California Cities Rank Among 5 US Metros With Highest Utility Bill Costs

California Cities Rank Among 5 US Metros With Highest Utility Bill Costs

A view of a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) electrical substation in Petaluma, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin


Updated: 12/30/2023

Los Angeles and San Jose rank in the top five cities in the United States with the highest cost of utilities, according to a new study by Doxo, a bill-pay service.
The company’s “U.S. Utilities Market Size and Household Spending Report for 2023,” released Dec. 19, found the average monthly utility bill for U.S. residents was $351 this year. Among the 79 percent of American households that pay a utility bill, the amount comes to about $4,200 per year.
Los Angeles ranked third-most expensive among the largest U.S. cities. Angelenos pay an average of almost $3,500 a year, or $460 a month, for utilities, according to the study.
Milwaukee was the most expensive with the average resident paying nearly $540 a month to keep the lights on, and about $4,200 a year on average. In second place was New York City, with an average monthly utility cost of about $510 per household, or $3,500 a year.
In fourth place, Pittsburgh residents pay about $440 a month for utilities or $4,300 a year. San Jose was ranked fifth-most expensive. Residents in the tech capital of Silicon Valley pay an average of nearly $440 a month for utilities or $3,600 yearly, Doxo reported.
Overall, utility bills were up 7 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, according to the study. Energy prices have continued to increase across the country this year as international conflicts and market pressure have tightened the already-strained energy market.
Electricity rates in the U.S. reached an all-time high in September, climbing to $0.171 per kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While costs of natural gas are expected to drop slightly this winter, compared to the spike seen in many states last year, usage is also expected to increase across the country as the weather gets colder, according to the study.
The five least-expensive cities were Charlotte, North Carolina (average $250 a month), Atlanta ($240 a month), Austin, Texas ($220 a month), Memphis, Tennessee ($216 a month), and Minneapolis (about $210 a month).
The study also showed that the average annual cost per household for utilities was about $3,300, about 7 percent of the household’s annual income. The average monthly cost was about $350 per household.
The most expensive states for utilities, according to the study, were Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont. The least expensive were Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Mississippi.
Overall, U.S. households pay about $436, according to the study.
The report focused on the 10 most common household bills: utilities, mortgage, rent, auto loan, auto insurance, mobile phone, health insurance, cable and internet, life insurance, and alarms or security.
Mortgage payments remain the biggest bills for households each month at about $1,300, with an average annual cost of $6,341.
Rent costs were slightly lower than mortgages, reaching an average of nearly $1,200 per household each month.
Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin


Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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