Texas consumes more electricity than any other state in the country. Electricity consumption rates in Texas are among the highest in the world, and it’s not uncommon for Texans to pay large electricity bills even though the cost per kWh is low compared to other locations. Texans like to run their air conditioners year-round, and hot summers often lead to increased demand for power from homes and businesses alike.
Residential electricity usage in Texas
In the Summer of 2018, Texas was the leading producer of electricity in the U.S., generating more than 132,000 megawatts of electricity. This means that about 30% of all power generated in the U.S. came from Texas. This trend continued through 2021 and expected to continue through 2022 and beyond. The abundance of land in the state allows for the building of larger homes. This combined with the heat of Texas summers leads to a large per capita consumption of residential electricity. Despite this, electricity in Texas is not expensive when compared to other parts of the country. The increasing price of natural gas has been a contributing factor in increasing electricity rates in the Lone Stare state recently. Looked at over the loner term, however, the competitive nature of the Texas electricity market has kept electricity rates cheap when compared to other states who use large amounts of electricity such as California or New York. Looking forward, analysts predict that Texas will continue to have abundant sources of cheap electricity because of its large and growing base of wind and solar electricity.
Texas Population Growth and the Demand for Electricity
Recent years have seen net population migration into the state of Texas. People have been leaving California and moving west to take advantage of the many things the state of Texas has to offer. The growth in Texas population is increasing the demand for electricity. The state uses so much electricity because of the high levels of use during the summer months when Texans are out and about, cooling off in air-conditioned living spaces.
Industrial Energy Usage in Texas
Industrial facilities in Texas use vast amounts of energy. In fact, the total energy usage is equivalent to the electrical needs of over 15 million homes.
Industries account for 54% of power usage in Texas, which equates to about 150 million megawatt hours per year.
In Texas, the largest energy consuming industries are the oil and gas industry, manufacturing, followed by transportation. The top five industries in Texas are the oil and gas refining industry, metal fabrication, petrochemical manufacturing, food manufacturing, and electric utility service providers. These industries combined account for over 75% of industrial emissions in Texas.
Renewable Energy in Texas
Power generation plays an important role in reducing pollution caused by the various industries in Texas. Texas has the largest wind energy capacity in the United States and is one of the biggest producers of electricity via wind energy in the world. The state’s Big Bend region produces more than 3,000 MW of power which is more than any other state.
While the state’s solar industry is not huge, it is growing rapidly. The combination of available land and near year-round sunshine make the state the perfect location to host solar farms. And the large rooftops of homes in Texas population centers like Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth are increasingly adorned with rooftop solar panels.
Big State, Big Industry Means Big Power Demand
Texas uses a lot of electricity because it’s large and growing population and healthy industrial base. Add that to the fact that Texas’ southern location makes it one of the warmest state’s in the country and it’s no surprise that the state consumes so much energy. Despite that, the state is largely energy independent given the large amount of fossil fuels it produces and it’s independent electricity grid. Texas is the only state in the continental US with its own separate electricity grid.