The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its annual energy efficiency scorecard today. The scorecard ranks the energy-efficiency of all 50 U.S. states. Top states have advanced energy-efficiency policies and programs that help lower customers’ energy use and boost the state economy.
This year, there’s a new state at #1 and there have been a number of shifts in the ranking.
The top 10 states are:
- Massachusetts (taking the #1 position for the first time)
- California (slipping from the top spot, which it held for the first four editions of the ACEEE Scorecard)
- New York State
- Washington State
- Rhode Island
- Maryland (making its first appearance in the top 10 and also one of the six most improved states in 2011)
And the 10 states “most in need of improvement” (starting from the one most in need):
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
- Alabama (also one of the top six most improved states)
- South Dakota
Most improved states:
Other than the rankings, the following are some of the energy efficiency scorecard’s key findings:
- Total budgets for electricity efficiency programs increased to $4.5 billion in 2010, up from $3.4 billion in 2009. Combined with natural gas program budgets of about $1 billion, total energy efficiency budgets in 2010 equal about $5.5 billion. Given the increasing regulatory commitments to energy efficiency, this growth will likely continue over the next decade.
- Twenty-nine (29) states have either adopted or have made significant progress toward the adoption of the latest energy-saving building codes for homes and commercial properties – up from twenty in 2010 and ten in 2009.
- Twenty-four (24) states have adopted an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS), which sets long-term energy savings targets and drives utility-sector investments in energy efficiency programs. States that adopted EERS policies in 2007 and 2008 are now realizing significant energy savings and moving ahead in theScorecard rankings.
- States continue to improve policies to reduce financial, technical, and regulatory barriers to adoption and deployment of combined heat and power (CHP) systems, which generate electricity and thermal energy in an integrated system. Tremendous potential remains for CHP, particularly in states with heavy industrial and manufacturing bases.
- A group of leading states remains ahead of the curve in adopting policies to reduce vehicle miles traveled and promote the purchase and manufacture of efficient vehicles. A major gap exists, however, as over half the states have minimal or no policies to encourage efficiency in the transportation sector.
What exactly does the scorecard evaluate? The evaluation is focused on 6 topics:
- utility and public benefits programs and policies
- transportation policies
- building energy codes
- combined heat and power
- state government initiatives
- appliance efficiency standards
There’s a chapter of the report dedicated to each of those topics.
“States can earn up to 50 possible points in these six policy areas combined, with the maximum possible points in each area weighted by the magnitude of its potential energy savings impact,” ACEEE reports.
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