Only five states have higher energy costs than Georgia (Turn off the AC? Are you nuts?)

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Only five states have higher energy costs than Georgia (Turn off the AC? Are you nuts?)

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The cooling towers for Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4 rise above the construction sites. GEORGIA POWER

Georgia is the most expensive state in the South – and the sixth-most expensive overall -- for energy consumption, according to a report issued this week.

And this month’s bill will likely be the worst of the year.

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A comparison of average monthly bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia concluded that the average monthly bill in Georgia is $310 – higher than all but a handful of others, according to a study by WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based web site for consumer credit information.

That includes your home and car, too, says WalletHub. Their formula accounts for electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.

And the company released the report this week, with consumers about half-way through July. And this is the month when much of the country – not just Georgia – has its air conditioners running much of the time, while many people are pumping cars full of gas as they hit the highway for family vacations. 

That makes July the month with the highest energy consumption of the year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Second-highest is August. 

ENERGY COSTS: HOW THE STATES RANK

Source: WalletHub

As a pure cost, energy can be a drag on economic growth, crimping productivity and efficiency. For a business, higher costs can shrink profits and dampen expansion, but can sometimes be managed with planning, hedging or volume discounts.  

For a household, softening the blow can be more difficult – especially for those living paycheck to paycheck. The more modest an income, the more energy costs can be a continual, but unpredictable stress, a drain on cash flow that siphons income from other spending.

And while most homes are more energy-efficient than in the past, the trend has been toward larger homes.

In Georgia, electricity is just a bit more than half the average cost: $152 a month, followed by $118 a month to fuel the family vehicles.

The highest average bills are in Connecticut. After Georgia, the most costly bills in the South are in Mississippi, at eighth and Alabama, which ranks 11th. 

States with the most expensive energy bills, on average: 

1. Connecticut $380

2. Alaska $332

3. Rhode Island $329

4. Massachusetts $327

5. Wyoming $320

6. Georgia $310

7. Maine $308

8. Mississippi $307

9. New Hampshire $306

10. Vermont $305

 Source: WalletHub

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