Interactive Map: How Does Your State Rate When It Comes to Energy Efficiency?
Vermont and New York residents lead the nation in energy efficiency, according to a new report by WalletHub, a consumer financial resource.
The report showed that Vermonters had the second most energy-efficient homes and drove the fourth most energy efficient cars overall. New Yorkers were sixth in both home and automotive efficiency.
When it comes to motoring, Floridians were notably fuel efficient, ranking first in the country. Utah, which ranked eighth overall in energy efficiency, had the most economical homes relative to the area’s climate. However, the state’s residents don’t necessarily drive fuel sippers, coming in 28 out of the 48 states in the report. Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. were not included in the analysis, due to data limitations.
Energy consumption is one of the biggest expenses for consumers, with the typical American household spending some $2,200 a year on energy and about half of that going to hone heating and cooling.
Vermont and New York were followed by Wisconsin, California, and Rhode Island in overall energy efficiency. The least energy efficient consumers were in South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, and Arkansas. Louisiana residents spent the most on home energy (adjusted for weather) and Utah was two times more efficient than the Pelican State. North Dakota residents spent the most to power their vehicles. Florida is two times more efficient than the Peace Garden State when it comes to automotive efficiency.
Southern states were among the least efficient states in the analysis. However, two northeast states, Pennslyvania and New Jersey, did not fare so well, ranking 35th and 39th respectively. Both states scores suffered because of relatively poor automotive fuel efficiency.
WalletHub hopes its analysis to embolden consumers to better consider their energy use.
To identify the most efficient states, the site analyzed the states based on home and automotive-related energy efficiency. It obtained its home efficiency rankings by calculating the ratio between residential energy consumption and annual degree days. For the car efficiency, it divided the annual vehicle miles driven by the gallons of fuel consumed. Each dimension was weighted to reflect national consumption patterns.
Energy efficiency is the least expensive path toward the lowering of carbon emissions. Richie Bernardo, a writer at WalletHub, cites a 2009 report that estimates a $520 billion investment on efficiency measures could return more than $1.2 trillion to the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 gigatons, roughly the equivalent of the carbon produced by the entire fleet of passenger cars and light trucks in the U.S.
Numerous studies have shown that retrofitting older buildings and stronger efficiency standards for new construction can go a long way in cutting energy consumption. And using new lighting technologies, like CFL and LED light bulbs, can use as little as 12% of the energy as incandescent bulbs.
Operating a more efficient cars of any size or variety can also save consumers quite a bit while reducing atmospheric carbon. For example, a car that gets 32 mpg saves $85 annually over at car that gets 30 mpg — assuming that each are driven 12,000 miles a year — making it 6.25% more efficient. Savings are more notable among larger vehicles. A car that gets 20 mpg saves $226.67 in fuel costs compared to a car that gets 18 mpg, which is 10% more efficient.
Scroll over the map to find out how efficient your state was in WalletHub's analysis: