As the registered and certified dad in my house, I'm duty-bound to spend plenty of my time turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, and most importantly, asking my family if any or all of them were born in a barn. Like the commercial says, it's what you do. It's not that I'm obsessed with energy efficiency, it's more of an obsession about paying less in utilities. Is your house different?

Looking at some of the numbers from personal finance site WalletHub tells me that there are lots of us in Illinois who share a similar mindset. We may not realize it, but some of the smaller steps we take (changing out lightbulbs for LED bulbs, lowering the heating and cooling, unplugging little-used electronics, etc.) are having an effect.

WalletHub's latest piece, 2017’s Most & Least Energy-Efficient States, takes a look at which states are doing it right, and which states are made up of people who apparently were born in a barn.

Here's what WalletHub's analysts looked at:

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. family spends at least $2,000 per year on utilities, with heating and cooling of spaces alone accounting for more than half the bill. In 2016, the average consumer spent another $1,900 on motor fuel and oil, though that figure represents a decline in recent years. As for transportation, the agency found that a more fuel-efficient vehicle could save the average driver about $625 per year.

In order to gauge the impact of doing more with less energy, WalletHub’s analysts measured the efficiency of auto- and home-energy consumption in 48 U.S. states. Due to data limitations, Alaska and Hawaii were excluded from our analysis.

First, the 5 most energy efficient states:

1) New York

2) Vermont

3) Utah

4) Minnesota

5) Massachusetts


Next, the 5 least energy efficient states:

44) Mississippi

45) Tennessee

46) Alabama

47) Louisiana

48) South Carolina


As for our state of Illinois, we come in at #15. Wisconsin takes the #8 spot, Michigan is #13, Iowa is #28, Missouri holds the #35 spot, Indiana comes in at #31, and Kentucky is #40.

Energy Efficiency in Illinois (1=Most Energy-Efficient; 24=Avg.)
21st – Home Energy Efficiency
38th – Vehicle-Fuel Efficiency
4th – Transportation Efficiency

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