L.A. is a smog-challenged, traffic-congested metropolis bustling with not-so-earth-friendly commerce. And California is a smoke-stack-fueled economic powerhouse with a manufacturing sector worth more than $200 billion a year.

And yet, there appears to be some truth to the stereotype that Golden State residents are tree-hugging, Prius driving eco-warriors.

California made the top 5 in a new ranking of “2014?s Most Energy Efficient States.”  Ed Begley, Jr. probably didn't do it all on his own, either:


The list comes courtesy of personal-finance site WalletHub, which says California ranks fifth nationwide in “car-related efficiency” (that's you, Prius) and 14th in home-related efficiency (that's you, McMansion).

Overall, we're number 4 on the list behind Vermont (number 1), New York (2) and Wisconsin (3).

The site says Americans spend more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, including home heating and cooling, so this is kind of a big deal.

Credit: WalletHub

Credit: WalletHub

But, if you believe in global warming (and we do), energy efficiency will also affect the future of planet earth. WalletHub says:

… A $520 billion initial investment on energy efficiency measures could save the economy more than $1.2 trillion. In addition, annual greenhouse gas emissions could potentially be reduced by 1.1 gigatons … 

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