The fifth edition of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) scorecard was recently released, and shows that even through uncertain economic times, U.S. states are generating cost savings, promoting technological innovation and stimulating growth by implementing energy efficiency as their key strategy, according to EC&M.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said: "Energy efficiency is America's abundant, untapped energy resource and the states continue to press forward to reap its economic and environmental benefits."
Massachusetts took the lead in energy efficiency in the U.S. this year, bumping California from its four year winning streak, according to the scorecard.
Thomas Bourgeois, Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Northeast Clean Energy Application Center said: "The legislation requires electric utilities in Massachusetts to purchase all available energy efficiency improvements that cost less than it does to generate power," He added: "It has been a major boon to energy efficiency in Massachusetts over the past three years," according to Forbes Magazine.
The ACEEE report says of Massachusetts: "Massachusetts has a long record of success implementing energy efficiency programs."
"The state took a major leap forward in 2008, however," It writes, "when it passed the Green Communities Act, which established energy efficiency as the state’s 'first-priority' resource, creating an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council to collaborate with utilities to develop statewide efficiency plans in three-year cycles. The three-year plan in operation aims to achieve electric savings equal to 2.4 percent and natural gas savings equal to 1.5 percent of sales in 2012, which amounts to the most aggressive EERS target in the nation. The Green Communities Act is ultimately expected to lead to an investment of $2.2 billion in energy efficiency and demand resources between 2010 and 2012."
"Thanks to our investments in innovation and infrastructure, Massachusetts is now leading the nation in energy efficiency," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Through our Green Communities Act, we set aggressive goals and laid the foundation for greater investment in energy efficiency – and now we are proud to be a model for the nation and world," he said in a press release.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the scores analyzed states (plus District of Columbia) based on: "weighted criteria that gave more credit to states that offered utility and public benefits funds and also had the best efficiency programs and policies (20 points possible). That was followed in importance by transportation, building energy codes and state government initiatives."
Take a look at the 10 most energy-efficient states, and then the 10 least energy-efficient states: