Texas is a lot of things — big, diverse, gorgeous — but you can never say it’s boring. Its electricity usage is no exception.
Below we look at some surprising facts about power production and consumption in the Lone Star State.
Texas Is On Its Own Electric Grid
Texas is on its own electric grid. That is a fact many people weren’t aware of until the winter storm of February 2021 brought the Texas electricity marker into the national spotlight. T here are three electric grids in the United States: the eastern, the western, and the Texan.
Texas went this route around World War II when the Texas Interconnected System came into being. Texas electric companies joined ranks to take advantage of large hydroelectric dams. However, the federal government had just passed the Federal Power Act in 1935, giving them the right to oversee energy rates and sales for any electricity that crossed state lines.
Guess whose power didn’t cross state lines? Yes. Texas secured its own energy grid and has stuck with it to this day.
Texas Gets Overwhelmingly Powered By Natural Gas
Texas is the largest natural gas producer in the United States by a significant margin. And since the product is being extracted and processed there, why not use it to produce electricity?
Energy companies in Texas get about 47% of their power from natural gas. There are over 160 natural gas production plants in the state, and they produce around 20 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day — enough to account for a double-digit portion of the state’s annual GDP.
Texas Is A Renewable Energy Paradox
There are some strange juxtapositions in Texas when it comes to renewables. Of the state’s massive energy demands, only 1.1% is met by solar — yet Texas is second only to California for the number of solar rooftop installations. Around 780,000 homes in Texas currently have solar panels installed.
Furthermore, Texas uses the largest amount of fossil fuels in the country, from natural gas to coal to petroleum. However, they are also the top consumer of wind power. That makes Texas both a leader and a laggard in terms of renewables. It will be interesting to see how things develop in the coming decades.
Texas Consumes The Most Power Of Any Us State
That’s right. Texas is number one in energy consumption. The Lone Star State’s population is nearing 30 million, with an increasing number of mega-corporations and tech giants relocating thanks to the state’s inviting tax laws and labor supply.
In total, Texas consumed 13 quadrillion British thermal units of power in 2015 — that’s 13,000,000,000,000,000 BTUs. That’s 160% more than California’s consumption that year, 8 quadrillion BTUs — and nearly 100 times as much as the lowest consumer, Vermont (at 132 trillion BTUs).
A lot is happening in Texas: it’s an exciting proving ground for new technologies and developments among electricity providers. The Texas electricity market place has many layers of market participants.
Vault Energy Helps You Find Cheap Electricity in Texas
Vault Electricity is here to help you compare electricity rates in Texas, finding the best rates among all the state’s electric companies.