Here's how Texas ranks when it comes to energy affordability

Texas's evolving energy landscape means affordability for residents, a new report finds. Photo via Pexels

The Lone Star State is an economical option when it comes to energy costs, one report has found.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, analyzed energy affordability across the 50 states in its new report, Energy Costs by State in 2024, which looked at residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.

Texas ranked as the fourth cheapest state for energy, or No. 47 in the report that sorted by most expensive average monthly energy bill. Texans' average energy cost per month is $437, the report found.

Source: WalletHub

Here's how Texas ranked in key categories, with No. 1 being the most expensive and No. 50 being the cheapest:

  • No. 27 – price of electricity
  • No. 15 – price of natural gas
  • No. 44 – natural-gas consumption per consumer
  • No. 40 – price of motor fuel
  • No. 16 – motor-fuel consumption per driver
  • No. 49 – home heating-oil consumption per consumer

With the most expensive state — Wyoming — being over four times the cost compared to the cheapest state — New Mexico, the difference between energy costs between states varies greatly, but the reason for that isn't exactly a mystery.

“Energy prices vary from state to state based on several factors including energy sources, supply and demand, energy regulation, regulatory authorities, competition, and the free market," explains expert Justin Perryman, a professor at Washington University School of Law. "[States] such as Texas have a deregulated electricity marketplace. Missouri and 17 other states have a regulated energy market. In deregulated markets there are typically more energy providers which often leads to more competition and lower prices; however, other factors can contribute to energy prices.

"In regulated markets, the state energy regulatory authority sets the prices of energy," he continues. "It can be politically unpopular to raise energy costs, so those states may benefit from lower energy costs. Factors such as the state’s commitment to renewable energy may also factor into energy costs. Proximity to less expensive energy sources can lower energy costs.”

Texas's evolving energy landscape has been well documented, and earlier this year the state's solar energy generation surpassed the output by coal, according to a report from the Institute For Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

A separate report found that, when compared to other states, Texas will account for the biggest share of new utility-scale solar capacity and new battery storage capacity in 2024. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the state will make up 35 percent of new utility-scale solar capacity in the U.S. this year.

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A View From HETI

Nádia Skorupa Parachin joined Cemvita as vice president of industrial biotechnology. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based biotech company Cemvita recently tapped two executives to help commercialize its sustainable fuel made from carbon waste.

Nádia Skorupa Parachin came aboard as vice president of industrial biotechnology, and Phil Garcia was promoted to vice president of commercialization.

Parachin most recently oversaw several projects at Boston-based biotech company Ginkjo Bioworks. She previously co-founded Brazilian biotech startup Integra Bioprocessos.

Parachin will lead the Cemvita team that’s developing technology for production of bio-manufactured oil.

“It’s a fantastic moment, as we’re poised to take our prototyping to the next level, and all under the innovative direction of our co-founder Tara Karimi,” Parachin says in a news release. “We will be bringing something truly remarkable to market and ensuring it’s cost-effective.”

Moji Karimi, co-founder and CEO of Cemvita, says the hiring of Parachin represents “the natural next step” toward commercializing the startup’s carbon-to-oil process.

“Her background prepared her to bring the best out of the scientists at the inflection point of commercialization — really bringing things to life,” says Moji Karimi, Tara’s brother.

Parachin joins Garcia on Cemvita’s executive team.

Before being promoted to vice president of commercialization, Garcia was the startup’s commercial director and business development manager. He has a background in engineering and business development.

Founded in 2017, Cemvita recently announced a breakthrough that enables production of large quantities of oil derived from carbon waste.

In 2023, United Airlines agreed to buy up to one billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel from Cemvita’s first full-scale plant over the course of 20 years.

Cemvita’s investors include the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, an investment arm of Chicago-based United; Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based energy company Occidental Petroleum; and Japanese equipment and machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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