Back in the 1950s my Dad constantly complained about the electric bill. Every month after opening the bill he would go through the house and turn off lights. When the monthly bill hit $35 he blew his stack. All the kids, there were six of us, were fined a quarter for leaving on a light. Well, times have changed! Now–I’m the one who turns off extra lights. My wife and I have a running battle with the thermostat. She likes it cold, I want a lower electric bill. I do full loads in the clothes washer, she does one shirt at a time. Ah but this is the life of an old married couple. We really don’t have a problem. Yes, I blow my stack when the electric bill hits $350, but that doesn’t happen anymore. Energy conservation has cut the bill by at least half. It’s only in the last few years that I became energy aware, not necessarily because I’m trying to be “green,” but because I want to cut the bill to zero. That’s a lofty goal and I’m sure many people would like to do the same. I’ve lived in a lot of states but never changed my energy profile. It never crossed my mind that different states might have different consumption levels. Let’s take a look at how states compare in energy consumption per person.
Energy assumptions versus reality
I admit I went into this research with some preconceived ideas. My monthly Texas summer electric bill can be up to $150 higher simply because of air conditioning. Texas is an energy hog at 456 million BTUs (all figures from 2009). The national average is 308 million. I assumed all hot states would be energy hogs. I lived a summer in Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps–bright lights, glitz, fancy hotels–and it’s hot. Nevada has got to be an energy hog. Right? What about New York with all the sky scrapers? Let’s get to the facts.
Representative states per capita consumption
Texas is ranked sixth from the top on the energy hog list.
Nevada consumption per person, 268 million BTUs, rank 40.
Arizona, 221 million BTUs, rank 46.
California, 217 million BTUs, rank 47.
Florida, 232 million BTUs, rank 43.
Hawaii, 209 million BTUs, rank 49
Alaska, 907 million BTUs, rank 2
The best state: New York, 196 million BTUs, rank 51.
The worst state: Wyoming, 956 million BTUs, rank 1.
This is an eye opener. How does your state rank? You can find out using the great energy consumption graphic at Energy.gov. Check it out and prepare to save some energy.