It’s always useful to know what is the normal electricity bill for your home. We are going to look at the available billing data in the US to determine the average electricity bill for a 4-person household. By comparing your electricity bill with the average 4-person bill, you will be able to see if you are overpaying for your electricity.
To calculate the average electricity bill for 4 person household, we will need to look at all the 4-person home monthly electricity bills in the US. The data we need is how many kWh per month an average 4-family home uses and what is the average price of electricity ($/kWh). If we multiply the monthly kWh usage for a 4-person household by the price of electricity, we will get to the result we want: The average electricity bill for a four-person household.
Fortunately, we do have access to this data (it’s publically available): The US Energy Information Administration releases RECS datasets (Residential Energy Consumption Survey). In the latest release, we have more than 89 Excel sheets and PDFs (available here) containing, among numerous other energy usage statistics, the yearly electricity usage of 4-person households.
Here are some key points from the statistics:
- There are 15.5 million 4-person households in the US.
- Combined, they use 207 billion kWh annually, with a total cost of $35.27 billion per year.
- 4-family homes in the West region pay the highest electricity bills (40.0% over the US average).
- 4-family homes in the Northeast region pay the lowest electricity bills (32.7% below the US average).
Using these energy consumption and expenditure datasets, we can adequately determine the average electricity bill for a 4-person household. Let’s have a look at 4-person household data available in the RECS data, and see how we can calculate the average electricity bill per 4-family household:
4-Person Household Electricity Bill Calculation
The RECS electricity data includes all the electricity usage for 4-person homes. This includes all electricity-run home appliances including space heating appliances (heat pumps, space heaters), air conditioners, air handlers (furnaces, mini splits), washing machines, kitchen appliances (coffee makers, rice cookers, down to toasters), dehumidifiers, humidifiers, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and so on.
According to the RECS datasets, out of 118.2 million homes in the US, 15.5 million of them are 4-person households (13.1%). Here are the yearly electricity expenditures for all these 15.5 million homes:
- Combined, all 4-person households in the US use 207 billion kWh annually. This comes down to 13,353 kW per 4-person household annually. The total cost of all electricity used by these households is $35.27 billion. That comes down to a $1,701 yearly electricity bill per 4-person household.
- An average 4-person household will spend 3,349 kWh annually (25.1%) on space heating. Yearly cost per 4-family house: $408.
- An average 4-person household will spend 4,882 kWh annually (36.6%) on water heating. Yearly cost per 4-family house: $578.
- An average 4-person household will spend 2,460 kWh annually (18.4%) on air conditioning. Yearly cost per 4-family house: $313.
Alright, we now have all the data we need. If we divide the yearly electricity bill by 12 months, we will get the average monthly electricity bill. Let’s do that:
As we see from the datasets, the average yearly electricity bill for a 4-person household is $1,701. By dividing this yearly bill by 12 (month), we see that the average monthly electricity bill for a 4-person household comes to $141.75/month.
We can further breakdown this average by the available US regional data:
Average 4-Person Home Electricity Bill By Region
Unfortunately, the RECS datasets don’t include electricity usage data state-by-state. They do, however, include average electricity usage by region. Here are the data for a 4-person household by region:
- In the Northeast region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) an average 4-person household electricity bill is $95.42/month. That is 32.7% below the US 4-family home average.
- In the Midwest region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) an average 4-person household electricity bill is $171.17/month. That is 20.8% above the US 4-family home average.
- In the South region (Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) an average 4-person household electricity bill is $198.42/month. That is 40.0% above the US 4-family home average.
- In the West region (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, California, Oregon, and Washington) an average 4-person household electricity bill is $148.25/month. That is 4.6% above the US 4-family home average.
As we can see from this data, 4-family homes in the Midwest and South regions pay quite a lot higher monthly electricity bills compared to the US 4-person home average electricity bill (+20.8% and +40.0%, respectively).
On the other hand, the 4-person homes in the Northeast region have, on average, much lower electricity bills (32.7% below the US 4-family house average).
All in all, we hope that you now have a good feeling about what an electricity bill for a 4-person household should be. We see that there is some variability between regions (as well as state-by-state variability). The benchmark – the average 4-family household electricity bill – is $141.75/month.
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