5 Interesting Energy Facts About Texas

At Brilliant Energy, we’re obsessed with energy—and rightfully so. To kick off the week, here are a few of our favorite facts about all things energy in the Lone Star State.

When it comes to electricity, natural gas, propane and other fuels, Texas households consume about 14% less total energy than the United States average, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey. However, our electricity-only consumption to power our appliances and gadgets is 26% higher than the national average; albeit similar to the amount used in the neighbor states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, which together average 16%.

The warmer weather may be to blame for our relatively high electricity use, adds the survey. Among all energy suckers, like heating, lighting, etc., air conditioning accounts for triple (18%) the amount of energy consumption by Texans compared to the rest of the United States (6%). And thanks to the modern age, 8 in 10 Texas households cool off with central air, compared to just 6 in 10 households across the United States.

Texas is the only one among the contiguous 48 states to have a stand-alone electricity grid, boasts the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel. The grid is operated by Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which serves about three-fourths of the state. ERCOT does not serve the El Paso area, the Panhandle, Northeast Texas (Longview, Marshall and Texarkana), nor parts of Southeast Texas (Beaumont, Port Arthur and the Woodlands). In total, ERCOT supplies electricity to 22 million Texans, or 7.5 million households.

Texas is the leading natural gas producer in the country, reports EIA, accounting for about 29% of natural gas production. However, it wasn’t always like this. The natural gas market peaked in the 1970s, and then suffered a decline before stabilizing in the 1980s. Then, advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, along with an increase in gas prices, helped usher in the rebound period of the last decade.

Texas is also home to one of the world’s largest wind farms, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, according to the EIA and Texas State Energy Conservation Office. The farm is spread across 47,000 acres near Abilene. It has 421 wind turbines that average 1.7 megawatts each. Each megawatt of electricity can serve 230 homes each day.

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Sources:
Electric Reliability Council of Texas Map
Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center
Household Energy Use in Texas
Texas State Profile and Energy Estimates: Overview
Texas State Profile and Energy Estimates: Analysis