WASHINGTON - According to The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), California, Connecticut, and Vermont share a three-way tie for first place, leading the nation in energy-efficiency policies.

ACEEE graded each state and the District of Columbia on actions they have taken in the race to adopt energy-efficiency policies, programs, and technologies. ACEEE recently issued its findings in a report, “The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2006.”

Past versions of the scorecard ranked states on utility-sector energy-efficiency spending. However, this report is a new and expanded effort to rank states on a broad array of policy initiatives, including appliance and equipment standards, building energy codes, transportation and land use policies, and other policy innovations “that are increasing U.S. energy security while sustaining economic prosperity and protecting the environment,” said ACEEE.

Massachusetts was next in line, followed by Oregon, Washington, New York, and New Jersey. Rhode Island and Minnesota tied for ninth.

The new report was issued as Congress takes up pending federal energy legislation in June, which is viewed as “a crucial opportunity to adopt energy-efficiency policies proven in these top-ranking states to help address perhaps the preeminent public policy concern of our day,” said Maggie Eldridge, ACEEE policy program research assistant, who co-authored the report.

“The top states earn the highest scores due to their records of spending on energy-efficiency programs, building codes, appliances standards, and other programs that work to increase investment in energy efficiency,” commented Eldridge. “The next 15 states … all have policies to increase efficiency in state-owned facilities, and most are committing funds to energy efficiency programs, plus adopting codes and standards.

“The bottom 26 states seriously lag behind the rest,” she said. “We hope that highlighting the leaders in our scorecard will encourage the laggards to catch up with the frontrunners as if our lives depended on it - because they do.”

For more information, visit www.aceee.org.

Publication date:06/25/2007