Massachusetts Tops Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 4th Consecutive Year
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its eighth annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, and for the fourth consecutive year, Massachusetts has claimed top billing as the most energy efficient state in the nation. California ranked second, maintaining the position it has held for the past two years. Rhode Island broke into the top five for the first time, tying for third place with Oregon and Vermont. Rounding out the top ten are Connecticut, New York, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota.
Arkansas earned a place among the most improved energy-efficiency states by increasing its budget for electric efficiency programs by 30 percent between 2012 and 2013, while more than tripling its electricity savings. The District of Columbia, Kentucky and Wisconsin join Arkansas on the most-improved list for 2014. The five states most in need of improvement on energy efficiency in 2014, from dead last and up, are North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Mississippi and Alaska.
Twenty-three states fell in this year’s energy efficiency rankings. Indiana dropped the most, by 13 spots, due in part to state legislators’ decision to eliminate the state’s long-term energy savings goals. Legislators in Ohio made a similar decision to freeze and substantially weaken the state’s energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), contributing to the state’s fall of seven spots down the rankings.
ACEEE found that states that enforce and adequately fund an EERS drive investments in utility-sector energy efficiency programs. The states with the most aggressive savings targets include Arizona, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Overall, however, states are ramping up their commitments to energy efficiency. Total budgets for electricity efficiency programs in 2013 reached $6.3 billion. Savings from electricity efficiency programs in 2013 totaled about 24.4 million MWh, a 7 percent increase over 2011 savings reported last year by ACEEE. Gas savings for 2013 were reported at 276 million therms, a 19 percent increase over the 2011 savings reported in the previous ACEEE State Scorecard.
Photo of Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts, via Shutterstock.
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