It’s costing more to run the electricity in your home these days. Over the past five years, electric bills have skyrocketed across the nation with the average household paying $1,419 in 2010.

That number was even higher in New Jersey where the average homeowner is paying 16.57 cents per kilowatt hour.

“I think we could do better,” said Stefanie Brand, Director of the Division of Rate Council. “I think given the drop in natural gas prices, I would’ve liked to have seen the electricity prices in New Jersey drop.”

“But you are getting a lot more for those rates than just the cost to get electricity into your home,” said Brand. “We’re paying for the cost of subsidizing renewable energy, we’re paying for certain energy efficiency programs and for upgrades to infrastructure. 27 percent of the average electric bill in New Jersey goes toward those programs.”

While there was a slight decrease in usage with the economic downturn, that did not last. There still are ways to keep your bill down.

“Use less,” said Brand. “Get yourself efficient appliances, seal up those windows and don’t overdo it in terms of the air conditioning.”