Electricity prices rise 13 percent in Houston, government says

Houston-area consumers paid 13.4 percent more for electricity in 2020 compared with an increase of less than 1 percent in consumer prices last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday.

Higher electricity prices caused local housing costs to rise 2.3 percent over the past year. The government tallies how much households pay for housing, including rent or an equivalent owners cost, natural gas, electricity and home furnishings. None of the individual components increased as much as electricity last year.

The increase in the cost of electricity in 2020 surprised some electricity price trackers, who said power prices are actually about 10 percent less than what they were a year ago.

Electricity shoppers can buy a plan for about 9.2 cents per kilowatt hour compared to about 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour a year ago, said Trent Crow, founder of electricity shopping site Real Simple Energy.

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What has changed, he said, is that consumers are using 10 to 15 percent more electricity because so many are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.