There were 1 million households in Orange County as of 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you divide the total residential electricity used annually by the number of households in Orange County, the average annual household electricity usage is 7,456 kWh.
The average monthly household electricity consumption in Orange County is 621 kWh, which you get by dividing the annual usage per household by 12. Orange County ranks 42nd in per household monthly electricity usage among California counties.
The average household in the United States uses 877 kWh of electricity per month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Orange County households use 255 kWh/month less electricity than the average U.S. household, according to our calculations, or 34% less electricity than the national average.
Looking to save energy? Sign up for OhmConnect
The investor-owned electric utility that serves Orange County is SCE. For 2021, SCE reported an average tiered residential retail electricity rate of $0.23/kWh, excluding low-income customers on discounted rates. For 2022, SCE lists aan average tiered residential electricity rate of $0.28/kWh.
Electric bills for residential customers of SCE are influenced by a number of different factors, including the higher cost of exceeding your monthly baseline allotment (if you have one), and when you use energy if you’re on a Time of Use rate where you pay a higher rate for for “on-peak” usage, typically from 4-9PM, and a lower rate for “off-peak” usage.
If you are on the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, you receive a discount of up to 35% on your monthly electric bill, which isn’t considered in this calculation. If you are a customer of a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program that is responsible for generation of your electricity, your cost/kWh will differ from the rates provided by SCE.
Your actual electric bill could be much higher or lower based on these factors.
If we just use the published rates for SCE and multiply by the average monthly electricity usage per household, the average Orange County household’s monthly electric bill in 2021 was approximately $146.
Using SCE’s new rates for 2022, the average Orange County household’s monthly electric bill during 2022 will increase by $28 to $174.
By this calculation, this year Orange County has the 46th highest household monthly electricity bill increase in dollars among California counties. Households pay about $100 less on their monthly electric bill than the average for California in 2022.
The average monthly electric bill in the U.S. is $115, the U.S. EIA reports. Using the average monthly bill of $174 per month, Orange County households pay $58 more than the national average for electricity each month, which is 40% higher than the national household average.
Looking to save energy? Sign up for OhmConnect
Orange County is more coastal than inland California. Coastal counties typically use 124% more electricity during a summer month (July-Oct.) than during an average month for the year, according to this study by the University of San Diego.
If you factor that in, Orange County households use an average of 770 kWh of electricity during a typical summer month. That means the average monthly SCE electric bill in Orange County for summer 2021 would be about $181.
Summer electric bills can be influenced by how hot the weather is, which we don’t know yet for 2022. Assuming the same average consumption as last year, the average monthly SCE household electric bill in Orange County for summer 2022 will be $216.
If that holds true, the average household in Orange County would pay $35 more per month for electricity this summer than in 2021.
That can really add up. The average electricity usage for the four-month summer season in Orange County (July - October) is 3,081 kWh per household.
If you use the assumptions above, the average summer seasonal electric bill for Orange County households would be $722 in 2021. For 2022, the average summer electric bill for Orange County households could reach $863.
That would mean you could pay $141 more for your electricity this summer in Orange County than last year.
This summer will be the first time that many households in California who receive a SCE bill are on a Time of Use (TOU) plan.
Under a TOU plan, you are charged different amounts per kWh based on when you use energy, not just on how much total energy you use. Electricity used 4-9PM on weekdays typically is considered “on-peak,” while energy used outside that five-hour period or on weekends is considered “off-peak.”
For SCE, the on-peak summer rate under the typical TOU plan is $0.52/kWh, and the off-peak summer rate is $0.33. Based on analysis of our internal data, we estimate that the average household in California uses roughly 33% of their monthly energy during on-peak times, and 66% during off-peak.
Using these numbers, we calculated what you can expect to pay this summer with TOU pricing.
The monthly TOU-adjusted electric bill for Orange County households in 2022 is $300. That is $119 more per month than the same household with the same electricity usage would have paid in the summer 2021 on a tiered rate plan.
Over the course of the four months of summer, an Orange County household can expect to pay $1,200 for electricity, which is about $478 more than you would have paid in summer 2021.
One way you can save on your electric bill is by using less electricity. OhmConnect is a no-cost, no-risk service that will help you save energy when it matters most.
OhmConnect notifies you when wholesale electricity prices are spiking in your neighborhood and gives you tips on how to save energy during that time. If you can use less power than you typically would, not only do you save on your electric bill but you can also get paid by OhmConnect.
Using a smart thermostat linked to OhmConnect is a great way to save on your electric bill. Just by using a Nest Smart Thermostat, for example, you can save up to 15% on your cooling bills, according to Google.
OhmConnect will give you a free or discounted smart thermostat just for signing up. To claim your smart thermostat and start saving energy and money, join OhmConnect today.