Special Report

The 10 States That Use the Most Energy

In 2010, the United States used roughly 97.7 quadrillion Btu of energy, up from roughly 95 quadrillion in 2009. To put that in perspective, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates global consumption at roughly 500 quadrillion Btu. Effectively, the U.S. population, which accounts for approximately 4.5% of the world’s population, uses a fifth of its energy.

Read: The 10 States That Use the Most Energy

The vast majority of U.S. consumption is from fossil fuels, mostly petroleum, followed by natural gas and coal. The remaining use comes from nuclear energy, at 8.6%, and renewable energy, at 8.2%. While the nation consumes an enormous amount of energy as a whole, some states consume much more energy than others. Based on EIA’s data for 2010, 24/7 Wall St.’s reviewed the 10 states that consume the most energy per capita.

Regions that produce the most energy also use the most and pay the least. Nine of the 10 states are among the top 20 producers of energy per capita. Combined, the 10 produced 33.2 quadrillion Btu, roughly a third of our total energy production. Meanwhile, they paid 8.3 cents per kWh on average, less than the national average of nearly 10 cents.

Energy prices in the states that consume the most energy per capita are among the cheapest in the country. This is due largely to the availability of locally produced energy, particularly petroleum. Eight of the 10 states with the highest energy use are among the third with the cheapest costs. Wyoming, the state with the highest consumption per capita in the country, also has the cheapest costs per capita, at just 8.7 cents per kWh. The U.S. average cost is nearly 10 cents, and in Hawaii, it is 25 cents per kWh.

In addition to using the most, many of these states tend to be among the greatest producers of energy relative to the size of their population. Some, including Louisiana, Texas and Wyoming, are also the greatest producers overall. Wyoming produces 10.5 quadrillion Btu of energy, roughly 14.5% of the nation’s production, despite being the least populous state in the country.

The reason these states are producing and using so much energy has much to do with their main industries. Most of these states, including North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Texas, are in the energy production industry, particularly oil production. Energy production requires a great deal of energy use. Industrial use, which includes manufacturing and energy production, is among the highest in these states. Every one of the top 10 states for energy industrial consumption is among the top 10 for overall energy consumption.

Residential consumption is also high in many of these states, but not nearly as high as industrial consumption. Of the 10 states that use the most energy per capita, five are among the top 15 for residential energy consumption per capita.

There are four major uses of energy in the country, and they divide up total share relatively evenly. Residential consumption, nationwide, is only 22.3% of total consumption, while industrial consumption accounts for 31%. The commercial industry accounts for 18.4% and transportation uses 28%.

24/7 Wall St. relied on U.S. Census 2010 population statistics and U.S. EIA 2010 energy consumption and production data to produce both consumption and production on a per capita basis. We also included costs per kilowatt hour and consumption for each of four major types: residential, industrial, commercial and transportation, from the EIA.

These are the 10 states that use the most energy.