It's the middle of July and it's hotter than the surface of the sun outside. And that means we're cranking up the A/C to eleven and trying to stay as cool as possible. That also means the electric bill has a few more numbers on it than usual.
But, according to a new study by WalletHub, Florida is actually the eighth-least energy expensive state in the U.S. thanks to ranking high in categories such as monthly natural gas cost, and monthly home heating oil costs.
"We used eight key metrics to examine the consumption rates and prices of four different energy types," Diana Popa of WalletHub tells New Times. "Electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil. To help consumers gauge their energy expenses relative to where they live or plan to move."
Florida came in first in monthly natural gas cost at $3 per month, while ranking sixth in monthly home heating oil costs at two cents per month. However, when it came to monthly electric cost, Florida came in 47th with $148 per month. Florida tallied up a total energy cost of $276, good enough for eighth out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
The District of Columbia. which ranked first overall, has a total energy costs at $223. Colorado, Washington State, Oregon, and Arizona made up the top five. Meanwhile, Connecticut ranked dead last with a total energy cost of $410. Wyoming, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Alaska, and Rhode Island made up the rest of bottom-five tier.
Still, even though Florida comes in with a top-ten ranking, that doesn't necessarily mean good news. The study says that low prices of energy doesn’t always mean cheap energy payments. Weather and lifestyle play a big role in how energy is consumed state to state. And the summertime is the biggest factor of all in Florida.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration points out the obvious reason for the biggest energy consumption in our state: cranking up the A/C.
According to the EIA, our use of air-conditioning and other appliances is more than four times the national average.
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This even though, as the EIA points out, Florida homes are typically smaller and newer than homes in other states. Eighty-six percent of Florida homes use a central air- conditioning system.
Overall, here's how Florida fared in the WalletHub study;
Energy Consumption & Costs in Florida (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 23rd – Price of Electricity
- 42nd – Electricity Consumption per Total Housing Units
- 50th – Price of Natural Gas
- 1st – Natural Gas Consumption per Total Housing Units
- 19th – Price of Fuel
- 26th – Fuel Consumption per Driver