WASHINGTON — Energy-efficiency measures are thriving in state capitals around the U.S., with several states — including Mississippi, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia — taking major steps that moved them up the ranks in the seventh annual edition of the “State Energy Efficiency Scorecard” released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). For the first time in the history of the State Scorecard, the 2013 ranking of the states is being released with the participation of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, along with a top elected official of a state, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
The State Scorecard shows that the top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland, and Illinois. Massachusetts retains the top spot for the third year in a row based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act.
In California, requirements for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have led it to identify several strategies for smart growth, keeping the state in a top position at No. 2. Connecticut is also closing the gap due to the passage of a major energy bill in 2013, and Illinois is making its first appearance in the top 10 this year, reaping the benefits of increased energy savings called for in the state’s energy-efficiency resource standard.
According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more and more states embrace energy efficiency.
“Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families,” Moniz said. “We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth.”
A total of 20 states fell in the rankings in the 2013 State Scorecard report, due to both changes in the report’s methodology and substantive changes in their performance. Idaho fell the furthest, by nine spots, and Wisconsin dropped six spots.
Publication date: 12/16/2013