A personal finance website ranked Alabama as the third least energy-efficient state in the nation and ranked 45th in home energy efficiency and 47th in vehicle fuel efficiency.
The Washington D.C.-based website Wallethub used “degree day” data – a measure how how cold or warm an area is compared to a standard temperature – from the National Weather Service to calculate a ratio to total home energy consumption.
To rank vehicle fuel efficiency researchers divided the annual vehicle miles driven by gallons of gasoline consumed, and measured annual vehicle miles driven per capita to determine transportation efficiency. Alaska and Hawaii weren’t included in the study, the website notes.
The least energy efficient states were Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and South Carolina, while the most energy efficient were New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Massachusetts and Vermont.
The U.S. Department of energy estimates that Americans spend at least $2,000 annually on utility bills, and more than half that on heating and cooling. Last year the average consumer spent $2,109 on vehicle fuel and oil, an increase of $141 from the previous year, according to the report.
Jordan Clark, Assistant Professor in Sustainable Buildings at Ohio State University, told Wallethub that it’s not hard for homeowners to make adjustments that can save them on utility costs.
“Simple things like turning off electronics when they aren’t being used, adjusting the temperature setpoints on your furnace and air conditioner (and maybe wearing more clothing in the winter), shutting off lights, etc.,” Clark said. “Beyond that, switching out old incandescent light bulbs for much more efficient and longer lasting LEDs is a no-brainer.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs has a website devoted to informing residents on tips to cut back on energy costs, which can be visited here.