Shocking data about your electricity rate!

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Did you know that different states charge different $$ rates for electricity? The graphs in this blog will let you easily compare your rate to the rates in other states ...

Did you have a portable radio (aka "boombox") back in the 1980s? Do you remember how much it cost to buy batteries for it? Here's a picture of my latest vintage boombox (given to me by my good friend Reggie).  It consumes quite a bit of power, and uses 10 D-cell batteries (can you guess exactly what make & model it is? - leave your guess in a comment!)

boombox

Of course, rather than buying batteries, it's a lot cheaper to plug it into a wall outlet. Even then, electricity isn't free. But just how much does your electricity cost, and are other people getting a 'better deal' than you?

I found a table on the Web that lists how much the utility companies in each state charge for a kilowatthour of power. It was interesting to see that there was quite a difference from state to state. Here's a screen-capture of part of the table:

power_rates

 It's great to have a table of the data! And a table is fine if you just want to look up one or two values. But it sure is difficult to see the 'big picture' in a table, and compare the values of all the states. So, of course, I imported the data into SAS, and created some graphs!

First a map, and then a bar chart (sorted from highest to lowest cost). You can click on the images below to see all my electric rate maps and graphs, with html hover-text to easily see the exact values:

electricity

electricity5

How well did your state do? Do you have any theories as to why electricity costs vary by state? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 20 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).

3 Comments

  1. Leonid Batkhan

    Of course, there is a cost of generating electricity, cost of transmission and cost of distributing it. Plus, there is demand factor. I am not surprised the price difference, but the chart you produced is very informative.

  2. Where I live has considerably low electricity rates. I feel bad for places like New York and especially Hawaii! Why is electricity so expensive over there? Does being on an island have anything to do with that by chance?

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      I guess housing prices are so expensive in NYC, the utility companies figure they can charge more for electricity too. Perhaps Hawaii's electricity is expensive because their population isn't big enough to justify a nuclear reactor, and maybe they have to ship in coal/gas/etc by boat to generate electricity? (perhaps Hawaii could harness geothermal power!) :)

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