Gas Giants
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Which States Have the Highest Gas Bills?

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Gas Giants
DGLimages/istockphoto

Gas Giants

Natural gas heating bills have gotten cheaper over time thanks in large part to the discovery of gas reserves in places such as Texas and Pennsylvania. In 2008 the average residential bill was $13.89 per thousand cubic feet, according to Choose Energy. By 2018 that had dropped to about $10.50. "In general, the discovery of large shale deposits, which produce natural gas and petroleum, particularly in Pennsylvania, have increased the supply of natural gas," says Arthur Murray, managing editor for Choose Energy. Still, gas bills vary widely from state to state, influenced by a variety of local factors, adds Murray. With data input from Choose Energy, we've compiled the 25 states with the highest average gas bills for the first nine months of 2019. Want to save money on those utility bills? Check out our review of The Best Thermostats.

Kansas
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Kansas

$13.89 per cubic thousand feet
The lowest of the top 25 most expensive states for gas bills is Kansas, a place where, in September alone, consumers paid about 24.4% more than the national average ($17.81) for natural gas. Prices in the state are steep despite the fact that Kansas has about 16 natural gas storage fields and provides about 1% of the country's natural gas production.

West Virginia
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West Virginia

$13.98 per cubic thousand feet
There are an estimated 335,316 residential natural gas customers in West Virginia. That's a mere 0.5% of the nation's total natural gas consumers. West Virginia also happens to be the second-largest coal producer in the United States, behind only Wyoming.

Indiana
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Indiana

$14.01 per cubic thousand feet
In Indiana, coal remains the leading source of energy by a long shot. In fact, Indiana ranks eighth among all 50 states when it comes to coal production and second in consumption (behind Texas). Natural gas is the second most popular option in Indiana with about 1.7 million residential consumers, which represent about 2.5% of the total residential natural gas consumers across the nation.

Related: The Cheapest Gas Prices in Every State

Texas
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Texas

$14.78 per cubic thousand feet
A state that Murray says recently unlocked additional natural gas deposits through fracking, Texas is still among the most expensive in the country when it comes to natural gas costs. For September alone, the average price in the state was a whopping 25.8% more than the national average, according to Natural Gas Local. The state's 4.7 million residential natural gas users make up about 6.7% of America's gas consumers.

Arkansas
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Arkansas

$15.25 per cubic thousand feet
Only a fraction of Arkansas residents — about 554,501 customers — appear to use natural gas, according to Natural Gas Local. That's a mere 0.8% of the nation's residential natural gas customers. Yet at the same time, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, reports that Arkansas, with nearly 2% of the country's natural gas reserves, is one of the top 10 producers.

New York
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New York

$15.34 per cubic thousand feet
A state where natural gas is by far the most significant energy source, 4.5 million people rely on this option to heat their homes, a figure that translates into about 6.5% of the nation's natural gas consumers.

Related: 15 Ways to Put Your Family on a Budget for the New Year

Massachusetts
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Massachusetts

$15.47 per cubic thousand feet
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to a competitive gas marketplace where consumers can opt to purchase their service through retail agents or gas suppliers. The state government does not regulate prices offered by these companies but does provide a list of licensed operators.

Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania

$15.67 per cubic thousand feet
Pennsylvania's Public Utilities Commission regulates 35 gas utilities in the state but does not have jurisdiction over most utilities that are operated by cities, boroughs, or townships. The state has about 2.8 million residential natural gas customers, which is about 4% of the U.S. total.

Vermont
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Vermont

$16.14 per cubic thousand feet
In Vermont, the Department of Public Service has jurisdiction over the rates, quality of service, and even the financial management of Vermont's public utilities. The state has just one natural gas distributor, Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., and the company provides service to about 45,000 customers.

Missouri
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Missouri

$16.19 per cubic thousand feet
There are five regulated natural gas service providers in the Show-Me State, and about 1.38 million residential natural gas customers. That's about 2% of the total residential gas consumers across the country. According to Natural Gas Local, the state's residential customers paid about 41.4% more in September 2019 than the national average for their gas bills.

Related: The Most Expensive Neighborhood in Every State 

Arizona
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Arizona

$16.25 per cubic thousand feet
The energy market in Arizona is regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission, and there are several companies distributing gas throughout the state. The commission sets the rates consumers are charged with a goal of providing utility providers a "fair rate of return" while also "balancing the needs of ratepayers."

South Carolina
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South Carolina

$16.29 per cubic thousand feet
Natural gas is a fairly pricey commodity in South Carolina. That may be due (at least in part) to the fact that so few people in the state use the resource. For instance, in September 2019, residential natural gas usage in South Carolina was 559 million cubic feet, or about 0.5% of the total residential use across the country for the month. About 669,293 residential customers rely upon natural gas in the state, which is just under 1% of the total number of natural gas customers in the country.

Maryland
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Maryland

$16.38 per cubic thousand feet
Maryland residents have the ability to choose energy service providers. It's one of 15 states across the country where the market is deregulated to some degree for both electric and gas, a practice commonly referred to as energy choice. The state adopted deregulation in 1999 in response to record-high energy prices. The change was an attempt to bring prices down by creating competition. Despite that market change, energy prices in the state remain among the highest in the nation.

Delaware
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Delaware

$16.64 per cubic thousand feet
In Delaware, the state's Public Service Commission plays a role in regulating the distribution of natural gas to consumers. However, delivery and administrative costs are determined as part of annual rate proceedings held by the commission. The two regulated utilities serving the state are Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and Delmarva Power.

Related: The 10 Least and 10 Most Expensive States for Car Insurance 

Maine
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Maine

$16.64 per cubic thousand feet
Maine is served by four regulated local distribution companies, which include Northern Utilities (aka Unitil), Bangor Gas Company, Maine Natural Gas Corporation, and Summit Natural Gas of Maine. Rates, which are adjusted seasonally, are regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Virginia
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Virginia

$16.65 per cubic thousand feet
Starting out the top 10 most expensive states for residential gas bills is Virginia. Its State Corporation Commission does not regulate the prices residents are charged by providers. However, the commission's website states that gas distribution companies serving the state are not allowed to profit off of gas sales to residential customers. Rather, utility companies must charge Virginia customers exactly what it costs to purchase the gas on the wholesale market without adding any markup.

Ohio
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Ohio

$17.25 per cubic thousand feet
In Ohio, rates are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). The commission's website provides a helpful comparison chart that lists offers from certified energy suppliers, including providing price options from each supplier and the average yearly cost of each plan.

Rhode Island
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Rhode Island

$17.50 per cubic thousand feet
Yet another pricey state when it comes to natural gas prices, Rhode Island's rates are approved by the Public Utilities Commission and service is provided by National Grid, the state's only residential natural gas distribution company. Business customers, however, have the option in Rhode Island to shop around for natural gas and are not required to obtain service from National Grid.

Kenworth - Edwards Moving and Rigging C500 3
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Kentucky

$18.12 per cubic thousand feet
Kentucky has a small natural gas market compared to many other states. About 774,357 residential consumers rely on natural gas in the state, a figure that represents just over 1% of the natural gas customers in the United States as a whole. The state continues to predominantly rely on coal for energy production.

Related: Counties With the Highest and Lowest Property Taxes 

Newington Station
Newington Station by PSNH (CC BY-ND)

New Hampshire

$18.13 per cubic thousand feet
New Hampshire commercial and industrial users have access to a deregulated market. Residential users, however, do not. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission says its decision not to deregulate the residential market was based on the limited number of gas marketers offering services in the state, as well as a perceived failure of gas choice programs to deliver noticeable savings to residential users in other states. New Hampshire's residential customers must purchase service from local gas utility providers, and the state's residents pay some of the highest prices in the country.

Connecticut
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Connecticut

$18.28 per cubic thousand feet
It's a tale of two worlds in Connecticut, too, where— like in New Hampshire — the natural gas market has been deregulated for commercial and industrial customers, but not for residential users. That means residential users pay rates that are approved by Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). The government body regulates the three utilities operating in the state — Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation, The Southern Connecticut Gas Company, and Eversource.

Alabama
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Alabama

$18.59 per cubic thousand feet
Alabama remains a regulated energy market supervised by the Alabama Public Service Commission. According to the EIA, Alabama produces less natural gas than nuclear power and coal, but consumes more gas than either.

Georgia
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Georgia

$21.81 per cubic thousand feet
Georgia was the first state in the country to deregulate its natural gas market, adopting energy choice back in 1997. The marketplace is managed by the Georgia Public Service Commission, an entity that's charged with maintaining consumer rights. Under state law, consumers are "entitled to affordable natural gas services," according to Choose Energy. Yet even with deregulation, Georgia's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Florida
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Florida

$22.71 per cubic thousand feet
A state where natural gas is by far the leading source of energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the price per cubic thousand feet in Florida is among the most expensive in the nation.

Hawaii
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Hawaii

$44 per cubic thousand feet
Whether it's gas or electric bills, Hawaii is in a league of its own with steep utility prices, says Choose Energy's Murray. The state's average natural gas cost of $44 per cubic thousand feet is nearly double the cost in the second most expensive state on this list. "Hawaii is always expensive because everything they use has to be brought in," Murray notes.

Related: The Best Money-Saving Tax Tips for Each State