Transportation is the region’s largest consumer.
Though South Carolina produces a surplus of electricity, the region as a whole imports electricity from other regions.
The Electric South region is distinguished by its subtropical climate and its hot, moist summers. A 2009 EIA survey found that 88% of homes in Georgia use air conditioning equipment—placing the Peach State narrowly ahead of Arizona for the nation’s highest percentage. Florida is close behind with 84% of homes, and the Carolinas (North and South) follow with 83% of homes. All of these states are above the national average of 82%.
High use of air conditioning means a high use of residential electricity. Florida’s retail electricity sales to the residential sector, for instance, are second highest in the nation after Texas. The residential sector represents the largest share of retail electricity sales in North Carolina, and more than two-fifths of the sales in Georgia. Per capita retail sales of electricity in South Carolina are greater than the national median.
The Oconee Nuclear Station in western South Carolina is one of the nation’s largest, with a generating capacity of approximately 2.6 million kilowatts—enough electricity to power 1.9 million homes.
Georgia's two nuclear facilities—Hatch and Vogtle—are owned by Georgia Power, an Atlanta-based electric utility. Both facilities are among the 100 largest power plants in the nation.
North Carolina, which has three nuclear plants and five reactors, ranked sixth in the nation in net electricity generation from nuclear power in 2013, producing 5.1% of the nation's total.
Geologists believe there may be large oil and gas deposits in the federal Outer Continental Shelf off of Florida’s western coast. Drilling in this part of the Gulf of Mexico is currently prohibited by a federal order, and Florida representatives have recently moved to block testing for oil drilling off of the state’s Atlantic coastline.