By August 4, 2017 Read More →

Texas biggest energy hog for 56th year in a row, but energy efficiency making inroads at state level – EIA

map of state with energy efficiency savings targets, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on information in Advanced Energy Economy PowerSuite and Database of States Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Electricity sales in states with efficiency mandates are 55% of total retail electricity sales

The United States consumed about one per cent less energy in 2016 – with Texas the biggest user for the 56th year in a row – and that trend may accelerate as more states adopt energy efficiency policies and programs, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

As of July 2017, thirty states and the District of Columbia have adopted energy efficiency policies, either mandated requirements, voluntary goals, or pilot programs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

NAFTAThey are designed to lower the growth of electricity consumption by using electricity more efficiently.

Seven of these states have either created new or updated existing energy efficiency standards within the past year.

Since Texas became the first state with an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) in 1999, 24 states have adopted an EERS. Four states have set voluntary goals, and two states established energy efficiency pilot programs.

An EERS uses either financial incentives or non-performance penalties to encourage energy efficiency and reduce electricity sales. Typically, EERS targets increase over time.


Efficiency targets may be set as reductions from retail electricity sales in a base year or the average of prior years, as a cumulative reduction over a compliance period, or as a percent of a long-term forecasted consumption amount.

An EERS may specify reductions for energy use, peak electricity demand, or both.

Some newer policies include traditional customer-incentive programs such as lighting or cooling equipment rebates as well as utility-sponsored measures that make the electricity distribution system more efficient.

In many ways, EERS are similar to renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which encourage the adoption of certain renewable energy technologies. Like RPS, EERS often differ in stringency and timing across states.

Six states—Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Ohio—that initially created an EERS in 2007 or 2008 have since extended expiring targets beyond 2020.

Each state’s targeted electricity savings is different, ranging from 1.0 per cent of prior year sales (in Michigan) to 2.1 per cent of average sales over the prior three years (in Illinois).


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Among these states, the final year of the standards ranges from 2020 to 2030.

In 2014, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio eliminated or suspended existing EERS policies.

In Aug. 2016, New Hampshire became the latest state to adopt an EERS, with a cumulative savings target of 3.1 per cent of 2014 delivered electricity by 2020. In Dec., Ohio reinstated its EERS.

Retail electricity sales in the states that have efficiency mandates accounted for 55 per cent of total U.S. retail electricity sales in 2016.

This percentage represents the upper bound of electricity sales directly affected by EERS.

In 11 states, the EERS policy covers all retail electricity sales in the state, while in others the EERS includes a subset of the state’s electricity sales; for instance, only sales by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) or a combination of IOUs, municipals, and co-ops (cooperative electric utilities).

Taking into account the electricity sales that are not directly affected, EERS-covered electricity retail sales in 2016 were close to 45 per cent of total U.S. retail electricity sales, based on EIA sales data and information from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

graph of electricity retail sales in states with energy efficiency resource standards and goals, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on EIA-861 Annual Power Sales, Revenue, and Energy Efficiencyand American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System, Vermont, Texas

 In 2015, New York had lowest total energy consumption per capita at 189 MMBtu

EIA’s State Energy Data System (SEDS) recently released 2015 data estimates for all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The estimates include data on both total energy consumption and energy consumption per capita, which is calculated by dividing total consumption by population, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In 2015, Texas consumed a total of 13 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or about 13 per cent of total U.S. energy consumption.

Texas has consumed the most energy in every year since 1960, the earliest year for which EIA has data. California ranked second in energy use, with a total consumption of 8 quadrillion Btu, about 8 per cent of U.S. total energy use.


LouisianaFlorida, and Illinois round out the top five energy-consuming states, which together account for more than one-third of total U.S. total energy use.

Total energy consumption by the top 10 states exceeded the combined energy use of the other 41 states (including the District of Columbia).

Vermont was the lowest energy-consuming state in 2015 at about 132 trillion Btu; it was the only state with a lower consumption level than the District of Columbia’s 179 trillion Btu.

Historically, Vermont has used less energy than any other state since 1961. Rhode IslandDelawareHawaii, and New Hampshire round out the top five lowest energy-consuming states, which together accounted for only 1 per cent of total U.S. energy use in 2015.

Overall, total U.S. energy consumption in 2015 was about 97 quadrillion Btu, a decrease of about 1 per cent from 2014.

In percentage terms, the states with the largest year-over-year percentage changes in energy use ranged from Minnesota, with a 7.6 per cent decrease from 2014, to Florida, with a 3.7 per cent increase from 2014.

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia had less energy consumption in 2015 than in 2014, led by states in the Midwest.

The seven largest percentage decreases in energy use all occurred among Midwestern states: energy consumption in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri decreased by a total of 704 trillion Btu from 2014 to 2015, accounting for nearly half of the total decline among states that had lower energy use in 2015 than in 2014.

map of total energy consumption per capita, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System.

In terms of total energy consumption per capita, Louisiana ranked the highest of any state, totaling 912 million Btu (MMBtu) per person in 2015.

These rankings reflect the total consumption across all sectors in the state: residential, commercial, transportation, industrial, and electric power.

Wyoming ranked second with 893 MMBtu, followed by Alaska (840 MMBtu), North Dakota (802 MMBtu), and Iowa (479 MMBtu).

High per capita energy consumption in these states is largely attributable to industrial sector energy consumption, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of all consumption in those five states.

High production in the energy-intensive fossil fuel industry contributes to the high industrial sector consumption: Louisiana, Alaska, and North Dakota are all among the top ten states in crude oil production, while Wyoming is a leading producer of coal and natural gas.

Iowa’s agriculture and manufacturing industries contribute to its relatively high consumption of energy in the sector.

In 2015, New York had the lowest total energy consumption per capita at 189 MMBtu, followed by Rhode Island, California, Hawaii, and Florida.

Again, relatively low per capita consumption reflects the relatively low industrial sector energy consumption in those states.

Overall, the 2015 U.S. national average total energy consumption per capita was 303 MMBtu in 2015, about 2 per cent lower than in 2014 and 1.6 per cent lower than in 2000.

EIA’s State Energy Data System contains a complete set of state-level estimates of energy production, consumption, prices, and expenditures through 2015.

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