The 10 States Where People Pay the Most for Utilities

iStock/tommaso79
iStock/tommaso79

Rent isn't the only housing cost you have to take into account when moving to a new place. Whether you live in a luxury home or a modest apartment, you're probably going to have to pay for utilities, too. Those expenses can vary quite a bit from state to state, thanks to infrastructure, natural resources, demand, weather, and regulations. But just how much?

As Thrillist spotted, Move.org compared average utility bills across all 50 states, discovering that costs can run anywhere from the $300s to more than $700 a month in bills for basic needs like electricity, natural gas, internet, cable, and water.

Across all 50 states, the average price for all those utilities was about $422 a month, though that number depends on usage and the level of services you buy. (It costs more to heat a giant mansion than a studio apartment, for instance, and high-speed internet costs more than smaller plans.) However, states outside the continental U.S., in the Northeast, and in parts of the South tend to pay much more than that for their utilities, while some Western states pay a bit less.

These are the 10 states that pay the most in utilities, on average.

1. Hawaii: $731 per month
2. Alaska: $528 per month
3. Rhode Island: $522 per month
4. Connecticut: $496 per month
5. New York: $477 per month
6. New Hampshire: $477 per month
7. South Carolina: $474 per month
8. Massachusetts: $469 per month
9. Vermont: $468 per month
10. Maine: $464 per month

New England's high bills are largely due to very high electricity prices caused in part by mandated clean energy requirements and geography. Much of the region relies on natural gas to generate electricity rather than cheaper coal, and since that natural gas has to be imported from other regions, that drives up prices as well.

While it may make sense that electricity bills or heating costs might be high in a particular area, paying for internet plays a surprisingly large role in some other states' high utility bills. Alaskans pay more than $107 a month on average for a 60 Mbps connection, the highest in the nation. Rhode Island and South Carolina's bills are also inflated by high internet costs.

And these are the states that pay the least.

1. Idaho: $344 per month
2. Utah: $350 per month
3. Montana: $359 per month
4. Washington: $369 per month
5. Nevada: $377 per month
6. Louisiana: $381 per month
7. Oregon: $381 per month
8. South Dakota: $383 per month
9. Arkansas: $388 per month
10. Wisconsin: $391 per month

Inexpensive natural gas supplies are the main driver of low prices in these states. Louisiana, for instance, is one of the country's top suppliers of natural gas, as are Wyoming, Arkansas, and Utah.

Where does your state fall on the list? See the full rankings at Move.org with the breakdown of electricity, natural gas, internet, cable, and water costs state-by-state.

[h/t Thrillist]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping Newsletter!

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

These Are America's 20 Happiest States

Natalya Zaritskaya, Unsplash
Natalya Zaritskaya, Unsplash
Personal happiness is subjective, but there are many factors that contribute to someone's well-being. Income, sleep habits, and work-life balance are a few examples. By gauging how these factors affect people across the country, WalletHub was able to put together a map ranking the happiest states in the U.S. in 2020. To compile the list below, the personal finance website determined how all 50 states performed in three categories: emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment. These three labels cover more than 30 specific criteria, including divorce rates, unemployment rates, adequate sleep levels, and average work hours. Hawaii tops the list, earning a total score of 69.58 out of a possible 100. It ranks second in emotional and physical well-being and third in community and environment. Just behind The Aloha State is Utah, which beats out all other states when it comes to work environment. Minnesota, New Jersey, and Maryland round out the top five. You can read the full list of America's 20 happiest states below. Judging happiness levels by state is just one way to view the country's mental health. For an even more localized snapshot of happiness across the U.S., check out the country's happiest cities.
  1. Hawaii
  2. Utah
  3. Minnesota
  4. New Jersey
  5. Maryland
  6. California
  7. North Dakota
  8. Iowa
  9. Idaho
  10. Connecticut
  11. Nebraska
  12. South Dakota
  13. Massachusetts
  14. Virginia
  15. Washington
  16. Vermont
  17. New York
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Nevada
  20. Arizona