NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Quick, Which State's Residents Consume The Least Electricity?

April 10, 2001

Respondents who named California might be laughed out of the game. But they would be right, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. California used less electricity per person than any other state in 1999.

  • That year, the average Californian's power consumption was 6,396 kilowatt hours.
  • The national per capita average was 11,867 kilowatt hours.
  • The states which guzzle electricity begin with Wyoming -- at 24,567 kilowatt hours per capita -- followed by Washington, D.C., Kentucky, South Carolina and Alabama.
  • After California, states which consume the least electricity per capita are Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts and Hawaii.

If all this comes as a surprise, remember that California enjoys coastal breezes and low humidity requiring only one-third of the air conditioning that a Florida or Texas household consumes. The Golden State also lacks energy-intensive industries like the aluminum smelters of the Pacific Northwest or the steel mills of the Midwest.

Source: Martin Kasindorf, "Californians Fight to Keep their Lights On," USA Today, April 10, 2001.


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