States ranked for household carbon footprints

Written on: August 14, 2020 by ICM

Using a recent paper by University of Michigan scientists Benjamin Goldstein, Dimitrios Gounaridis, and Joshua Newell from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stacker has compiled a list of States with the highest to lowest household carbon footprints.
The U. of Michigan researchers developed models and used data from the Energy Information Administration’s 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey to determine the average household fuel and electricity demand in the continental U.S. (48 States) and Washington D.C. Each State has been ranked according to their household greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity per square meter, a measure of the total CO2 emissions that households in the State produce, as well as total building energy intensity, measured in kilowatt hours of power used per square meter of building area, and total thermal demand, measured in degree days.
The U.S. plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Nov. 4; however, 24 State governors remain committed to its goals to reduce GHG emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
Goldstein told Stacker that while replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources will help reduce GHG emissions, U.S. residents must alter certain living conditions if the nation hopes to meet Paris Agreement goals. Installing heat pumps can improve efficiency for heating and cooling, he said, and his research indicates that decreasing floor space typically equates to a “smaller carbon footprint.”
North Dakota leads the nation with the most emissions per household, followed by West Virginia, Missouri and Oklahoma.
States with the lowest carbon-emitting households include California, Utah Oregon and Washington State. To see the full list and read more, visit: