Are Floridians energy hogs or dieters? How about Iowans? Or Arizonans? Ranking the states by per capita energy consumption produces a few surprises.
Floridians and Arizonans are among the 10 states with the lowest per capita energy consumption, while Iowans are among the top energy gulpers. Residents of Wyoming and Rhode Island rank as the biggest and smallest consumers of energy respectively, according to the latest EIA data.
Indeed the typical resident of Wyoming uses more than 5 times as much energy as a resident of Rhode Island. One consequence of heavy energy use is added vulnerability to periodic energy price shocks. But what factors explain the huge disparity in the per capita energy consumption of those states using the most and least energy.
Plainly, one variable affecting energy consumption heavily is simple distance between places like work and home. Another factor is the availability of public transportation. New Yorkers rank second in using the least energy and the excellent public transportation in New York likely drives its ranking.
Weather, building codes, energy efficiency programs run by utilities also impact energy consumption and a state's ranking.
Here are the ten states whose residents use the most energy on a per capita basis:
1. Wyoming; 2. Alaska; 3. Louisiana; 4. North Dakota; 5. Iowa; 6. Texas; 7. South Dakota; 8. Nebraska; 9. Kentucky; 10. Indiana.
The ten states whose resident use the least energy are:
1. Rhode Island; 2. New York; 3. Hawaii; 4. California; 5. Connecticut; 6. Massachusetts; 7. Arizona; 8. New Hampshire; 9. Florida; 10. Vermont.
Pennsylvania is more sipper than gulper of energy, ranking 33rd on states that use the most energy and 17th on rankings for states that use the least.