A federal agency says that while residential electric rates are highest in Hawaii, it’s South Carolina that leads the nation in how much it pays to keep the lights on.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, released a report on Feb. 13 revealing that the average Palmetto State resident spent $1,753 ($146 a month) on electricity in 2016, about $402 more than the average U.S. ratepayer.

That’s despite the fact that Hawaii boasts the priciest rate at 27.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. The average U.S. rate is 12.5 cents per killowat-hour.

Alabama, Connecticut, Maryland, and Hawaii round out the top five list of states with the most burdensome bills.
Louisiana has the cheapest electricity at 9.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. Louisianans, however, use more electricity than anyone else.

In fact, those of us in the Southeast use more electricity than any other region, according to the EIA. Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas round out the top five list of states with the highest electricity sales per customer.

The report clarifies that weather and the adoption of clean energy both affect how much electricity people across the country need to use.

“States with the least residential electricity usage, such as Hawaii and California, generally have mild climates that do not require significant space heating or air conditioning,” the report reads. “Hawaii and California in particular have also had high adoption levels of solar photovoltaic systems in the residential sector, lowering the amount of electricity sold to homes.”

New Mexicans enjoy the lowest bills, coasting by on an average of $911 a year, or about $76 a month.

Residents of Montana, Maine, Colorado, Utah follow New Mexico in the list of states who pay the least for power.

Interestingly, none of those five states actually have the lowest rates, which are enjoyed by residents of North Dakota, Idaho, Arkansas, Washington, and Louisiana.

South Carolina, of course, is still trying to figure out what will come of state-owned utility Santee Cooper and SCANA’s SCE&G, which are currently in the process of fielding bidders after abandoning construction of two nuclear reactors at VC Summer in Fairfield County.

The average SCE&G customer currently pays $27 a month for the abandoned project, which will never produce electricity.

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