Report ranks Texas as among least expensive states for energy

If you live in Texas, you're paying less than residents in almost every other state. Photo via Getty Images

A new report analyzed energy costs across the United States to find out what states had the highest energy prices. Turns out, Texas falls rather low on that list.

The study from WalletHub ranked Texas as No. 49 on the list of the 2023 Most Energy-Expensive States. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost a third (27 percent) of the country report having difficulty meeting the energy needs of their household.

"To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia," reads the report. "Our analysis uses a special formula that accounts for the following residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil."

The report ranked states based on their total monthly energy cost, but also identified the following:

  • Monthly electricity cost
  • Monthly natural-gas cost
  • Monthly motor-fuel cost
  • Monthly home heating-oil cost
Texas households' total monthly energy cost was reportedly $378, which is only beat by New Mexico ($373) and DC ($274). The top five most expensive states for monthly energy cost is as follows.
  1. Wyoming at $845
  2. North Dakota at $645
  3. Alaska at $613
  4. Connecticut at $593
  5. Massachusetts at $589
When comparing to other states, Texas monthly electricity costs are relatively high. At $153 a month, the Lone Star State ranks No. 11 in that category. Meanwhile, when it comes to monthly home heating-oil cost, Texans pay an average of $0 a month, as do Mississippi residents.
Fuel prices are also cheaper in Texas, as the state ranks No. 49 with only Louisiana and Mississippi with lower costs, respectively.

While Texans can find some comfort in the lower-than-average energy costs, the whole country is expected to see some prices increase, one of the report's experts says.

"Most likely, energy prices will continue to rise in 2023, although perhaps more slowly than at times in the past," writes Peter C. Burns, director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame. "The war in Ukraine continues to create uncertainty in energy supplies in Europe, while pledges to reduce oil production in the interests of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also contribute to increasing prices."

Source: WalletHub

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A View From HETI

HEXASpec was founded by Rice Ph.D. candidates Tianshu Zhai and Chen-Yang Lin, who are a part of Lilie’s 2024 Innovation Fellows program. Photo courtesy of Rice

A group of Rice University student-founded companies shared $100,000 of cash prizes at an annual startup competition — and three of those winning companies are focused on sustainable solutions.

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge, hosted by Rice earlier this month, named its winners for 2024. HEXASpec, a company that's created a new material to improve heat management for the semiconductor industry, won the top prize and $50,000 cash.

Founded by Rice Ph.D. candidates Tianshu Zhai and Chen-Yang Lin, who are a part of Lilie’s 2024 Innovation Fellows program, HEXASpec is improving efficiency and sustainability within the semiconductor industry, which usually consumes millions of gallons of water used to cool data centers. According to Rice's news release, HEXASpec's "next-generation chip packaging offer 20 times higher thermal conductivity and improved protection performance, cooling the chips faster and reducing the operational surface temperature."

A few other sustainability-focused startups won prizes, too. CoFlux Purification, a company that has a technology that breaks down PFAS using a novel absorbent for chemical-free water, won second place and $25,000, as well as the Audience Choice Award, which came with an additional $2,000.

Solidec, a company that's working on a platform to produce chemicals from captured carbon, and HEXASpec won Outstanding Achievement in Climate Solutions Prizes, which came with $1,000.

The NRLC, open to Rice students, is Lilie's hallmark event. Last year's winner was fashion tech startup, Goldie.

“We are the home of everything entrepreneurship, innovation and research commercialization for the entire Rice student, faculty and alumni communities,” Kyle Judah, executive director at Lilie, says in a news release. “We’re a place for you to immerse yourself in a problem you care about, to experiment, to try and fail and keep trying and trying and trying again amongst a community of fellow rebels, coloring outside the lines of convention."

This year, the competition started with 100 student venture teams before being whittled down to the final five at the championship. The program is supported by Lilie’s mentor team, Frank Liu and the Liu Family Foundation, Rice Business, Rice’s Office of Innovation, and other donors

“The heart and soul of what we’re doing to really take it to the next level with entrepreneurship here at Rice is this fantastic team,” Peter Rodriguez, dean of Rice Business, adds. “And they’re doing an outstanding job every year, reaching further, bringing in more students. My understanding is we had more than 100 teams submit applications. It’s an extraordinarily high number. It tells you a lot about what we have at Rice and what this team has been cooking and making happen here at Rice for a long, long time.”


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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