In Middle Tennessee, air conditioners are going full-tilt as July temperatures climb to near 100 degrees. And as the temperatures rise, opening electric bills can be something of an unpleasant surprise.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the highest energy consumption of the year is recorded in July, followed by August. That leads to higher energy costs during this period.
A new WalletHub study takes a look at the comparative costs of energy for each state. As the study notes, “in the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range.”
And as noted, while some southern states may have relatively lower electrical utility costs, any savings is frequently offset by how often and hard air conditioning is run.
Where does Tennessee stack up? Tennessee is set square in the lower half at 36th place with a Total Energy Cost identical to that of Florida at $292.
Tennessee’s neighbor to the south, Alabama ranks fourth at $341 per month.
Alabama’s second place for Monthly Electricity Cost of $173 helped push the state into the fourth place overall rank.
The study factors Total Energy Cost by factoring a state’s typical Monthly Electricity Cost, Monthly Natural Gas Cost, Monthly Motor Fuel Cost and Monthly Home Heating-Oil Cost.
For the various factored categories, Tennessee is all over the map.
Monthly Electricity Cost is listed as $144 putting Tennessee at 11th place.
Monthly Natural Gas Cost given the state’s short winters, averaged at $18 per month, landing Tennessee at 42nd place.
Monthly Motor Fuel Cost ranks Tennessee at 33rd at $125.
Monthly heating oil cost is listed at $0.
Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina come in first - fifth place respectively for Highest Electricity Consumption per Consumer.
According to WalletHub, their methodology compared the average monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia using the following equation:
(Average Monthly Consumption of Electricity * Average Retail Price of Electricity) + (Average Monthly Consumption of Natural Gas * Average Residential Price of Natural Gas) + (Average Monthly Consumption of Home Heating Oil * Average Residential Price of Home Heating Oil) + (Average Motor-Fuel Price * (Miles Traveled/Average Motor-Fuel Consumption/Number of Drivers in the State)) = Average Monthly Energy Bill in the State
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Federal Highway Administration, American Automobile Association, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and The Regents of the University of Michigan.
To view the study, please visit wallethub.com/edu/energy-costs-by-state/4833.