live in Louisiana and according to my kWh I am using between 3,000/4000 kWh per month. My residence is a single family 1500 sq. ft. home. I was subscribing to the “level” billing plan offered by my energy company, which averages my bill based on 12 months usage. My bill averages $350+ per month. Recently I got off level billing and my last month’s bill was $537, (163 kWh per day) They ran a test meter at my request and I am now waiting to hear the results. I just don’t think anyone should pay this much just to have lights on in their home.

  • T C

    I use anywhere from 1200-1800 kwh in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia, Los Angeles.

  • Honeybadger

    I am not sure how people use as much electricity as they do. My fiance and I use about 200-230 kWh/month. Granted, I live on the coast of Southern California and we have fairly stable weather year-round. We do not have AC and do not use electricity to heat the house (actually, we have never even turned on our gas furnace, come to think of it). I have a pretty powerful computer with multiple monitors and we have all kinds of devices hooked up throughout the house. We have two 50 inch TVs. We also have two full sized refrigerators and a chest freezer running at all times. We don’t do anything special to conserve electricity; except basic things like turning lights and appliances off when not in use… So I guess my question is: How on Earth do people use so much electricity?

    • mdsn2010

      Live in Mississippi.

  • Jeffrey Granger

    1758 Kwh last month 1300 sq ft home Just outside of Orlando Fl. My wife and I work compressed shifts on opposite ends of the week.
    For the last three months on my days off (3 to 4 days a week) Ive completely shut off the A/C during the day even though the inside temp of the house exceeds 90+ degrees, I stopped using the cloths dryer except for bath towels ,use a an outside laundry line to dry the kids and my clothes, and use the outside smoker and grill for cooking dinner to keep from using the electric oven and keep the house from getting hotter.
    At first we were saving about 50 bucks a month, with usage around 1300 kwh a month. Now all of a sudden the usage jumped up to 1758. WTF????

  • Jessica2248

    I live on base and the house is maybe 1500 sq ft, and our meter reads 2070 kwh. our thermostat is always on 74/75, and at night we turn it off altogether. How can you tell if your air system is broken? Each month we have been here our bill increases 50 – 75 dollars every month. I look at my usage compared to those of my neighbors on base and we use 207% more than they do, and we do everything possible to conserve energy.

    • Moeko Brooks

      It sounds like the A/C unit is struggling to run. Also, it’s best not to turn it off all the way. It takes more energy for the unit to start up and catch up rather than to turn it up a few notches; maybe to whatever temperature it is at night when you don’t have the unit on.