New Report Finds Most Below-Average Income Households Pay Around $2.50 Daily for All Their Electricity
Higher Electric Rates in Northeast and California Offset by Less Use
COLORADO SPRINGS, Co., June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Most below-average income households pay around $2.50 daily for all their home’s electricity, despite the widespread perception that electric bills are high and always heading higher.
Addressing the electricity industry’s annual convention today, Steve Mitnick of Build Energy America released the research group’s latest report, “Electric Values.” The report summarizes a comprehensive study of what American households pay for their electricity that included 10 rigorous analyses of households’ electric rates and bills over the last half century.
“Whatever time period you analyze, whatever state or metro area you look at, almost all Americans’ electric rates have decreased or been fairly flat relative to inflation,” said Mitnick. He continued, “Yes, this is a disconnect with what most people think. It’s confusing because utility critics can really dramatize their opposition, and utility bills can really fluctuate month-to-month.”
Below-average income households, particularly those living in apartment buildings and attached houses, typically receive a day’s electricity for about the cost of a half gallon of milk or two candy bars. All of a family’s lights cost around 30 cents daily and the refrigerator around 39 cents. On a summer day, room air-conditioning can cost a dollar or more. Central air-conditioning, especially for large detached homes in southern states, can cost several dollars daily.
The report’s key findings:
- In the last two years, electric rates nationally have increased 3/4% per annum adjusted for inflation.
- Household electricity use continues to grow by about 2% per annum in the U.S. despite the poor economy and improved energy efficiency.
- Households in 21 states pay at least 30% less per kilowatt-hour than in 1990. In just 7 states do households pay significantly more than 20 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
- Households in 10 of 13 major metro areas pay less per kilowatt-hour than in the early eighties with only San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle families paying more. For those living in the Miami, Chicago and Cleveland metro areas, their savings have been substantial.
- In 2010, the 10 states with the highest rates were all of New England, all three New York City metro area states, California , Alaska and Hawaii (Massachusetts and California tied for 10th).
- Excepting those states and Maryland and Delaware, every one of the other 37 states had an average rate less than or equal to 12.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- While families’ usage of electricity varies considerably, most with below-average income use 16 to 20 kilowatt-hours daily on average and pay around $75 monthly or $2.50 daily for all their home’s electricity 24/7.
To download a copy of the report, visit http//www.BuildEnergyAmerica.org.
About Build Energy America
Based in Washington D.C., it is a non-partisan not-for-profit research group for utilities and energy companies focused on the need for greater investment in the backbone energy infrastructure. Research reports address different benefits of infrastructure investment, constraints holding back investment and regulatory reforms.
SOURCE Build Energy America