Houston is the energy capital of the world. We practically bathe in oil around here. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that a recent study from Wallethub found Texas to be near the bottom of the list of states in energy efficiency. According to the study, Texas ranks 45th out of the 48 states in overall energy efficiency -- Alaska and Hawaii were excluded -- including 34th in home energy efficiency and 44th in car-related energy efficiency.
The only states with lower rankings were Kentucky, Louisiana and South Carolina. Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, California and Rhode Island top the list. Also not very surprising, the top 16 states are all north of the Mason-Dixon line.
No doubt, the huge amount of driving we all do in the Lone Star state is a significant factor in the low ranking, but it isn't as if we spend a lot of time concerning ourselves with energy efficiency. Not only do we drive as much or more than any other state in the country, but we have some of the weakest energy regulations for cars, homes and businesses.
We aren't helped by the fact that it is hot around here requiring more energy for air conditioning and less than favorable conditions for alternate methods of transportation like biking and walking.
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Still, our state isn't exactly progressive when it comes to the concept of conserving energy. After all, billions of dollars pour into Texas every year thanks to the sale of oil and gas. The last thing many want is for Americans to conserve the thing that pays our energy bills.
According to the Wallethub website, their calculations were based on statistics obtained from U.S Census data.
To identify the most energy-efficient states, WalletHub analyzed 48 states based on two key dimensions, including "home-related energy efficiency" and "car-related energy efficiency." We obtained the former by calculating the ratio between the total residential energy consumption and annual degree days. For the latter, we divided the annual vehicle miles driven by the gallons of gasoline consumed. Each dimension was weighted proportionally to reflect national consumption patterns.
Given the number of miles Texans drive in a year and the amount of energy we need to run our air conditioning in the summer, it's no wonder we ended up at the bottom of the list.