Hawaii has the highest electricity prices in the U.S.
by Merrilee Gasser, The Center Square, Nov 30, 2023
(The Center Square) - Hawaii has the most expensive electricity prices in the country, primarily due to its isolated location and energy policies, according to a report.
An analysis of average electricity prices by state shows Hawaii is easily the most expensive at 30.31 cents per kilowatt, according to a report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators.
The second most expensive state for electricity is Alaska, at 20.02 cents per kilowatt. Alaska’s isolated location also played a factor in it taking the second-highest spot, the report said.
"Hawaii suffers from a geographical problem compounded by policy issues,” report author Joe Trotter told The Center Square. “The state is wholly reliant on importing the materials and fuels needed to generate its electricity and fuel its vehicles, putting the state at an immediate affordability disadvantage, but the state’s push to renewables in lieu of proven, available alternatives drives up prices far beyond where they should have settled. This push came at the expense of delaying upgrades to current infrastructure that could have helped prevent the wildfires that devastated the state earlier this year."
States with more government mandates on electricity were generally found to have higher prices, according to the report. Hawaii has two of the three standard policies that typically drive up energy prices, including a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and state-mandated compensation other than net metering, the report said.
Additionally, Hawaii has the second-highest gas prices in the country at $4.79, according to the report. The highest was California at $4.85, and the lowest was Mississippi at $3.02.
While Hawaii’s gas prices were among the highest, drivers in Hawaii spend less per year on gas than drivers in other states due to fewer average miles driven annually. Drivers in Hawaii cover an average of 11,688 miles per year and can expect to spend approximately $2,241 on gas this year.
That’s compared to drivers in Wyoming who expect to spend about $3,170 on gas this year thanks to driving over double the miles of drivers in Hawaii: approximately 24,069 miles per year, the report said.
However, that’s not the case for diesel fuel. Hawaii is the most expensive state for diesel at $5.92 plus a $0.31 tax, the report found. The average trucker in Hawaii can expect to spend approximately $40,977 on diesel fuel in 2023, according to the report.
The second highest state for diesel prices was California, where truckers will spend approximately $37,176 on diesel. The most affordable state for diesel was Oklahoma at $3.69 plus a $0.20 state tax. The average trucker in Oklahoma will spend an average of $25,525 on diesel fuel this year, according to the report.