WASHINGTON, DC — There is huge variation among states with respect to utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs, such as rebates for products that cut energy use, according to a new report, “State Scorecard on Utility Energy Efficiency Programs,” released by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The top-ranking states are Washington, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Oregon, all with a total score at least three times the national average.

In contrast, West Virginia, Alabama, Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, and Arkansas all score at the bottom of the rankings.

“Some states located in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast have maintained strong utility-funded energy efficiency programs in recent years. These states are saving their residents and businesses billions of dollars, cutting pollution emissions, and improving power system reliability,” stated Howard Geller, executive director of ACEEE and co-author of the report.

“On the other hand, the low-ranking states in the Midwest, South, and Great Plains regions are wasting energy, wasting money, and unnecessarily polluting by their minimal commitment to utility efficiency programs,” Geller added.

The report notes that adopting so-called public benefit programs has been an effective strategy to maintain, and in some cases expand, state energy efficiency efforts.

“Public benefit programs that support energy efficiency and other activities should be a key part of state electric utility restructuring legislation,” commented Steven Nadel, ACEEE deputy director and report co-author.

The report ranks all states based on four factors:

1. 1998 energy efficiency expenditures as a percentage of utility revenues;

2. 1998 electricity savings as a percentage of electricity sales;

3. Changes in expenditures as a percentage of revenues during 1993-98; and

4. Changes in savings as a percentage of sales during 1993-98.

The rankings are based on survey data collected by the Energy Information Administration, an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.

The executive summary of the report, which includes the rankings of all states, is posted on the ACEEE website at aceee.org/ pubs/u004.htm. Copies of the full report are available for $12 plus $5 shipping and handling. Contact the ACEEE publications office at 202-429-8873; ace3pubs@ix.netcom.com (e-mail).