Average Electricity Prices in $/kWh – 2023

Hydroelectric power is renewable, having zero to low carbon emissions

Average Electricity Price Rose In 2023

Here in the U.S. electricity prices have risen in the early part of the 2023 due to inflation, the continuing conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the ensuing ensnarement of other countries. US grid electricity depends largely on fossil fuels which includes oil and natural gas.

As prices of oil and natural gas rise and fall, so does the electricity rates. Even though the U.S. is a net oil producer and extracts a lot of its own fossil fuels, its part of the free market. As such, energy commodities will flow to where prices are and impact everyone.

We analyzed data from the EPA data store. Note we analyze residential electricity prices. Commercial vs residential electricity rates are quite different.

Estimated Electricity Prices In Cents/kWh For Each State

Average electricity prices inferred from the latest EPA data survey are outdated because the latest data is from 2020. Since then, there’s been big changes. Inflation is key among them. And part of the source of inflation is energy shortages caused by conflict. What is fairly interesting is that the costs of electricity vary widely from 9 cents per kWh to 44 cents. Accordingly the price differences will be one factor that has an impact on which states use the most electricity for both residential and commercial purposes.

An average American home that uses 880 kWh per month, which includes running fridges, ovens, humidifiers, air conditioners. For an average American home, the cost of energizing a house therefore has gone up from $123 to $132. You can read more on our website about average house hold electricity use.

Finally, we reproduce the image above in tabular form that you can copy and paste and use yourself below.

StateElectricity Rate
(cents / kWh)
StateElectricity Rate
(cents / kWh)
Arkansas12.21New Hampshire30.30
California27.15New Jersey17.17
Colorado13.82New Mexico13.36
Connecticut33.23New York21.18
Delaware15.25North Carolina12.97
District of Columbia16.04North Dakota9.72
Illinois17.43Rhode Island28.05
Indiana16.03South Carolina14.26
Iowa11.90South Dakota11.31
Michigan18.06West Virginia14.20
Missouri11.65U.S. Total15.85

Energy And Electricity Prices Are Global Issues

Energy and by extension electricity prices are perennial global and local political issues.  Within one country, energy prices are a big factor that affect political fortunes. Between countries, the generation and distribution of electricity from oil, natural gas, renewable sources, fall victim to conflict or become sources of conflict.

Average Electricity Prices Around The World In $/Kwh

Remarkably, the average electricity price in America remains far below that of many other countries. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, people love to moan about the cost of electricity. This begs the question, where is electricity actually expensive and where is it cheap.  Or better yet, is your electricity cheap or expensive?

Average Electricity Prices From 17 Countries Compared

To answer this question in an older analysis we collected average electricity prices from 17 countries around the world, and converted them to $/kWh (US).  All the data is based on average prices and exchange rates for 2011, and we’ve graphed them in US cents/kWh to keep it tidy.

Denmark, Germany and Spain have expensive electricity.  In fact in straight dollar terms Denmark is trumped only by small island countries dependent on imported diesel for power.

Canadian electricity is cheap at 10 US cents per kilowatt hour, which is reflected in their high average electricity usage. Is that due to colder climates and therefore more use of electricity based heating? We don’t know. US electricity prices at 0.12 $/kWh (now 0.15 $/kWh) are also quite cheap internationally.  In India and China they are very cheap.

Electricity prices are on the move in many places, South Africa, Australia and Nigeria come to mind.  And secondly, exchange rates aren’t the best measure of price due to purchasing power parity.

We reproduce the chart above with 2023 data and in tabular form here. We chose slightly different countries for their population representation. The world has changed a lot and electricity rates are much higher due to the energy crises of 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine and upended natural gas supplies. Some countries have remained insulated, for example, US, Canada, Australia.

CountryElectricity rates (2023)
New Zealand$0.19/kWh
South Africa$0.16/kWh
Hong Kong$0.16/kWh

Adjusting By Purchasing Power Changes Relative Price Of Electricity

Our initial comparison of electricity prices didn’t account for the fact that price levels vary a lot between countries.  For example a US dollar will go a lot further buying goods and services in relatively cheap India than it will in relatively expensive Australia.

If we look at the same average electricity prices for 2011 but this time adjust them to US dollars using purchasing power parity the picture look slightly different.

Purchasing power adjusted average electricity prices

Once you adjust for the different price levels between countries Canadians have the cheapest electricity and Germans the most expensive.

Places like Nigeria and India have jumped up the list due to their lower price levels, while countries including Denmark, Australia and Japan have fallen because they are relatively expensive places to live.  In general accounting for purchasing power lessened the difference between countries, but significant differences remain.

Anne Lauer
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Anna Lauer is a writer, gardener, and homesteader living in rural Wisconsin. She has written for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Hobby Farms magazines. Anna is writing a new book about growing your food for free and an ultimate guide to producing food at little to no cost. When shes not writing or gardening, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.