In 2022, EIA reported Texas produced more electricity than any other state and generated twice as much as second-place Florida.
However, Texas also leads the country in another category. According to EIA, Texas is the largest energy-consuming state in the nation across all sectors with more than half of the state’s energy being used by the industrial sector.
As of May 2023, Texas residents paid 43% more for natural gas and around 10% less for electricity compared to the national average, according to EIA. Commercial and industrial sectors on average for the same month paid 25% less for electricity compared to the national average.
U.S. electric system compared to Texas
The U.S. electric system is essentially split into three regions called interconnections and are managed by a total of 74 entities called balancing authorities that ensure that power supply and demand are balanced throughout the region to prevent the possibility of blackouts, according to EIA.
The three regions (Interconnections):
Eastern Interconnection: Covers all U.S. states east of the Rocky Mountains, a portion of northern Texas, and consists of 36 balancing authorities.
Western Interconnection: Covers all U.S. states west of the Rockies and consists of 37 balancing authorities.
ERCOT: Covers the majority of Texas and consists of one balancing authority (itself).
“ERCOT is unique in that the balancing authority, interconnection, and the regional transmission organization are all the same entity and physical system,” according to EIA.
With this being the case, Texas is the only state in the U.S. that balances itself, the only state that is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, and the only state that is not synchronously interconnected to the grid in the rest of the United States in the event of tight grid conditions, according to EIA.
Every other state in the U.S. is connected to a web of multiple balancing authorities that contribute to ensuring power supply and demand are met.
California, for example, was the fourth largest electricity producer and the third largest electricity consumer in the nation in 2022, according to EIA.
Although California produces significantly less electricity than Texas, it has the ability to connect with more than 10 neighboring balancing authorities within the Western Interconnection to interchange electricity. ERCOT being independent only has electricity interchange with two balancing authorities, one of which is in Mexico.
Regardless of Texas’ unique power structure compared to the rest of the nation, the vast majority of the U.S. risked electricity supplies during this summer’s high heat, according to EIA.