I heard on the radio that Californians use an average of 40% less electricity than the average American uses. FORTY PERCENT! That seems like a LOT!
I considered the reasons why this might be true. I'm sure it has something to do with the generally mild climate that much (although not all) of the state experiences for much of the year. There are many areas of the state where we can get by with no air conditioning at all and possibly even with no heat all year. We are fortunate enough to have lots of sunny days (don't let the word on this get around!), so I think we can even get by without turning on the lights much of the time, too.
Still, the state also has Death Valley (where I'm pretty sure both air conditioning and heat are required, although there are probably relatively fewer residents there than in Greater Los Angeles) and the Sierras (where I'm pretty sure heat is a requirement during the winter months, but perhaps they all use natural gas for that).
The reporter suggested that it might also have something to do with the general increased environmental sensitivity or awareness of Californians relative to much of the country. (I wonder if there are any statistics on that?) Whatever the reasons, I found it interesting. Now if only we can all work on reducing our dependency on oil...