(The Center Square) – Despite taking steps to encourage more efficient energy consumption and renewable energy, Indiana ranks in the bottom half of the nation’s energy efficient states, according to a report released Tuesday.
The personal finance website WalletHub compared auto- and home-efficiency in 48 out of 50 states. Data was not available for Alaska and Hawaii, according to WalletHub.
WalletHub is a for-profit personal finance company.
Indiana ranked 28th, well below its each of its neighbors except Kentucky and in the bottom half of the country.
“Indiana faces challenges with high levels of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide from the electric sector,” WalletHub Analyst Cassandra Happe said. “Clean energy generation in the state is lagging compared to others. On the residential front, electricity takes the lead as the primary energy source for home heating, resulting in higher annual electricity costs compared to the national average, which affects the median income.”
The report ranked Indiana 32nd in home energy efficiency and 30th in auto energy efficiency.
Utah ranked as the most energy-efficient state, followed by Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and Rhode Island. The bottom five were South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.
The report cites the U.S. Department of Energy in saying the average U.S. family spends at least $2,000 per year on utilities, with heating and cooling of spaces alone accounting for more than half the bill. In 2022, the average consumer spent another $3,120 on motor fuel and oil.
Jim Rossi, with the Vanderbilt School of Law, said one of the biggest mistakes consumers make when trying to be more efficient is getting too fancy.
“That energy efficiency requires you to purchase some kind of fancy product,” Rossi said. “In most instances, the highest bang for the lowest buck is behavioral, not tied to new products for your home. Turning off lights and appliances such as TVs and lights when they are not being used can yield benefits. Reducing your thermostat temperature by 1 degree in the winter or increasing it by 1 degree in the summer will save you as much as 3-5% on your monthly gas and electric bills.”