For a state that’s home to the “Energy Capital of the World,” Texas falls flat when it comes to energy efficiency. WalletHub, a personal finance site, ranked the most and least energy-efficient states, and Texas was named No. 42 of the 48 states evaluated.
The states were scored on home and auto efficiency out of an available 100 points. Home efficiency was calculated based on the ratio of total residential energy consumption to annual degree days, the days of the year in each region that require buildings to engage heating or cooling. Auto efficiency was established by factoring in the annual miles driven per year, gallons of gasoline consumed, and population. At the top of the national ranking were New York, Vermont, Utah, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
Texas, with its hot climate and underdeveloped public transportation systems, scored only 33.34 total points on the report. The state ranked No. 35 on home energy efficiency and No. 42 for auto energy efficiency. Texans drive over 271 billion miles annually and use over 19 billion gallons of gas, the second worst and worst rankings, respectively, among the states considered for this study.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s research tells a different story of Texas’ sustainability. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership named its 2018 top local governments, and Texas cities claimed three spots in the top five. The ranking, based on the annual green power usage, placed Houston at No. 1, followed by Dallas at No. 2 and Austin at No. 5. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport landed at No. 6 and the Austin Independent School District ranked No. 26. San Antonio was not on the list.
According to the WalletHub report, each American household spends at least $2,000 annually on utilities and another $1,968 on gasoline and oil, which is up $59 from last year. New technologies and energy-efficient measures can reduce household utility costs by up to 25 percent, and a fuel-efficient car could save drivers over $700 annually, says WalletHub.
The report’s experts advised in properly weatherproofing homes; smart technology, such as thermostats; solar panels; and more.