Utility bills: Cooler spell in 2023 but heating up longer term

Utility payments have risen nearly 20% since 2018, weighing especially on lower-income consumers and those living in the South.

Headshot of Taylor Bowley

Taylor Bowley

Headshot of David Tinsley

David Tinsley

November 2023

Key takeaways

  • According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis expenditure on utilities has come down from 2022 highs, but is ticking back up again. According to Bank of America internal data, the median utility payment per customer has risen nearly 20% since 2018 to over $200 per month. This is most obvious among lower-income customers who might still be facing some level of utility debt garnered over the course of the pandemic.
  • Where you live matters: customers in the South and West are experiencing greater median utility rate increases, due in part to climate sensitivity.
  • In the South, median utility payments are growing faster for coastal cities than landlocked ones. And climate events like extreme heat and hurricanes can bump up utility costs even more, which could impact domestic migration patterns and the allocation of consumer spending.

Read our full analysis for a more in-depth look at these trends.