Extreme Temperature Diary- Monday October 19th, 2020/ Main Topic: How Is Your Electricity Generated? The Choose Energy Site Gives You Clear Information

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: How Is Your Electricity Generated? The Choose Energy Site Gives You Clear Information

Dear Diary. Most everyone I know wants to transition to renewables as soon as possible for their electricity use, to ensure a bright, green future for their children and humanity. Most of us do not know exactly what our energy mix is. In other words, what percentage of the electricity we use is generated from solar, wind, coal, or other sources? This will vary from state to state and from electric company to electric company.

As a consumer who is environmentally conscious, you will want to shop around to see which company has the greenest options if you wish to remain on the power grid. An internet site has been in existence since 2008, which can greatly aid with your energy decisions. Today for our main topic I will give some details about what Choose Energy offers:


How is your electricity generated?

This page tells you what ingredients go into your state’s energy mix

States use many methods to produce electricity.

Do you know where electricity comes from in your state? Depending on the location, energy can come from sources as different as nuclear power and the wind. Throw in a heaping helpful of coal in most states, hydroelectric sources in others and you get a complex energy stew.

Choose Energy® analysts, using the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, compile the October Electricity Generation Report detailing the energy mix for each state using numbers from July 2020. The data delivered some expected results – West Virginia depends heavily on coal, for example – and some surprising ones – Vermont gets more than 24 percent of its power from solar generation. Continue for more from the October Electricity Generation Report.

How the states stack up

It figures that Texas produces the greatest share of the country’s electricity – about 12.4 percent. There’s a reason that the Texas oilman is such a cliché.

The top 10 energy-producing states

State% of US totalState% of US total
Texas12.0New York3.5
Florida6.1North Carolina3.3

Following is the state-by-state breakdown of major sources of energy production (petroleum, geothermal, biomass and other sources are excluded). Total electricity is measured in thousand megawatt hours.

How each state generates electricity

StateTotal electricity (thousand megawatthours)% from coal% from hydroelectric% from natural gas% from nuclear% from solar% from wind
(See the site for the rest of the U.S. states energy mix.)

Which states top the coal and natural gas charts?

Coal long has been considered the “dirtiest” fuel for electricity production, though generators have made great strides in recent years to lessen its impact on the environment. Nearly 16 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. during July came from coal.

Top 10 states using coal to generate electricity

State% from coalState% from coal
West Virginia90.3Nebraska56.7
North Dakota63.7New Mexico42.6

Natural gas burns cleaner, but many environmentalists warn that its use produces methane. Here are the states that get the largest part of their electricity from natural gas.

Top 10 states using natural gas to generate electricity

State% from natural gasState% from natural gas
Rhode Island94.5Louisiana72.1

The leaders in green energy production

Hydroelectric power is one of the cleanest energy producers. Washington depends heavily on hydroelectric power – one of the reasons the state consistently has one of the lowest average electricity rates by state.

Top 10 states using hydroelectric generation for electricity

State% from hydroelectricState% from hydroelectric
Washington74.7South Dakota47.3
Montana52.6New York17.9

It likely comes as little surprise that California is among the leading solar producers.

Top 10 states using solar to generate electricity

State% from solarState% from solar
Hawaii21.6North Carolina7.4
Massachusetts16.1New Mexico6.5
Nevada15.5New Jersey6.1

States along tornado alley lead the way when it comes to producing electricity from wind turbines. But some unlikely candidates also are big producers:

Top 10 states using wind to generate electricity

State% from windState% from wind
South Dakota23.9Texas14.8
North Dakota21.6Vermont14.1

What about nuclear?

Is nuclear power clean or dirty? It depends on your perspective. It produces a far smaller carbon footprint than coal, oil, or natural gas, so in that respect it’s clean. But there’s the problem of what to do with the spent fuel – it’s difficult to overlook that problem.

That said, let’s put nuclear power in its own category.

Top 10 states using nuclear power to generate electricity

State% from nuclearState% from nuclear
New Hampshire52.9New Jersey34.6
South Carolina50.5Maryland30.8
Illinois48.6North Carolina28.0

Need more information?

Are you a journalist or researcher writing about this topic who needs to know more about historical rates? Send us details about what you need and we’ll get back to you with an answer and a relevant quote from one of our rate experts.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

 (Last updated Oct. 2, 2020)

The Choose Energy site lets you shop around with easy to use widgets in the menu. Here is more about Choose Energy:

We empower the consumer

Our mission is simple: To empower energy consumers by providing educational guides, clear information, and easy-to-use tools. Our goal is to demystify the energy industry and connect our customers with great energy plans at affordable rates. We focus primarily on the Texas deregulated energy market.

Let’s face it – choosing an energy plan is anything but straightforward. Choose Energy is here to help you find the right plan at an affordable rate. Whether you’re looking for cheap electricityno-deposit options, or renewable energy, Choose Energy has a plan to meet your needs.

Since 2008, Choose Energy has worked to make energy choice simple and easy for everyone. Choose Energy was founded in Texas and has offices in Plano, Texas. It is part of Fort Mill, S.C.-based Red Ventures, a portfolio of digital companies that specializes in bringing consumers and brands together. And check out the Choose Energy Writing Team.

Ready to get started? Enter your ZIP code above to see energy plans available in your area! Otherwise, read further about our marketplace.

Our marketplace is available at no charge

With the Choose Energy marketplace, you can view and compare different plans, providers and rates – at absolutely no cost to you.

Choose Energy works with trusted electric providers to bring you reliable energy plans at a great rate. Our partners pay us when we refer a customer for an energy plan. And the rates on our marketplace are all-inclusive – no hidden fees or surprise charges at the end!

It does not cost our customers anything to use our marketplace. Once you sign up for an energy plan, you will pay the energy provider directly. While we work with many providers, we never promote or upcharge on any plans. You can rest assured that the rate you see on our marketplace is exactly what you will get when you sign up – utility and transmission charges are included.

The Choose Energy comparison tool is straightforward and easy to use. You can compare and filter different plans, providers and prices – and, of course, find the perfect energy plan for you!

Once you’ve found the right option, it’s quick and easy to sign up. Simply select the plan that is right for you and our marketplace will walk you through the sign-up process.

Ready to find a great energy plan? Enter your ZIP code above to get started!

To reach us with questions

To reach the Public Utilities Commission of Texas

  • Mail: PUC – Customer Protection
    P.O. Box 13326
    Austin, TX 78711-3326
  • Phone: 1-888-782-8477
  • E-mail: customer@puc.texas.gov


To my readers, please kick the tires on the Choose Energy site. Comments and critiques are most welcome.

Here are some dire “ET” reports from Monday:

Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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