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East Coast vs West Coast: Here are the states that are the most energy efficient

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Energy is expensive.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household spends at least $2,000 per year on utilities, with heating and cooling expensive accounting for more than half of the bill. That's not including the nearly $2,000 Americans spend per year on motor fuel and oil for their cars.

Some states are mediating these costs better than others by initiating energy-efficient lifestyles. Here's a look at the results of a recent study conducted by WalletHub, which analyzed the efficiency of auto-and home-energy consumption in the continental U.S.

How energy-efficient is your state?

After analysts measured states' transportation efficiency, they discovered that the Big Apple ranked as the most auto-energy efficient state. That may come as a surprise to some, considering New York's bustling streets. Though WalletHub's study doesn't detail exactly why New York is doing so well in terms of auto-efficiency, it could be because the state is one of the more than a dozen states that adopted clean car standards, according to the Environment New York. The standards require passenger vehicles to meet a certain emissions standard.

Florida and California came in second and third place, respectively, for being the most auto-energy efficient.

Here's a look at the three worst states:

  • Wyoming
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
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WalletHub's study also measured states' at-home energy efficiency. The home of the beloved Ben and Jerry's ice cream was ranked as the most home-energy consumption state. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly all of Vermont's in-state net electricity generation in 2016 was produced by renewable energy, including hydroelectric, biomass, wind, and solar resources.

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Vermont was closely followed by Utah and Minnesota.

Turaj Ashuri, assistant professor and director of engineering research at Arkansas Tech University, explained that adopting easy efficient at-home energy solutions could save consumers money in the long run.

"Switching to light bulbs with models that have the ENERGY STAR label can save people $75 each year. The energy-saving light bulbs often have the same price as the non-efficient ones, and their life span is at least five times longer."
Turaj Ashuri

Rajesh Sharma, associate professor of renewable energy technology at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, added to the list of measures consumers can take to reduce their utility bill, including unplugging chargers when not in use, purchasing a programmable thermostat, and sealing air leaks with caulk.

But some states are lagging behind when it comes to at-home energy. WalletHub's study showed that South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama were among the worst.

To see where your state stacks up, check out the full list here.

Check out these other environmental stories:
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Plastic pollution isn't only in the world's oceans. It's also in the water we drink.

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