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2020’s most & least energy-expensive states

JACKSON, Wyo. — Wyomingites can take some solace in quarantining: Most of us should be saving money.

Assuming we all keep the online shopping under control, staying home, for the most part, during these past few months should have translated into savings for the average Wyoming household.

According to data released this week by the personal-finance website WalletHub, Wyoming ranked fairly high in the list of ‘Energy Costs per State,’ but most of these are attributable to driving somewhere.

Compared to the rest of the nation—now facing utility bills that will include increased air conditioning use—Wyoming will presumably come out of the pandemic with less household spending.

The biggest monthly bills we rack up in the Cowboy State are fueling up to drive long distances. Even with fuel prices low right now, we drive an enormous amount of miles in Wyoming.

In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings.

Where we live and how much energy we use is a big part of the equation. While commercial and industrial electricity use has declined in 2020 due to business closures during lockdowns, residential electricity use has actually increased, which means many people will be forking over larger checks to their power companies.

To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their analysis uses a special formula that accounts for the following residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel, and home heating oil.

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