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Texas falls short on list of most energy efficient states

Texas ranked as the 40th most energy efficient state, according to a recent report. Photo via Getty Images

The Lone Star State again failed to perform well on an annual ranking of the most energy efficient states.

Texas ranked as the 40th most energy efficient state, according to WalletHub's annual report. Only eight continental US states ranked poorer, including Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, and South Carolina, respectively.

Source: WalletHub

The report looked at home and auto energy efficiency, as the report's methodology outlines.

"We obtained the former by calculating the ratio of total residential energy consumption to annual degree days. For the latter, we divided the annual vehicle miles driven by gallons of gasoline consumed to determine vehicle-fuel efficiency and measured annual vehicle miles driven per capita to determine transportation efficiency," reads the study.

Texas scored a 36 out of 50 points for home energy efficiency and 41 points for auto energy efficiency.

The report's experts were asked about federal incentivization of energy efficiency for customers, and all were in agreement that this is key to the future of energy.

"Energy conservation is a big piece that needs to be tackled efficiently for us to make any progress on energy transition. Incentivizing consumers and businesses is necessary but only if there is a clear demonstration of changes in personal and business work/living habits that reduce the energy footprint," says Sanjay Srinivasan, director at EMS Energy Institute and professor at Pennsylvania State University.

Another recent report looked at Texas from the solar perspective, and Houston failed to place in the top 15 most "solar" cities in the United States. However, Austin led the way for Texas, ranking the No. 3 most “solar” city in the U.S., per Thumbtack. Austin, with the highest net-new solar panel installations within the past year in Texas, split up four Californian cities in the top five. Only San Diego (No. 1) and Los Angeles (No. 2) outranked Austin.

While there's room for improvement for efficiency, Texas has among the best prices for energy, as WalletHub found in a report this summer. Texas ranked No. 49 on the list of the 2023 Most Energy-Expensive States.

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A View From HETI

Here's 1PoinFive's newest customer on its Texas CCUS project. Photo via

Occidental Petroleum’s Houston-based carbon capture, utilization and, sequestration (CCUS) subsidiary, 1PointFive, has inked a six-year deal to sell 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal credits to software giant Microsoft.

In a news release, 1Point5 says this agreement represents the largest-ever single purchase of carbon credits enabled by direct air capture (DAC). DAC technology pulls CO2 from the air at any location, not just where carbon dioxide is emitted.

Under the agreement, the carbon dioxide that underlies the credits will be stored in a below-the-surface saline aquifer and won’t be used to produce oil or gas.

“A commitment of this magnitude further demonstrates how one of the world’s largest corporations is integrating scalable [DAC] into its net-zero strategy,” says Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive. “Energy demand across the technology industry is increasing, and we believe [DAC] is uniquely suited to remove residual emissions and further climate goals.”

Brian Marrs, senior director for carbon removal and energy at Microsoft, says DAC plays a key role in Microsoft’s effort to become carbon-negative by 2030.

The carbon dioxide will be stored at 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale DAC plant, being built near Odessa. The $1.3 billion Stratos project, which 1Point5 is developing through a joint venture with investment manager BlackRock, is designed to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

The facility is scheduled to open in mid-2025.

Aside from Microsoft, organizations that have agreed to buy carbon removal credits from 1Point5 include Amazon, Airbus, All Nippon Airways, the Houston Astros, the Houston Texans, and TD Bank.

Occidental says 1PointFive plans to set up more than 100 DAC facilities worldwide by 2035.

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