WASHINGTON - The economic downturn has not sidetracked state-level energy efficiency efforts, according to a 50-state scorecard on energy efficiency policies, programs, and practices from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The 2009 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks states in six categories, concludes that the 10 states doing the most to implement energy efficiency are: California (1); Massachusetts (2); Connecticut (3); Oregon (4); New York (5); Vermont (6); Washington state (7); Minnesota (8); Rhode Island (9); and Maine (10).
“By embracing a wide range of cost-effective energy efficiency strategies, the leading states are demonstrating that efficiency is their ‘first fuel’ to meet energy demands while growing their economies,” said Maggie Eldridge, ACEEE research associate and lead author of the report. “States continue to raise the bar with comprehensive strategies to improve efficiency in their buildings, industry, and transportation systems. They are the ‘living laboratories’ of energy efficiency.”
Several states made strong moves up in the ranks from 2008 to 2009, including: Maine (up from 19 to 10); Colorado (up from 24 to 16); Delaware (up from 32 to 20); District of Columbia (up from 30 to a tie for 20); South Dakota (up from 47 to 36); and Tennessee (up from 46 to 38).
“The most improved states are stepping up their efforts in several ways, such as adopting new building energy codes and setting aggressive new energy savings targets,” said Eldridge. “By highlighting these most improved states, we hope to encourage others to step up their efforts to implement energy efficiency as their first-priority resource.”
The 2009 report is ACEEE’s third edition of its annual state-by-state ranking on the adoption and implementation of energy efficiency policies, which aims to recognize leadership among the states and identify best practices. The scorecard examines six state energy efficiency policy areas: (1) utility-sector and public benefits programs and policies; (2) transportation polices; (3) building energy codes; (4) combined heat and power; (5) state government initiatives; and (6) appliance efficiency standards. States can earn up to 50 possible points in these six policy areas combined.
Steven Nadel, ACEEE executive director, said, “The states continue to be leaders in advancing energy efficiency policies and programs. In fact, this growing and deepening commitment to energy efficiency is so strong that the current recession has not put a dent in the vast majority of state programs. And that is for good reason: Energy efficiency is the only resource that can actually reduce energy consumption while growing the economy - making efficiency the ‘first fuel’ states can use to balance their energy portfolios.”
The 2009 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard is available for free download at www.aceee.org/pubs/e097.htm or a hard copy can be purchased for $40 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 529 14th St., N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax: 202-429-2248.