California ranks among the lowest in the US with regard to per-capita energy consumption and per-capita energy spending (4th lowest in both), according to a new report from Beacon Economics.
Despite this, owing to its population, the state still ranks as the second-largest energy consumer in the US — behind only Texas.
“Californians are among the most efficient energy users in the nation on a per-capita basis,” stated F Noel Perry, founder of the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization Next 10 — which commissioned the new report (“California Energy: Comparing Production, Consumption & Spending in all 50 States”).
The press release provides more:
The report finds that California uses a lot of energy because it has the largest population and the largest economy of any state in the nation. California ranks near the top in commercial, residential, industrial, and transportation energy consumption, and expenditures.
But at the same time, per capita energy consumption remains low in California. The report finds this is due to a legacy of innovative public policies that encourage energy efficiency, along with energy rates that are higher than the national average.
It’s an obvious point to make here, but it should be stated anyways: one of the main reasons that California ranks so lowly with regard to per-capita energy use is also that most of the state is incredibly mild compared to most of the rest of the country.
Heating and cooling makes up a substantial portion of the per-capita energy use of those living in the Midwest, Northeast, and Deep South. Running heaters and air conditioners constantly to avoid discomfort (as many Americans now do) uses a substantial amount of energy.
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