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Heating & Air-Conditioning Costs Across the U.S.

The average temperature in the U.S. ranges from lows of 32.03°F in Alaska to highs of 72.95°F in Hawaii [4] USA.com Average Temperatures By State http://www.usa.com/rank/us--average-temperature--state-rank.htm. As such, discussions around energy costs often forget how varied climates are between states.

To try to understand more about the varied cost of heating and cooling a home, we’ve analyzed data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to reveal just how much the average American is spending on heating and cooling their home, and how figures differ by state and region.

Contents

Key Takeaways

  • On average, Americans spend $2,284 per year on gas and electric household usage, of which $1,346 is spent on space heaters or air-conditioning
  • Those in the New England region spend the most annually heating and cooling their homes ($1,549)
  • Residents in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas spend the most on air-conditioning and cooling their home ($550)
  • Residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania spend the most annually heating their home via gas and/or electric space heaters ($1,318)
  • Residents in West Virginia spend the highest percentage of their median household income on heating and cooling costs (3.08%)

States Spending the Most on Gas And Electric At Home

Taking into account household energy CPI [2] BLS ‘Household Energy’ CPI index https://www.bls.gov/cpi/ data since 2015, and overlaying these with the latest available EIA data [1] Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2020/, reveals that the average U.S. resident spends $2,284 on gas and electric each year, with an average total of $1,691 being spent on electric and $733 annually on gas.

Data from the EPI showed that, on average, those living in the New England region of the U.S. (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) spend the most on residential energy, with the average home spending $3,127 per year on gas and electricity.

Meanwhile, those in the Pacific region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington) spend the least on gas and electricity, per year ($1,798).

Spending the Highest Share of Income

When comparing EIA data [1] Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2020/ with median household income data from the Census Bureau [3] Census Bureau Median Household Income https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=income&g=0100000US_0400000US01,02,04,05,06,08,09,10,11,12,13,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,53,54,55,56&tid=ACSST5Y2020.S1903&moe=false&tp=false, it’s revealed that, on average, households in the U.S. spend 3.51% of their household income ($64,994) on typical gas and electric usage ($2,284). 

However, for those living in Maine, 5.26% of the average household income ($59,489) is spent on heating, cooling, and refrigeration ($3,127). 

After Maine, gas and electric bills in Mississippi (5.05%), West Virginia (5.03%), Vermont (4.93%), and Arkansas (4.58%) take the most share of household incomes.

In comparison, those living in Hawaii (2.16%) spend the least on household gas and electric bills ($1,798) as a share of household income ($83,173), followed by California (2.29%) and Alaska (2.31%).

States Spending the Most Keeping Warm

Cost Change %

The analysis of the EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) Expenditure data [1] Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2020/ found those living in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, spend the most on gas and electric space heating. The average household within the ‘Middle Atlantic’ states spends $1,318 per year on space heaters, with $746 spent on gas heating and $572 on electricity.

On a national average, U.S. households spend an average of $1,020 on space heating per year, with the average home using $469 in electric and $551 in gas heating annually.

Analysis of EIA data [1] Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2020/ also reveals that those living in the ‘Pacific’ region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington) spend the least on space heating ($874) per year. 

As a percentage of income, those living in Mississippi spend the most (2.19%) of their income on heating, with the average Mississippi household spending $1,019 of the median income in the state ($46,511).

While those living in Hawaii spend just 0.77% of the state’s median household income ($83,173) on heating.

States Spending the Most on Air-Conditioning 

When it comes to keeping cool, according to adjusted EIA data [1] Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2020/, the average household in the U.S. spends $326 on air-conditioning, with those living in the ‘West South Central’ region (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas) spending $550 running their home’s air-conditioning.

Cost Change %

As a percentage of median income, those living in Arkansas (1.11%), Louisiana (1.08%), and Oklahoma (1.02%) spend the highest shares of their median incomes covering air-conditioning costs, while those in Colorado (0.18%) spend the least.

Overall, while those in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas spend the most per year running A/C units ($550), those in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming spend the least on average ($132).

Methodology

To reveal just how much Americans are spending heating and cooling their homes annually, we analyzed the latest available Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), adjusting figures by the latest (seasonally adjusted) ‘Household Energy’ CPI, to reveal just how much the average household is spending today.

To analyze the percentage of household income spent on heating and cooling a home, we used the latest Census Bureau Median Household Income data

Sources

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