For those planning on traveling this summer, you might be wondering how much energy you will need compared to what is available where you will be traveling to. You might be also wondering how much energy you will need to travel internationally. After all, aren’t all countries created equal when it comes to energy?
The short answer is no. Depending on where you go, the power you need to consume varies. If you are traveling abroad, especially to Europe, you will certainly need more power than you might need in Houston, Texas. That’s because a lot of Europe still relies on power generated from coal, which is a lot more polluting than the energy sources you will find in Texas.
Which State Has the Lowest Energy Consumption
You won’t find any official numbers on energy consumption in Texas vs. California, but it’s safe to assume that California has the lowest energy consumption in the United States. That’s because most of its energy comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power. Coal doesn’t even make the cut as a sustainable energy source in California. As a result, a lot of homes and businesses in California are energy-efficient. Homes and businesses use less energy, so they cost less to run. With less energy consumption, comes less heat generated from energy usage, which in turn, means that cooling becomes a problem in summer. The opposite is true in Texas. While a lot of its homes and businesses are very energy-efficient, much of its power comes from coal-fired power plants, which cause a lot of pollution in the state. As a result, a lot of homeowners and businesses in Texas struggle with air conditioner malfunctions during the summer months. Homes and businesses in Texas also use a lot of energy, so they become a financial burden in winter. That’s when electricity is expensive in Texas, because much of the power generation comes from power plants that are not built to accommodate the extra demand that goes along with the cold winter nights.
How Does Texas Handle Its Growing Energy Needs
While Texas doesn’t generate as much energy as California (just under 40 billion kWh in 2020 compared to California’s 60+ billion kWh),it has the tendency to consume more energy than it generates. That’s mainly because a lot of the power generation in Texas comes from coal-fired power plants, which are very expensive to run. For that reason, a lot of homeowners and businesses in the state purchase electricity from electricity suppliers in other states, which is known as energy exporting. Some homeowners and businesses choose to be energy-independent and generate their own electricity through solar power. That way, they don’t have to worry about the energy price fluctuation that comes with the electricity supplier they are currently using. As a result of those options, a lot of homeowners in Texas purchase energy-efficient appliances and upgrade their lighting to save energy. Those energy-efficient choices help, but it still comes with its price. A lot of those savings are eaten up by the higher energy cost associated with living in Texas. That makes homes and businesses in the state more expensive to own and run. If you live in Texas, it’s important to remember that while saving energy is always a good idea, you must be smart about how you do it. You can start by avoiding energy-depleting appliances and lightbulbs that are not energy-efficient. Then, you can look into purchasing renewable energy in order to reduce your energy consumption and eventually save money. If you do decide to go with renewable energy, be sure to purchase energy from a reputable source that can provide assurance that the energy they produce is indeed renewable and will not cause any harm to the environment. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time and money. Lastly, if you have the ability, you should look into taking advantage of the many energy-saving measures available to you, whether it’s an energy-efficient refrigerator, an air conditioner, or even your thermostat. Just by changing a few settings can save you a lot of energy and money.
Do You Need an Energy Audit to Redefine Your Game Plan?
The short answer is no. Depending on what state you are in, you might not need an energy audit to find out where your energy is being wasted. The easiest way to find out is by looking at your electricity and gas bills each month. If you can find places where you are wasting energy, you can start by changing some simple habits. For instance, if you find that you are using a lot of energy to heat your home, you might want to consider replacing some of your older appliances with more efficient ones. Even changing your lightbulbs and appliances to LED light bulbs and energy-saving appliances can help a lot. If you decide that these changes are not enough, you can ask an expert to come and take a look at your whole energy consumption setup and see if there is anything else you can change to further reduce your energy consumption. An energy audit can help pinpoint areas where you can make changes to achieve greater savings. Sometimes, it’s not even about saving money but about having more control over your energy usage. That’s why an audit is important.