How Many Hours Do You Work Each Month to Pay for Electricity?


Using the data for the cost of electricity in 44 American cities as the source for the cost of 1,000 kWh of electricity the City County Observer commissioned a local firm to do the research required to find the median annual household earnings for each of the 44 locations and to use those earnings to see just who has to work the longest to pay for their electricity.

The purpose of this study was to take cost of living into account and calculate on a gross earnings basis just how the amount of time that the median household in Vectren’s service area has to work to pay for the typical monthly electrical bill of 1,000 kWh. The price data was compiled by Memphis Light, Gas, and Water to show a comparison of the 44 locations all of whom willingly cooperated in the study.

For 2010 Vectren’s typical residential household customer had to work a total of 7.83 hours before taxes to pay for the electrical portion of their bill. This duration was only exceeded by two locales those being Cincinnati where customers had to toil for 8.45 hours to pay for electricity and a poor suburb of Los Angeles called Rosemead where households had to work 9.08 hours to pay for 1,000 kWh.

Vectren’s recent increase would raise the time required to work to pay for 1,000 kWh to 8.98 hours passing Cincinnati which has not had a rate increase. According to WCPO the Cincinnati ABC affiliate Duke Power has applied for a 3% increase that if approved will be implemented in January 2012 that will raise the time required to pay for 1,000 kWh to 8.70 hours still less than Vectren’s current rate.

The Pacific Northwest fared the best in this study having to work less than 2.50 hours to cover the costs of 1,000 kWh.

Table of Results: Click to Enlarge

Memphis 2010 Electricity Comparison PDF (energy rates) (median household income)