California Energy: Comparing Production, Consumption & Spending in all 50 States

New report finds that California remains a leader in renewable energy production while its residents use less energy and have lower energy bills than other Americans.

The report finds that California uses a lot of energy because it has the largest population and the largest economy of any state in the nation. California ranks near the top in commercial, residential, industrial, and transportation energy consumption and expenditures. While California consumes the second largest amount of energy in the nation, it is also one of the most energy-efficient states. Compared to all other states, California ranks among the lowest in the nation for both per capita energy consumption and per capita energy spending.

It also leads the nation in renewable energy production, and comes in second place when large hydropower is included. California is also one of the largest producers of fossil fuels in the country. Because of its diversity of energy sources, California's economy is better insulated from the effects of falling oil prices than states with economies that are more dependent on the industry, such as North Dakota or Texas.

To learn more about how California ranks in comparison to all 50 states in energy production, spending, and consumption, visit Next 10's Compare 50 website at

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The report finds that in 2013, California ranked:

  • 1st in total renewable energy production exclusive of large hydropower
  • 2nd in total renewable energy production (after Washington, when including large hydropower)
  • California leads the nation in total solar projects at nearly 490,000, with the most megawatts installed at 3,868 MW
  • 1st in total population and real state GDP 
  • 4th lowest in per-capita energy consumption
  • 4th lowest in per-capita energy expenditures
  • 2nd in total energy consumption and expenditures (after Texas)