Energy. Comparatively, whether we're talking about electricity or natural gas, we don't use that much.
And that means California ranked among the top 15 states with the lowest energy costs in the nation, according to data analyzed recently by personal finance website WalletHub:
Strangely, our average retail prices for electricity (we ranked 43rd out of 50 states, which is near the bad end) and fuel (we ranked 49th — almost last) are some of the highest in America, according to the site.
But we're good at not using those things as much as folks do in other states, ensuring that we did well in the site's ranking of “Least Energy Expensive States.”
“California did really well in consumption, even though prices are above average,” a WalletHub rep told us.
All those hybrids and solar roof panels are doing their job, apparently. But we also have a huge natural ally that most other states don't:
“The temperate climate keeps heating and cooling units idle most of the year,” says a WalletHub summary.
Yep. The California weather means that we give our air conditioners and heaters a break more than folks in most states do.
California made the top 5 — we ranked 4th, actually — among states with the lowest per-person electricity usage.
So you can complain about the high cost of living in Southern California all you want. Just remember that our sublime weather is worth more than just bragging rights.