As summer swelters on and air-conditioners work overtime, Americans everywhere can expect to get hit by bigger electricity bills than usual. That’s because electricity prices, which crept up earlier this year, are expected to continue climbing through 2011. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the average price of residential electricity to rise 2.9 percent, from 11.6¢ per kilowatt hour in 2010 to 11.9¢ per kilowatt hour. In 2012, annual growth is forecast to slow to 0.6 percent. The hike may seem significant, yet customers of some electric utilities are accustomed to paying more. Businessweek.com ranked the most expensive utility in each state using data on 3,076 utilities provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration from 2009, the most recent annual survey of all utilities in the U.S. (the agency also conducts a smaller monthly survey of about 500 utilities). In states where the most expensive utility serves only a small number of residential customers, Businessweek.com also provides the next most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers. Prices tended to be high in areas with small populations, rural areas, and cities with high operating costs. Hawaii had the highest average residential price of electricity, at 24.2¢ per kilowatt hour in 2009, compared with a U.S. average of 11.51¢, followed by Connecticut and New York, the EIA data show. Average prices were the lowest in North Dakota, Washington, and Idaho.

Click here to see the most expensive electric utility in each state.
Photographer: Lars Baron/Getty Images
As summer swelters on and air-conditioners work overtime, Americans everywhere can expect to get hit by bigger electricity bills than usual. That’s because electricity prices, which crept up earlier this year, are expected to continue climbing through 2011. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the average price of residential electricity to rise 2.9 percent, from 11.6¢ per kilowatt hour in 2010 to 11.9¢ per kilowatt hour. In 2012, annual growth is forecast to slow to 0.6 percent. The hike may seem significant, yet customers of some electric utilities are accustomed to paying more. Businessweek.com ranked the most expensive utility in each state using data on 3,076 utilities provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration from 2009, the most recent annual survey of all utilities in the U.S. (the agency also conducts a smaller monthly survey of about 500 utilities). In states where the most expensive utility serves only a small number of residential customers, Businessweek.com also provides the next most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers. Prices tended to be high in areas with small populations, rural areas, and cities with high operating costs. Hawaii had the highest average residential price of electricity, at 24.2¢ per kilowatt hour in 2009, compared with a U.S. average of 11.51¢, followed by Connecticut and New York, the EIA data show. Average prices were the lowest in North Dakota, Washington, and Idaho.

Click here to see the most expensive electric utility in each state.
Photographer: Lars Baron/Getty Images

America’s Most Expensive Electricity

Economic Energy
Economic Energy
As summer swelters on and air-conditioners work overtime, Americans everywhere can expect to get hit by bigger electricity bills than usual. That’s because electricity prices, which crept up earlier this year, are expected to continue climbing through 2011. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the average price of residential electricity to rise 2.9 percent, from 11.6¢ per kilowatt hour in 2010 to 11.9¢ per kilowatt hour. In 2012, annual growth is forecast to slow to 0.6 percent. The hike may seem significant, yet customers of some electric utilities are accustomed to paying more. Businessweek.com ranked the most expensive utility in each state using data on 3,076 utilities provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration from 2009, the most recent annual survey of all utilities in the U.S. (the agency also conducts a smaller monthly survey of about 500 utilities). In states where the most expensive utility serves only a small number of residential customers, Businessweek.com also provides the next most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers. Prices tended to be high in areas with small populations, rural areas, and cities with high operating costs. Hawaii had the highest average residential price of electricity, at 24.2¢ per kilowatt hour in 2009, compared with a U.S. average of 11.51¢, followed by Connecticut and New York, the EIA data show. Average prices were the lowest in North Dakota, Washington, and Idaho.

Click here to see the most expensive electric utility in each state.
Photographer: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Alabama: Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Alabama: Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009:* 15.92
Number of residential customers:* 12,082
Megawatt hours sold:* 152,071
2009 residential revenue:* $24,215,000

Based in Greenville, Ala., Pioneer Electric Cooperative primarily serves Butler, Lowndes, Dallas, and Wilcox counties. The average price for electricity in Alabama was 10.66¢ per kilowatt hour, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration's 2009 survey. Photographer: Danita Delimont/ Getty Images

Note: In states where the No. 1 most expensive utility serves only a small number of residential customers, the next most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers is also provided.

* Price and sales data on all slides refer to the residential sector, 2009, the most recent survey of all utilities in the U.S. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Alaska: Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Alaska: Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 102.14
Number of customers: 145
Megawatt hours sold: 420
2009 residential revenue: $429,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Alaska Village Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 63.86
Number of customers: 5,997
Megawatt hours sold: 29,148
2009 residential revenue: $18,615,000

Residential electricity prices are generally high in Alaska, which had the fourth-highest average rate among states in 2009, 17.14¢ per kilowatt hour, according to the EIA. The Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative serves Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Red Devil, Sleetmute, and Stony River, says a report by the Alaska Energy Authority. The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, which serves 53 villages and uses more than 150 diesel generators, has the largest service area in the world for a retail cooperative, according to the group’s website. Photographer: Eros Hoagland/Redux
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Arizona: Electrical District No. 3 Pinal County
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Arizona: Electrical District No. 3 Pinal County
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.52
Number of customers: 16,278
Megawatt hours sold: 214,438
2009 residential revenue: $31,127,000

The Electrical District No. 3 is a nonprofit utility and a political subdivision of the State of Arizona. The district—which purchases power from the Arizona Power Authority, Western Area Power Authority, and power producer APS—encompasses about 233 square miles, including Maricopa city and the town of Stanfield, according to materials on its website. Photographer: Richard Cummins/ Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Arkansas: City of North Little Rock
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Arkansas: City of North Little Rock
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 11.85
Number of customers: 32,976
Megawatt hours sold: 357,095
2009 residential revenue: $42,308,000

As a way to cut rates, the North Little Rock Electric Dept. last year started buying about 40 percent of its energy from Plum Point, a coal-fired plant in northeast Arkansas, reported the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A previous contract with Constellation Energy of Baltimore, which has ended, led to a 38 percent average increase in customers’ rates. Photographer: Henryk Sadura/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in California: Bear Valley Electric Services
Most Expensive Electric Utility in California: Bear Valley Electric Services
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.92
Number of customers: 21,636
Megawatt hours sold: 77,065
2009 residential revenue: $16,125,200

A subsidiary of the investor-owned utility American States Water, Bear Valley Electric Services provides electricity to customers in the City of Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Fawnskin, Erwin Lake, Moonridge, Sugarloaf, Lake Williams, and Baldwin Lake. The utility recently asked for a temporary rate hike, reported Big Bear Grizzly in June, in part to cover costs to use more renewable energy. A state law signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008 requires that by 2020, 33 percent of electricity retailers' output must come from renewable energy. Photographer: Alan Chapman Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Colorado: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Colorado: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.34
Number of customers: 5
Megawatt hours sold: 59
2009 residential revenue: $12,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: City of Lamar
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.36
Number of customers: 4,180
Megawatt hours sold: 30,941
2009 residential revenue: $4,753,000

Southwestern Electric Cooperative has a few residential consumers in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, but most customers of the Clayton (N.M.) company are in New Mexico. In southeast Colorado, the City of Lamar’s Lamar Light & Power serves consumers in a 167-square-mile area, including Lamar, Wiley, McClave, Bristol, and Hartman. The plant switched from using natural gas to coal in 2009. Lamar Light & Power also has a wind farm that can provide about 15 percent of its total energy needs, and the system gets about 8 percent of production from hydroelectric power, according to the utility. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Connecticut: United Illuminating
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Connecticut: United Illuminating
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 23.55
Number of customers: 253,520
Megawatt hours sold: 1,855,652
2009 residential revenue: $436,950,000

United Illuminating purchases and distributes electricity in the Greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas. The company does not generate electricity, and according to its website, "If you buy generation service from UI, you pay what we pay, at no markup." Connecticut had the second-highest average retail price for electricity in 2009, at 20.33¢ per kilowatt hour, according to EIA data. Photographer: Todd Gipstein/National Geographic/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Delaware: City of Lewes
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Delaware: City of Lewes
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 19.66
Number of customers: 3,070
Megawatt hours sold: 28,854
2009 residential revenue: $5,673,000

The Lewes Board of Public Works established and controls an electric light plant, waterworks, and a sewer system for the City of Lewes. The utility is connected to the University of Delaware wind turbine, which generated enough energy in period from June 11, 2010, to May 31, 2011, to power the Lewes campus and also provide the city with 1.3 million kwh, according to the university. Photographer: The Washington Post/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Florida: City of Fort Meade
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Florida: City of Fort Meade
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 16.39
Number of customers: 2,425
Megawatt hours sold: 27,521
2009 residential revenue: $4,512,000

The city of Fort Meade buys power from the wholesale power provider Florida Municipal Power Agency. A programming error in Fort Meade's master meter inflated the city's power consumption by 10 percent from May 2009 to August 2010, reported theledger.com. The Florida Municipal Power Agency refunded $660,000 to the city, which was passed along to customers starting May 2011. Photographer: Raul Touzon/National Geographic/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Georgia: Haywood Electric Member Corp.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Georgia: Haywood Electric Member Corp.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.73
Number of customers: 369
Megawatt hours sold: 3,023
2009 residential revenue: $415,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Rayle Electric Membership Corp.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.18
Number of customers: 16,316
Megawatt hours sold: 199,359
2009 residential revenue: $26,272,000

Haywood Electric Member Corp. (EMC) serves part of Rabun County in the northeast corner of Georgia and Oconee County, S.C., but most of its service area is in North Carolina, where it is based. Georgia’s Rayle EMC—the most expensive utility in the state with more than 1,000 residential customers—serves Wilkes, Oglethorpe, Lincoln, Taliaferro, Greene, Hancock, Morgan, Oconee, Madison, and Athens-Clarke counties. Photographer: Flip Chalfant/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Hawaii: Hawaii Electric Light
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Hawaii: Hawaii Electric Light
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 32.69
Number of customers: 66,542
Megawatt hours sold: 440,074
2009 residential revenue: $143,854,000

Hawaii was the most expensive state in the U.S. for electricity, with an average residential price of 24.2¢ per kilowatt hour in 2009, says the EIA. The state relies on pricey oil, and having independent electrical systems on each island means infrastructure costs are spread out over a small population, according to Hawaiian Electric, which owns Hawaii Electric Light Co. HELCO serves the island of Hawaii. Photographer: Monica and Michael Sweet/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Idaho: Vigilante Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Idaho: Vigilante Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 12.20
Number of customers: 31
Megawatt hours sold: 123
2009 residential revenue: $15,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Clearwater Power
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 9.49
Number of customers: 8,482
Megawatt hours sold: 121,058
2009 residential revenue: $11,491,000

Vigilante Electric Cooperative, in Dillon, Mont., provides electrical power in Idaho's Clark County and nine Montana counties. Clearwater Power in Lewiston, Idaho, serves seven counties in Idaho as well as three in Washington and one in Oregon. While Clearwater was the most expensive utility in Idaho that has more than 1,000 residential customers, its average retail price was still lower than the U.S. average of 11.51¢ per kilowatt hour. Photographer: Chris Leschinsky/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Illinois: EnerStar Power
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Illinois: EnerStar Power
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.59
Number of customers: 5,009
Megawatt hours sold: 59,929
2009 residential revenue: $8,742,000

The nonprofit cooperative EnerStar Power—formerly known as the Edgar Electric Cooperative Assn., according to the energy industry directory midwestpublishing.com—serves the east-central Illinois counties of Clark, Coles, Douglas, Edgar, and Vermilion. Photographer: Dan Bigelow/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Indiana: Marshall County Rural Electric Member Corp.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Indiana: Marshall County Rural Electric Member Corp.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 12.75
Number of customers: 6,256
Megawatt hours sold: 72,978
2009 residential revenue: $9,307,000

Marshall County Rural Electric Member Corp., in Plymouth, Ind., serves Marshall County and portions of St. Joseph, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Fulton, and Starke counties. Photographer: Deb Perry/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Iowa: City of Independence
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Iowa: City of Independence
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 16.18
Number of customers: 2,720
Megawatt hours sold: 20,079
2009 residential revenue: $3,248,000

The city of Independence, in northeast Iowa on the banks of the Wapsipinicon River, built a municipal light plant in the late 1800s. Today Independence Light & Power, Telecommunications uses a combination of power generation and cooperative agreements with such utilities as Wisconsin Public Power. It has 10 diesel generators with a total generating capacity of 23,250 kilowatts, according to its website. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Kansas: City of Erie
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Kansas: City of Erie
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.49
Number of customers: 510
Megawatt hours sold: 4,494
2009 residential revenue: $696,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: City of Herington
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.94
Number of customers: 1,275
Megawatt hours sold: 10,012
2009 residential revenue: $1,496,000

Erie has a population of 1,150, according to 2010 Census data. Skyways.org, a service of the State Library of Kansas that includes community profiles, notes that "Erie is unusual in that the city can generate electricity for the town's needs and still be able to sell large amounts to commercial utilities." Herington, a city of 2,526, operates a generating plant and distributes electricity, according to openei.org, an open-data source for energy information sponsored by the U.S. Energy Dept. Photographer: Andre Jenny Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Kentucky: Hickman-Fulton Counties RECC
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Kentucky: Hickman-Fulton Counties RECC
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 11.81
Number of customers: 2,777
Megawatt hours sold: 39,223
2009 residential revenue: $4,633,000

Hickman-Fulton Counties Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., in Hickman, Ky., maintains 686 miles of line and serves consumers in Fulton, Hickman, Carlisle, and Graves counties in Kentucky as well as Obion and Lake Counties in Tennessee. Photographer: Adam Jones/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Louisiana: Town of Boyce
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Louisiana: Town of Boyce
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.37
Number of customers: 359
Megawatt hours sold: 4,750
2009 residential revenue: $682,800

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: City of Kaplan
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 11.19
Number of customers: 1,798
Megawatt hours sold: 23,005
2009 residential revenue: $2,575,000

Both Boyce, a town of about 1,000 (based on 2010 Census data), and Kaplan, a city of 4,600 in Vermilion Parish, provide electricity to their residents. While Kaplan was Louisiana’s most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers, its average retail price was still lower than the U.S. average of 11.51¢ per kilowatt hour. Photographer: Helena Smith/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Maine: Matinicus Plantation Electric
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Maine: Matinicus Plantation Electric
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 67.19
Number of customers: 122
Megawatt hours sold: 256
2009 residential revenue: $172,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Fox Islands Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 28.20
Number of customers: 1,623
Megawatt hours sold: 6,150
2009 residential revenue: $1,734,200

Maine’s Matinicus Isle, accessible by ferry from nearby Rockland, has only 147 housing units, many of which are seasonal homes, 2010 Census data show. Fox Islands Electric in Vinalhaven provides electricity for the residents of North Haven (population of 355) and Vinalhaven (population 1,165), according to information on foxislands.net. Fox Islands Electric also helped start a wind-power project, which began commercial operation on December 1, 2010. Photographer: David McLain/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Maryland: Town of Berlin
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Maryland: Town of Berlin
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 16.39
Number of customers: 1,967
Megawatt hours sold: 23,199
2009 residential revenue: $3,802,000

The electric utility in Berlin, a town of 4,500 about 10 minutes west of Ocean City, is divided into two divisions: generation (with a power plant on William Street), and distribution, according to the town. Maryland residents had the highest average monthly electric bill in 2009, at $153.72, according to EIA data. Photographer: Altrendo Panoramic/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Massachusetts: Town of Princeton
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Massachusetts: Town of Princeton
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.19
Number of customers: 1,421
Megawatt hours sold: 12,910
2009 residential revenue: $2,607,000

The Princeton Municipal Light Dept. purchased about 11 percent of its energy from various hydroelectric power plants throughout the region in fiscal 2010. The nonprofit corporation’s new wind farm, fully operational since January 2010, provided 36 percent of the town’s energy requirements last year. Massachusetts had the fifth-highest average retail price for electricity, at 16.87¢ per kilowatt hour in 2009, according to EIA data. Photographer: Kindra Clineff/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Michigan: Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Assn.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Michigan: Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Assn.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.71
Number of customers: 4,617
Megawatt hours sold: 20,107
2009 residential revenue: $4,164,000

This nonprofit corporation serves customers in Ontonagon, Baraga, Houghton, and Keewenaw counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Ontanagon County REA does not generate its own electricity but gets it from WE Energies and the Wisconsin Public Service Corp., according to a 2011 filing with the Michigan Public Service Commission. Photographer: Geoffrey George/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Minnesota: Princeton Public Utilities Commission
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Minnesota: Princeton Public Utilities Commission
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.05
Number of customers: 2,241
Megawatt hours sold: 15,261
2009 residential revenue: $2,297,000

The Princeton Public Utilities Commission is an independent agency that provides electric and water service to the city and does not operate under the oversight of the city council, according to the city. Princeton, Minn., is 50 miles north of the Twin Cities and covers 5.18 square miles. Photographer: Grant Faint/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Mississippi: Twin County Electric Power Assn.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Mississippi: Twin County Electric Power Assn.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.79
Number of customers: 9,720
Megawatt hours sold: 115,198
2009 residential revenue: $15,882,000

In Hollandale, Miss., the Twin County EPA has 2,350 miles of lines serving 12,615 meters, according to the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, a group of 25 not-for-profit distribution electric power associations and one generation and transmission cooperative. Photographer: SuperStock/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Missouri: City of Campbell
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Missouri: City of Campbell
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.34
Number of customers: 833
Megawatt hours sold: 9,180
2009 residential revenue: $1,316,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: City of Memphis
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.41
Number of customers: 1,011
Megawatt hours sold: 7,418
2009 residential revenue: $995,000

Utilities in Campell, Mo., with the exception of natural gas, are municipally owned. The municipal electric plant has local generating capacity, plus city-purchased electricity. Memphis, Mo., "is in the business of providing electric, water. and wastewater services for its customers" and maintains all electric lines up to the meters. Photographer: Pawel Gaul/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Montana: Beartooth Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Montana: Beartooth Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.22
Number of customers: 4,839
Megawatt hours sold: 49,131
2009 residential revenue: $7,479,000

Customers of Beartooth Electric Cooperative, one of 25 electric cooperatives in Montana, have seen rates increase several times this year as wholesale electric prices gradually rose. Wholesaler Southern Montana Electric Transmission & Generation Cooperative increased rates 4.5 percent in December 2010, another 4.5 percent in April, and 4.2 percent in June, reported billingsgazette.com. Photographer: Zia Soleil/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Nebraska: Wyrulec
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Nebraska: Wyrulec
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.07
Number of customers: 265
Megawatt hours sold: 2,624
2009 residential revenue: $369,200

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Northwest Rural Public Power District
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.91
Number of customers: 1,386
Megawatt hours sold: 22,495
2009 residential revenue: $3,130,000

Wyrulec, in Lingle, Wyo., serves a small number of customers in western Nebraska. Northwest Rural Public Power, in Hay Springs, Neb., gets power from the Tri-State Generation & Transmission Assn. and serves northwest Nebraska, including the rural areas surrounding the cities of Hay Springs, Gordon, Rushville, Chadron, and Crawford. Photographer: Don Farrall/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Nevada: Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Nevada: Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 16.71
Number of customers: 367
Megawatt hours sold: 4,237
2009 residential revenue: $708,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Sierra Pacific Power (d/b/a NV Energy)
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.96
Number of customers: 275,419
Megawatt hours sold: 2,235,306
2009 residential revenue: $311,982,000

Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, founded in 1937 to bring power to Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra counties in California, later brought power to the Red Rock Region in Washoe County, Nev. Sierra Pacific Power merged with Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Resources in July 1999 and is now doing business as NV Energy. It is the electric utility for most of northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California, and it also distributes natural gas in the Reno-Sparks area of northern Nevada, according to the company. Photographer: Matt Mawson/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New Hampshire: New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New Hampshire: New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.01
Number of customers: 68,019
Megawatt hours sold: 441,196
2009 residential revenue: $88,283,000

In Plymouth, the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative serves members in the Colebrook, Sunapee, Andover, Plymouth, Meredith, Conway, Alton, Ossipee, and Raymond operating districts. The utility provides incentives for residential and commercial members to invest in energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. Photographer: Danita Delimont/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New Jersey: Borough of South River
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New Jersey: Borough of South River
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.19
Number of customers: 6,305
Megawatt hours sold: 45,905
2009 residential revenue: $9,268,000

South River, one of only 10 towns in New Jersey to own its electric utility, installed smart meters in every home in 2010, reported the Star-Ledger. Photographer: Andrew Burton/ Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New Mexico: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New Mexico: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 21.64
Number of customers: 1,431
Megawatt hours sold: 8,433
2009 residential revenue: $1,825,000

Southwestern Electric Cooperative, in Clayton, N.M., also ranked as the most expensive utility in 2009 in Colorado, where it had five residential customers. Most of the utility’s customers are in New Mexico. Photographer: Frank Whitney/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New York: Fishers Island Utility
Most Expensive Electric Utility in New York: Fishers Island Utility
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 32.78
Number of customers: 654
Megawatt hours sold: 3,823
2009 residential revenue: $1,253,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Con Edison of New York
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 23.58
Number of customers: 2,280,223
Megawatt hours sold: 10,952,005
2009 residential revenue: $2,582,035,000

Fishers Island, a wealthy summer resort community in Long Island Sound and one of the most expensive small towns in Businessweek.com’s 2010 ranking, also has an expensive electric utility. Fishers Island Utility operates the water, telephone, and electrical utilities on the island. Con Edison, a regulated utility and a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison (ED:US), provides electric service in New York City (except for a small area of Queens) and most of Westchester County. New York State had the third-highest average retail price of electricity in 2009, according to data from the EIA. Photographer: Mitchell Funk/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in North Carolina: Town of Hobgood
Most Expensive Electric Utility in North Carolina: Town of Hobgood
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 17.89
Number of customers: 241
Megawatt hours sold: 2,688
2009 residential revenue: $481,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Town of Farmville
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.47
Number of customers: 2,429
Megawatt hours sold: 27,701
2009 residential revenue: $4,286,000

Hobgood, a small town in east-central North Carolina with a population of 348, provides electric within the town as well as to homes between Hobgood and Scotland, N.C. Farmville, about 40 miles south, provides water, sewer, and electricity to residents in the town and water and electricity to parts of western Pitt County. Photographer: Tetra Images/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in North Dakota: Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in North Dakota: Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 11.71
Number of customers: 6,677
Megawatt hours sold: 78,543
2009 residential revenue: $9,198,000

Serving Morton, Grant, and Sioux counties, the Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative meets most of its annual electrical needs from the Western Area Power Administration and from the Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck, N.D., according to the utility. Photographer: John Elk III/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Ohio: Village of Sycamore
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Ohio: Village of Sycamore
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.50
Number of customers: 446
Megawatt hours sold: 3,864
2009 residential revenue: $521,600

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: City of Jackson
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.05
Number of customers: 3,390
Megawatt hours sold: 33,368
2009 residential revenue: $4,353,000

Ohio’s Village of Sycamore has a population of about 1,600, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. The city of Jackson’s utility department handles bills for electric, water, sewer, and garbage, and the municipal electric department maintains power lines to homes. Photographer: Peter Baker/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Oklahoma: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Oklahoma: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 18.18
Number of customers: 3
Megawatt hours sold: 22
2009 residential revenue: $4,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Harmon Electric Association
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.74
Number of customers: 2,588
Megawatt hours sold: 15,470
2009 residential revenue: $2,435,000

Southwestern Electric Cooperative had only three residential customers in Oklahoma in 2009 but ranked as the most expensive electric utility in the state, as well as in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Harmon Electric Association manages 1,815 miles of power line through portions of Harmon, Greer, Jackson, Kiowa, and Beckham counties in southwest Oklahoma and to Hardeman and Childress counties in north Texas. Photographer: Paige Baker/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Oregon: West Oregon Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Oregon: West Oregon Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 12.30
Number of customers: 3,913
Megawatt hours sold: 52,922
2009 residential revenue: $6,508,000

West Oregon Electric Cooperative in Vernonia, Ore., serves northwest Oregon, including parts of Clatsop, Columbia, Washington, Yamhill, and Tillamook counties. Photographer: Stephen Curtin/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Pennsylvania: Borough of St. Clair
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Pennsylvania: Borough of St. Clair
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 19.49
Number of customers: 1,971
Megawatt hours sold: 10,178
2009 residential revenue: $1,984,000

The Borough of St. Clair, which has a population of about 3,000, is near Pennsylvania’s southern coal region and has extensive deposits of hard coal, according to the borough police department. Mining was an important part of the borough’s history, according to the St. Clair Historical Society. The Saint Clair Electric Light Dept. is a public power utility. Photographer: Jumper/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Rhode Island: Block Island Power
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Rhode Island: Block Island Power
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 39.87
Number of customers: 1,379
Megawatt hours sold: 4,224
2009 residential revenue: $1,684,000

Block Island Power, founded in 1925 and based on Block Island, generates electric power using diesel-powered generators, according to Businessweek.com. The island is a popular summer destination and is accessible by private boat, ferry, or small plane. Photographer: Philip C. Jackson/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in South Carolina: Haywood Electric Member Corp.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in South Carolina: Haywood Electric Member Corp.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.63
Number of customers: 10
Megawatt hours sold: 32
2009 residential revenue: $5,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Coastal Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.25
Number of customers: 10,371
Megawatt hours sold: 146,893
2009 residential revenue: $19,461,000

North Carolina's Haywood Electric Member Corp. also serves areas in neighboring states and is the most expensive electric utility in South Carolina as well as in Georgia. Coastal Electric Cooperative, in Walterboro, S.C., serves Colleton County and portions of Bamberg and Dorchester counties. Photographer: Peter Miller/ Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in South Dakota: Niobrara Electric Association
Most Expensive Electric Utility in South Dakota: Niobrara Electric Association
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 12.86
Number of customers: 6
Megawatt hours sold: 70
2009 residential revenue: $9,000

Most expensive electric utility with more than 1,000 customers: Moreau-Grand Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 10.59
Number of customers: 5,588
Megawatt hours sold: 54,168
2009 residential revenue: $5,734,000

Nonprofit Niobara serves part of South Dakota’s Fall River County and Sioux County and part of western Nebraska’s Dawes County, but mostly provides service in Wyoming. The Moreau-Grand Electric Cooperative serves South Dakota’s Corson, Dewey, and Ziebach counties. While Moreau-Grand Electric was the most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers in South Dakota in 2009, its average retail price was still lower than the U.S. average of 11.51¢ per kilowatt hour. Photographer: Doug Dreyer/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Tennessee: French Broad Electric Membership Corp.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Tennessee: French Broad Electric Membership Corp.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 12.05
Number of customers: 942
Megawatt hours sold: 7,758
2009 residential revenue: $935,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Tri-State Electric Membership Corp.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 10.77
Number of customers: 2,679
Megawatt hours sold: 33,229
2009 residential revenue: $3,579,000

French Broad EMC serves Unicoi and Cocke counties in Tennessee, though most of its members are in Madison County, Buncombe County, Yancey County and Mitchell County, N.C. Tri-State EMC serves Polk County, Tenn., as well as Fannin County, Ga., and Cherokee County, N.C. While Tri-State EMC was the most expensive utility with more than 1,000 residential customers in Tennessee, its average retail price was still lower than the U.S. average of 11.51¢ per kilowatt hour. Photographer: Chad Ehlers/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Texas: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Texas: Southwestern Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 21.49
Number of customers: 14
Megawatt hours sold: 121
2009 residential revenue: $26,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Penstar Power
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 20.54
Number of customers: 3,944
Megawatt hours sold: 35,651
2009 residential revenue: $7,322,900

The most expensive electric utility in Texas, Southwestern Electric Cooperative, has also appeared as the most expensive utility in Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Penstar Power, in Dallas, is a retail electric power provider of deregulated electricity. Photographer: Steve Debenport/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Utah: Empire Electric Association
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Utah: Empire Electric Association
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.53
Number of customers: 976
Megawatt hours sold: 7,211
2009 residential revenue: $975,900

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Morgan City
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 12.27
Number of customers: 1,350
Megawatt hours sold: 9,738
2009 residential revenue: $1,195,000

Empire Electric Association, a nonprofit rural electric cooperative, provides power to southwest Colorado and northeast Utah. It owns no generation facilities but purchases power from Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association in Colorado. Northern Utah’s Morgan City, which has a population of about 3,687, according to the Census, owns and operates its own power, water, and sewer systems. Photographer: Altus Photo Design/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Vermont: Vermont Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Vermont: Vermont Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 18.03
Number of customers: 33,941
Megawatt hours sold: 220,295
2009 residential revenue: $39,728,300

The Vermont Electric Cooperative, in Johnson, Vt., serves 2,056 square miles in rural northern Vermont, including Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans counties. Photographer: Gallo Images/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Virginia: Southside Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Virginia: Southside Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 13.88
Number of customers: 51,596
Megawatt hours sold: 687,612
2009 residential revenue: $95,453,000

Southside Electric Cooperative, a nonprofit cooperative in Crewe, Va., provides electric service to consumers in portions of Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, and Sussex counties, as well as the city of Petersburg and the towns of Altavista, Hurt, Crewe, Blackstone, Kenbridge, and South Hill. Photographer: Richard Nowitz/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Washington: Orcas Power Light Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Washington: Orcas Power Light Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 10.09
Number of customers: 12,595
Megawatt hours sold: 145,551
2009 residential revenue: $14,687,000

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative, a nonprofit cooperative providing services to San Juan County since 1937, distributes electricity to 20 islands in the archipelago and employs approximately 60 people, according to its website. While Orcas is the most expensive utility in Washington, its average retail price of 10.09¢ per kilowatt hour was still lower than the U.S. average of 11.51¢. Photographer: David Hogan/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in West Virginia: Harrison Rural Electrification Assn.
Most Expensive Electric Utility in West Virginia: Harrison Rural Electrification Assn.
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.69
Number of customers: 5,746
Megawatt hours sold: 52,743
2009 residential revenue: $8,278,000

In Clarksburg, W.V., Harrison Rural Electrification Assn. has been serving the citizens of Harrison, Doddridge, Marion, Taylor, Barbour, Upshur, and Lewis counties since 1938. Photographer: Harrison Shull/ Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Wisconsin: Washington Island Electric Cooperative
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Wisconsin: Washington Island Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 17.56
Number of customers: 852
Megawatt hours sold: 6,248
2009 residential revenue: $1,097,000

Most Expensive With More Than 1,000 Customers: Price Electric Cooperative
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 15.47
Number of customers: 8,633
Megawatt hours sold: 59,300
2009 residential revenue: $9,174,000

Washington Island Electric Coop oversees routine and emergency power to residents and businesses on Washington Island, a year-round community about five miles off the northeast tip of the Door Peninsula in Door County. Price Electric Cooperative serves the rural areas across 3,500 square miles on Wisconsin, from just south of the city of Mellen to Rib Lake (cities, villages and towns within this area are served by Xcel Energy). Photographer: Celin Serbo/Getty Images
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Wyoming: Wyrulec
Most Expensive Electric Utility in Wyoming: Wyrulec
Average retail price (cents/kWh) in 2009: 14.39
Number of customers: 3,107
Megawatt hours sold: 27,810
2009 residential revenue: $4,003,100

Wyrulec in Lingle, Wyo., is the most expensive electric utility in the state, the coop’s main service area, as well as Nebraska, according to 2009 EIA data. The company currently has about 1,952 miles of line to serve more than 4,704 accounts. Photographer: David Stubbs/Getty Images