Q:

How much does 1 kilowatt hour of electricity cost?

A:

The average price of electricity in the United States was 12 cents per kilowatt hour as of October 28, 2011, according to NPR. A typical household uses approximately 908 kWh per month of electricity.

As NPR notes, Hawaii residents paid the most per kWh, at 33 cents in 2011. The Energy Information Administration's energy economist, Tyler Hodge, cites the cost of crude oil used to generate electricity as the main reason. Conversely, Idaho pays the lowest price per kWh, at 8 cents in 2011, due to the use of hydroelectric dams that generate its electricity. As for the nation, the average price per kWh has risen over the past decade. According to the EIA, between 2002 and 2012, the average retail price has consistently increased from 8.44 to 11.88 cents. Utility companies, such as American Electric Power, claim that failing infrastructure has contributed to the rise in prices but also admit that construction and maintenance costs for renewable sources such as wind and solar are costly. Additionally, AEP notes that impending greenhouse gas legislation has the potential to increase capital costs for technologies used in coal production, but the EIA's Annual Energy Outlook in 2010 projected that capital costs would decrease between 2020 and 2035.

Sources:

  1. npr.org
  2. eia.gov

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