Minnesota, unsurprisingly, uses much less energy for air conditioning than Southern states
Minnesotans are constantly told that their annual electricity bills are at or near the national average, but this is only the case because we use far less electricity than southern states because was use far less energy for air conditioning.
To elaborate on this point, we turn to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s fun new tool called the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) Dashboard, which you can access by clicking here.
One of the tools available is a visualization of energy consumption for air conditioning for each U.S. state. Unsurprisingly, northern states use far less electricity for home cooling than southern states, which you can see in the map below.
According to the data dashboard, Minnesota used the 11th-least electricity for air conditioning, which you can see in the graph below.
Lower use of electricity for air conditioning results in lower expenditures for northern states.
The graph below shows that, on average, Minnesota households spend $137 per year on air conditioning, whereas homes in Arizona and Hawaii spend more than $600 on AC per year. If this number seems off to you, it is important to remember that these are not exact data; they are based on responses to surveys, which means the data can be interesting but should not be held as Gospel.
Wind and solar energy advocates often try to confuse people about the difference between electricity prices, also known as the rate, and bills, which is the price of electricity multiplied by the amount consumed. This is the equivalent of claiming that the price of gasoline doesn’t matter because people only care about the total cost at the end of the day.
At the end of the day, people care about how much of a product they can purchase, which means they care about the price of that product on a per-unit basis.