The average household spends nearly $2,000 annually on energy bills; however, some states are more efficient than others.
According to analysis from WalletHub, the most efficient states, when considering both car- and home-energy consumption, are located in states with colder climates.
Overall, New York tops the list of most energy-efficient states, in part because it ranked fourth overall in home-energy efficiency.
States following New York included:
- Rhode Island
Utah ranked fifth overall, but in terms of home-energy efficiency alone, the state ranked first, followed by Minnesota.
The majority of the worst-performing states are located in the South. South Carolina was ranked as the least energy-efficient state overall; it ranked 47 out of 48 for home-energy efficiency, followed by Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Focusing only on home-energy efficiency, Louisiana performed the worst.
When looking to make a home more efficient, “The most important step a consumer can take is to get an official energy audit of their home,” said Thomas Drennen, professor of economics and environmental studies at Hobert and William Smith Colleges.
Many states have programs that will pay for this audit, which typically take about two hours.
To save energy quickly, Drennen recommends that homeowners replace all incandescent bulbs with LEDs, seal cracks around foundation and windows, and upgrade insulation.
The first two will typically pay for themselves in less than a year, while upgrading insulation is more costly but will have a quicker payoff than installing better windows.
For new construction, Christian Dagg, associate professor at Auburn University, suggests homebuilders focus on site orientation, placement of south- and north-facing windows, and the percentage of windows in exterior wall systems when building residences.