When most people think of Texas, they think of big skies, cowboy boots, and longhorns. But if you look beyond the Lone Star State’s iconic symbols, you’ll find something else—an insatiable appetite for energy.
Let’s take a closer look at how much energy Texas consumes each year.
- Texas is a leading state in terms of both energy generation and consumption, producing about 43% of the country’s crude oil.
- Each year, Texas consumes about 1,212.2 trillion BTU worth of petroleum products.
- More than half of all of Texas’s energy consumption is linked to industry.
How Much Energy Does Texas Consume?
As the largest energy-consuming state in the nation, Texas consumes more energy than any other state.
The industrial sector, including oil refineries and petrochemical plants, is responsible for more than half of that consumption. This comes as no surprise in a state like Texas, whose production of crude oil and marketed natural gas makes it the top producer in the country.
In 2021 alone, 43% of US crude oil production was attributed to Texas, and 25% of its marketed natural gas production came from the Lone Star State.
Clearly, when it comes to energy consumption, few states power America quite like Texas—and few states use energy quite like Texas!
Texas Energy Consumption by Energy Source
Curious about which types of energy Texans use the most? Let’s break it down a bit further.
With an energy demand that is growing rapidly, Texas’s consumption of natural gas is 3,992.2 Trillion BTU (British Thermal Units). This translates to 1.16 quadrillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of natural gas each year.
While this figure may seem huge, it reflects the increasingly large demand for energy around the world that has been seen in recent years. As a result, natural gas has become one of the most attractive sources of energy for states like Texas who wish to continue expanding their power grid and meet high consumer needs.
Texas has a staggering amount of petroleum consumption. Every year the state consumes over 1,212.2 trillion BTU worth of petroleum products. That roughly translates to 355 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy output. This equates to nearly 10% of the country’s total annual energy consumption from petroleum alone. It’s no wonder why Texas is known for its oil and gas industries.
Texas has certainly embraced solar energy by producing an astounding 3,348 GWh of solar energy. This type of usage is highly encouraging, and it speaks volumes about how far renewable energies have come.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the majority of electricity used in Texas has its origin in solar energy with “most” of the energy added in Texas during the past decade fueled by natural gas, wind or solar.
In addition to this positive development, other states have been motivated to invest more in renewable energy sources such as solar and have committed to reducing their associated carbon footprint.
In the United States, Texas is routinely at the top for energy consumption. This includes nuclear energy, which stands out as one of the major sources of electricity for the state.
Texas consumes an immense amount of nuclear energy—403.5 trillion BTU per year. In terms of kilowatt-hours, this works out to an impressive 118,254,176,814 kWh every year.
Texas consumed 9.8 trillion BTU of hydroelectric energy last year. That may sound like a lot, but when converted into kilowatt-hours, it amounts to nearly 3 trillion kilowatt-hours.
Geothermal energy is an increasingly popular form of renewable energy technology for Texas.
The Environmental Protection Agency states that 12 billion barrels of non-potable water can be used from the state’s crude oil and natural gas wells to generate electricity, while smaller scale resources such as residential homes, schools and businesses are using geothermal energy to heat and cool their premises.
Unfortunately, there is currently no clear data on exactly how much energy Texans consume through geothermal sources. However, it is likely to increase as evidenced by more people making the switch every day, attracted by the affordability and sustainability of this green energy source.
Texas produces more wind energy than any other state in the U.S., and it’s not surprising that they also consume a significant amount. However, data is not yet available on how many households and businesses in the state are taking advantage of wind power generation.
The Lone Star State offers an inspiring model for the way renewable energies can be utilized on a grand scale; clearly showing how viable these resources are as alternatives to traditional fossil fuels.
Who Uses the Most Electricity in Texas?
While electricity usage in Texas varies based on sector, the 2017 EIA report revealed that industries account for the lion’s share of electricity used in the state.
Of course, the exact percentages vary from month to month and season to season. Generally speaking, though, industries outpace everyone else when it comes to electricity consumption in Texas.
More than half of all energy consumed in Texas is for industrial use according to the EIA. The most notable usage is neutral gas. Ironically, because Texas is one of the largest energy exporters in the nation, it uses some of its energy to generate more to export to other states and to be used within Texas.
Texas is a state with many surface transportation options and a vibrant economy, so it’s no wonder that 25% of all electricity consumed in the Lone Star State comes from transportation.
This enormous share of electricity use is largely accounted for by passenger motor vehicles, planes, trains, ships, and trucks transporting goods.
Data on energy use breakdown by sector shows that residential use accounts for only 13% of total energy consumption—much lower than other sectors such as transportation and industrial.
Residential energy savings can be partially attributed to tax credits, like the one offered by Texas’s Energy Star Homes Program, which helps homeowners invest in efficient solutions like LED lighting and high-efficiency air filters and appliances.
Additionally, local utility companies offer incentive programs to provide further assistance in implementing home efficiency upgrades.
That said, residential use is still high. Although it accounts for less than about 1⁄8 of the state’s energy consumption, it leads the country in residential energy usage. However, some of this is attributable to population. Because Texas is such a densely populated and geographically large state, its per capita usage is actually relatively low. Texas ranks in the lowest quarter of all states.
Household Energy Use in Texas
Texas households, with typically newer and smaller homes than the national average, consume on average 77 million British Thermal Units per year. This is 14% less than the U.S. average but similar to energies used in other nearby states.
However, Texas’ electricity consumption per home is 26% higher than the nation as a whole due to their warmer climate making air conditioning a greater portion of home energy use (18%) while space heating only accounts for 22%.
Ultimately, this results in an annual electricity cost of $1,801 per household, among the highest in America but common among other warm weather states like Florida.
Questions Others Are Asking
What percentage of U.S. energy comes from Texas?
Nearly 12% of all total US energy comes from Texas, but it accounts for about 26% of all wind-powered electricity generation.
Why does Texas have its own power grid?
Texas has its own power grid for a number of reasons, but the most often cited is political reasons. It has a state-run power grid to avoid being subject to federal regulations and fees.