(The Center Square) – Despite taking steps to encourage more efficient energy consumption and renewable energy, Kentucky ranks as one of the nation’s least-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.
Kentucky ranked 37th, well below its each of its neighbors except West Virginia and one place out of the bottom 10.
“Kentucky has an energy-intensive economy, with the industrial sector being the largest consumer, accounting for approximately 36% of total end-use energy consumption,” WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe said. “However, the state has been proactive in promoting renewable energy and enhancing energy efficiency through various incentive programs, including grants, rebates, loan programs, and tax incentives for both individuals and businesses.”
The report ranked Kentucky 38th in home energy efficiency and 33rd 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.
According to the report, the average U.S. family spends at least $2,000 per year on utilities, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 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 one degree in the winter or increasing it by one degree in the summer will save you as much as 3-5% on your monthly gas and electric bills.”