When it comes to spending the most on electricity, Washington, D.C., is listed among 10 U.S. jurisdictions that has barred no holds. Holding fourth place ahead of the District is North Dakota, and Alabama ranked No. 6. Farther down the list is the state of Maryland, which placed 36th.

Those are the findings of a recent study conducted by the Arlington, Va.-based Lexington Institute, which are posted on Energy.org, an online resource for comparing state energy patterns.

Don Soifer, a policy analyst for the Institute, said a lot of what was found in the study is information that has also been published by the federal energy department. “We all know that it’s a good idea to turn off the light when you leave the room or to close the refrigerator door and so on,” Soifer said, “but in terms of actual energy, there is very little information out there that’s recent regarding how much electrical energy we really use.” Soifer said that when his staff assembled the study they wanted to put everything on a per capita basis and to let people get a sense of the trend in which each state is going.“Which is a critical thing,” he said.

Soifer added however, that when talking about energy consumption, one of the main determinants is the weather. “If you use more heating oil one winter than the next, it’s not necessarily that you’re being sloppy about it –it’s just that it might be a colder winter,” Soifer explained. “So we wanted to get this kind of information out there and do it in a neutral way.”

He said that in doing so, the study has not leaned toward carbon emissions or pollution. “Neither is this about having a political axe to grind, one way or the other,” Soifer said.

Andre Francis, spokesman for Potomac Electric and Power Company (PEPCO), said although they keep track of consumption, they have no means of comparing it with other nearby regions. He also said it is difficult to gauge consumption on a house-to-house basis. “That’s hard to do, as there are households that larger or smaller than others,” Francis said. “It’s hard to compare a studio apartment to a large house, so we don’t typically compare averages when it comes to usage.”

However, Francis offered other tips for keeping consumption down, particularly as the temperatures begin to dip. They include keeping heating equipment well tuned with periodic maintenance and setting thermostats at 68 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night.